Transportation: A Health Benefit

Transportation: A Health Benefit

By: Lauren Gabrielian Cisneros and Charmaine Dorsey
NEMT NMT Services

Transportation: A Health Benefit

Transportation: A Health Benefit 1024 739 Health Services Los Angeles County

Access to reliable and adequate transportation is critical to the health of Health Services patients. Addressing transportation insecurity and expanding transportation services within Health Services has been an on-going priority. Estimates indicate that Health Services patients need more than 60,000 rides per year to avoid missing or delaying needed healthcare appointments. As part of the efforts led by our Population Health Department, enhancement of transportation screening practices in ORCHID and enhanced resources, are underway to offer more accurate data on the transportation needs of Health Services patients. This will allow for increased identification of patients requiring transportation services and linkage to the appropriate resource.

L.A. Care and Health Net provide free non-emergent medical (NEMT)/non-medical transportation (NMT) services to their full scope Medi-Cal members through Call the Car and ModivCare. Other programs and organizations can also be leveraged by Health Services staff to support patients in obtaining rides to and from their clinic appointments.

As of February 2021, Health Services has partnered with both Uber and Lyft to provide free non-emergent transportation services to Health Services patients that are not connected to insurance or who have Medi-Cal Fee-For-Service (FFS), and that do not have transportation benefits available to them. These rides can be arranged for patients discharging from one of our Health Services hospitals, as well as for those coming to and from appointments and picking up medication. They can also have a caregiver with them if needed. Rides must be scheduled by Health Services staff through the Emergency Medical Services, Central Dispatch Office (EMS CDO) team. Upon scheduling a ride, patients will receive a text message on their smart phone to track the ride and connect with their driver when necessary. The EMS CDO team also has the capability of tracking rides in real time. Additional features include Spanish-speaking drivers, round trip flexible options, and the Assist feature which accommodates wheelchairs, walkers and scooters for seniors and patients with disabilities. Health Services has posted designated pick-up and drop-off location signage at nearly all Health Services facilities to offer easy navigation for both drivers and patients. We are excited to be offering this new service to Health Services patients! To date, we have provided nearly 1,000 rides and we continue to actively encourage Health Services staff to utilize these services as a resource for your patients.

A huge thank you to our Health Services Contracts and Grants, EMS CDO, and Population Health teams who worked tirelessly to get the Uber and Lyft agreements in place and implemented across the Health Services system. We could not have done this without their support and guidance!

To learn more about how patients can reserve their free ride through L.A. Care and Health Net, please visit the Transportation Resource Webpage: Transportation – Health Care Centers (

For additional information on the transportation process, including Uber and Lyft services, please contact Lauren Gabrielian Cisneros at 213-288-8865 or Charmaine Dorsey