Veyo , the first company to bring healthcare-credentialed rideshare to Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), today announced that it has collaborated with AHCCCS, Arizona’s state Medicaid agency, and its contracted managed care organizations, to provide access to drive through COVID-19 vaccinations as a covered benefit.

Arizona’s Medicaid program is the first in the country to adjust NEMT rates to account for wait times at drive-through vaccination sites.

More than 40 percent of U.S. adults have delayed or avoided medical care due to COVID-19, particularly people with underlying medical conditions and people with disabilities. Veyo provides critical health transportation for vulnerable populations and underserved communities including seniors, low-income communities, and those with mobility issues. The company has been working with policymakers at the state and local levels to promote vaccine access and develop solutions for transporting COVID positive patients safely to critical care.

“This program is a huge step forward in our efforts to increase patient access and can serve as a national model for covering vital transportation benefits,” said Josh Komenda, President and CEO of Veyo. “Drive-through vaccination centers offer a convenient, safe way for people to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, but they present unique challenges for both patients and transportation benefits administrators. AHCCCS made swift, practical adjustments that will ultimately help more eligible Medicaid members – many of whom have no other form of transportation – safely access the care they need.”

Veyo’s collaboration with AHCCCS, which serves approximately 30 percent of Arizonans, began in April 2020. With the projected surge coming for vaccinations in January, Veyo worked with the agency to discuss considerations such as reimbursement, wait time regulations and driver capacity.

“AHCCCS is working to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries have equal access to COVID-19 vaccinations, and that we are eliminating any potential barriers to care,” said Jami Snyder, AHCCCS director. “NEMT provides critical health transportation for underserved populations including seniors, low-income communities, and those with mobility issues. We appreciate the collaborative discussions with health plans and providers around how we can ensure the health and safety of our most vulnerable communities.”

“Throughout the pandemic, Veyo, AHCCCS, and its contracted managed care organizations, have worked together to ensure that our members are able to access their transportation benefit,” said Tad Gary, COO of Mercy Care, a not-for-profit Medicaid managed-care health plan that serves over 400,000 members. “We look forward to continuing this shared effort to increase equity in vaccine distribution.”

As the first company to integrate real-time technology and healthcare-credentialed rideshare into NEMT, Veyo provides access to healthcare for millions of people every day who need assistance getting to and from medical appointments. In 2020 Veyo launched two specialized fleets that provided access to over 2,000 potentially COVID-positive patients to be safely transported to medical appointments while reducing strain on first responders. The company has also developed emergency delivery programs utilizing its existing transportation network in response to the widespread disruption caused by the pandemic.

Veyo, headquartered in San Diego, CA, is the fastest growing transportation brokerage in the country, having brought a new NEMT model to the healthcare industry in 2016. Built on over 20 years of transportation experience, Veyo has reinvented the patient transportation model by integrating consumer technology with healthcare-credentialed rideshare fleets to decrease costs and increase efficiency. Veyo’s VirtualFleet™, the most powerful transportation network in the industry, is delivering dramatically higher levels of reliability, quality, and transparency to customers, partners, and members. Operating in six states with over 32 million completed trips and a 97.1% on-time rate, Veyo is changing NEMT – one trip at a time.

Mercy Care is a not-for-profit Medicaid managed-care health plan, serving AHCCCS members in Arizona since 1985. Mercy Care is a local company sponsored by Dignity Health and Ascension Health. Mercy Care provides access to physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid-eligible families, children, seniors, and individuals with developmental/cognitive disabilities.