SCAN Group’s investment strategy aims to reduce ‘pain points’ for older people

SCAN Group is executing a service diversification strategy designed to identify and address the unmet needs of beneficiaries of the California-based Medicare Advantage organization.

The company, whose holdings include SCAN Health Plan, recently invested an undisclosed amount in non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker SafeRide Health.

The underlying goal of this strategy is to identify and address the “pain points” of older adults with complex health needs, according to Dr. Sachin Jain, President and CEO of SCAN Group and SCAN Health Plan .

“Our mission is to keep older people healthy and independent, and the investments we make are entities that we believe are making progress in helping to help older people live healthy and independent lives,” said Jain at Hospice News. “We believe these are mission-aligned investments. Our interest is to partner and invest in companies where there is a significant opportunity to transform the experience of aging in America.

SafeRide’s platform gives patients access to hundreds of NEMT providers, including Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft. The product is designed to identify patients with higher acuity and offers real-time reporting, real-time triage and monitoring, and aggregated customizable program information.

SafeRide marks the company’s fifth investment as part of the implementation of its service diversification strategy.

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2020 allows Medicare Advantage plans to cover additional non-medical benefits, including transportation and food services and certain home modifications, among others.

Although offering these benefits is optional for MA plans, a growing number are adopting them. In 2021, 67% of individual plans offered meal support, along with 69% of special needs plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 38% of individual plans covered transportation benefits. Among special needs diets, the proportion was 87%.

Transportation is a key social determinant of health. Many patients delay or cancel health care appointments due to difficulty getting to and from appointments, due to distance, fragility, affordability, and other factors.

“For any fragile or vulnerable person, [addressing NEMT needs] reduces a barrier to real access to care. Many older people you know cite transportation as one of the main reasons they don’t have access to medical care,” Jain said. “Medicare Advantage plans across the country actually provide non-emergency medical transportation benefits. I think this is one of the most difficult benefits to administer, due to the complexity of delivering rides to a variety of different types of people who have a number of different functional limitations.

SCAN’s other recent investments include healthcare logistics and services platform MedArrive, kidney care company Monogram Health, medication management company Arine, and SafelyYou, a platform that offers fall management technology based on artificial intelligence for patients with cognitive impairment.

SCAN began partnering with MedArrive in late 2021 as a preferred provider of home services, including a joint effort to vaccinate homebound patients against COVID-19. MA has decided to invest a confidential amount in MedArrive following this collaboration.

MedArrive leverages physician-led telehealth to reach patients in addition to in-person care. The company’s services include chronic disease management, transitional care, readmission prevention, emergency care and palliative care, among others.

When it comes to making investments like these, one of SCAN’s goals is to simplify the healthcare experience for its members, Jain told Hospice News.

“Everyone is saying the same words in this space, but the question is whether they really believe it. Things go wrong, inevitably, in a complicated business like logistics and transportation,” Jain said. what matters to us is how much you care when these things go wrong and how hard are you going to work to make it better?”

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