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Josh Edelson / AP

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is partnering with ride-sharing company Lyft (and not Uber) to help people who may not have reliable transportation get to their routine doctors' appointments.

How it works: The service will launch in the fall and will be free for people who have commercial Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverage through their jobs. It's possible the service could be extended to seniors on Medicare Advantage and people with Affordable Care Act plans.

Health care's intersection with ride-sharing: Dr. Trent Haywood, the BCBSA's chief medical officer, said the partnership will aid people who live in "transportation deserts" and who are therefore more likely to skip their appointment or not fill their drug prescriptions because they can't find a ride. Skipping a doctor's visit or not taking medication could result in more expensive hospitalizations. Many hospitals and health systems, such as Ascension, also have shown interest in ride-sharing services.

No financial terms were disclosed: But given that the average Lyft ride costs about $12 and that Haywood estimates there are "conservatively" 10 million members in a transportation desert, it's likely this is a multi-million-dollar upfront investment for Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. The association did not say how many of its 36 affiliate companies will offer Lyft rides.

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Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

13 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.