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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.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

8 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.