Breaking Barriers with Reliable Transportation for the Largest Behavioral Health System in Arizona

Susanna Arntz
Susanna Arntz
Aurora Behavioral Health System Partners with Roundtrip

With nearly 20% of adults living with a mental health challenge, it is important, now more than ever, to remove transportation as a barrier to accessing care. Roundtrip and Aurora Behavioral Health System partnered to provide a scalable way to expand access for those undergoing treatment through a cost-effective and easy-to-use transportation solution. To date, Aurora has booked over 4000 rides, saved $55,000 in transportation costs and maximized the use of hundreds of hours of staff time.

Introduction

Behavioral health is the scientific study of the emotions, behaviors and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in everyday life, and their concept of self. In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 adults live with a mental or behaviorial health challenge. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, that accounted for 46.6 million Americans in 2017 and nearly 60% of adults living with mental illness did not receive mental health services in the previous year. This is partly due to the inability to access care.

Founded in 2000, Aurora Behavioral Health System (Aurora) is Arizona’s largest free-standing psychiatric hospital system. Aurora is dedicated to the wellness of individuals, their families, and the community through prevention, intervention and treatment. Aurora’s inpatient and outpatient services are offered for all ages and include specialized programs that service various patient populations. 

Challenge

Aurora’s existing transportation program relied heavily on taxi services. Not only was this legacy program expensive, but it did not allow for monitoring of ride data, offer waste mitigation, or offer protection from potential misuse. The health system was seeking a transportation solution to provide real-time ride updates to keep Aurora’s staff informed of the patients’ safety outside of the hospital and monitor spend and effectiveness of their transportation program. 

Solution

Roundtrip offered Aurora a scalable way to expand access for those undergoing treatment through a cost-effective and easy-to-use software solution. Roundtrip’s platform streamlines the ride booking process for Aurora staff members. Additionally, Roundtrip provides unprecedented data transparency with real-time ride updates and timestamps. 

By offering an innovative rideshare solution, Roundtrip has both minimized wait times for rides and limited the need for advance notice reservations with on-demand options. Due to the ease of use, Aurora staff members now have more time to focus on their patients and address needs outside of transportation. Moreover, for the first time, Aurora staff members stay informed of their patients’ safety outside of the hospital throughout the transportation sequence. 

Impact

Care coordinators adopted the platform quickly. In just the first 90 days, Aurora nearly doubled the projected usage of 200 rides per month. Since launching in October 2018, Aurora has booked over 4000 rides.  This upward trend is projected to continue as the partnership between Aurora and Roundtrip expands. 

To date, Roundtrip has saved Aurora $55,000 in transportation costs and hundreds of hours of staff time.

Aurora Behavioral Health and Roundtrip share many values which has led to an outstanding partnership. Both are committed to removing barriers to care and providing excellent, high-quality patient care. 

“We believe that everyone deserves access to their best possible sense of well-being. Like any physical ailment, it is important to address mental health challenges in a timely manner. Roundtrip is proud to be working Aurora Behavioral, an innovative and forward-thinking organization, to ensure that those in immediate need of behavioral health treatment are not limited by transportation and are able to receive high-quality care.” said Mark Switaj, CEO of Roundtrip. Bruce Waldo, CEO at Aurora Behavioral Health System, also commented, “At Aurora Behavioral Health, we believe in removing barriers to treatment so we can provide lifesaving services to those in need. Transportation is one barrier we have successfully removed as a result of our partnership with Roundtrip. Together, we are serving more individuals with mental health and addiction needs in our community. Thank you, Roundtrip, for helping us save lives.” 

Aurora and Roundtrip believe that mental health treatment is equally as important to overall wellness as physical fitness and nutrition. Both companies are proud to be at the forefront of this changing paradigm and will continue to push for the best care and assistance possible for Arizona.