Lyft Business is partnering with Allscripts so providers can order their patients rides through the Allscripts electronic health record. Lyft executives hope the move will help Americans with transportation limitations get to and from medical appointments and reduce emergency department visits.
Lyft partners with Allscripts for patient rides
Every year, about 3.6 million Americans miss or are late to medical appointments because of problems with transportation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lyft executives hope to reduce that number by 50% within the next two years.
Under the new partnership, all of Allscripts 45,000 physician practices, 180,000 physicians, and 2,500 hospitals will be able to request Lyft rides for patients through Allscripts' software.
Patients themselves won't pay for the service, according to Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business. “The primary case is going to be provider-initiated trips that are paid for by the providers themselves,” he said. Medicaid might also pay for some of the trips, since transportation is a covered benefit.
Lyft already has several partnerships in place to help patients with transportation. In May 2017, the company announced it would work with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to help commercially insured patients in “transportation deserts” get to their appointments. That program depends on Lyft's concierge platform, which Lyft partners can access to order rides for their patients.
Lyft also has partnerships with non-emergency medical transportation companies Hitch Health and Circulation, whose platforms healthcare organizations tap to arrange rides for patients.
“We look at this industry as an incredibly large challenge to solve,” Renwick said. “Lyft is well-positioned to help solve this problem,” he said. “Let's give the transportation benefit to the patients themselves and remove all the barriers of technology and the payment source.”
The company will continue partnering with healthcare organizations, including other EHR vendors.
Uber—Lyft's main competitor, with far more market share—is also in the medical transportation game. Like Lyft, it has a partnership with non-emergency medical transportation startup Circulation. In addition, Uber announced March 1 that it's partnering with healthcare organizations to give patients rides to and from appointments. Patients won't need to have the Uber app to use Uber Health. Instead, medical office staff will orchestrate the rides, sending patients ride details through text messages.
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