US: Lyft expands into healthcare by teaming up with Allscripts

To provide rides to people who can’t drive to their doctor’s appointments, Lyft is expanding its partnerships with healthcare providers by teaming up with Allscripts to reach approximately 7 million patients, USA Today reported.

“The idea is here simply to give healthcare providers the ability to call a ride for a patient by pushing a button inside systems they already use,” Lyft Chief Business Officer David Baga told USA Today.

Through a desktop application, medical practices can hail multiple Lyft vehicles while sending text messages to patients with the details of their rides. Unless it’s otherwise arranged, medical practices will pick up the cost of the rides.

To better serve patients, Lyft works with many providers, including regulators, transportation brokers and technology partners. “It isn’t just about a healthcare provider deciding you need a Lyft; there are insurers and others involved determining your care eligibility,” Baga said.

The news comes as Uber announced the launch of Uber Health, a new service that will partner with healthcare organizations to provide rides for patients. The service will offer flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers and staff, in which care coordinators can schedule rides for patients immediately, within a few hours or up to 30 days in advance.

Using one dashboard, caregivers can schedule multiple rides. And to reach to patients who don’t have a smartphone, Uber is communicating with riders via text message. In addition, Uber will include the option for riders to receive a call with their trip details.

“For many, their first-ever Uber ride will be through Uber Health, so we’re committed to providing the necessary education tools that ensure every patient feels comfortable and at ease during their journey,” Uber noted in a blog post.

Already, Uber has disclosed that more than 100 healthcare organizations in the US, including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers and physical therapy centers, are using Uber Health as a part of the beta program.

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