Lyft, Uber driving into healthcare services

Catch a ride to your doctor's appointment
Catch a ride to your doctor's

07 March, 2018

Uber recently announced a new program to get patients to doctor's appointments, and this week, fellow ride-hailing app Lyft is partnering with an electronic health records company to give 2,500 hospitals a platform to request rides for its patients. Transportation challenges often prevent patients from getting to or from doctors' visits, resulting in missed or rescheduled appointments. According to Lyft, the company's failure rate has dropped 20 percent since partnering with Lyft - meaning more patients are making their scheduled appointments.

MedStar Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, and Yale New Haven Health are among the healthcare organizations utilizing Uber Health as part of a pilot project.

Baga said Lyft is taking on an ambitious goal of reducing the healthcare transportation gap by 50% by 2020.

By leveraging a Lyft-developed API and Allscripts open platform, the functionally enable clinicians and ancillary staff to order the Lyft service for patients through an automated workflow, he added. With it, businesses can schedule rides for individuals.

The ride-hailing firm has been testing Uber Health with a beta group of hospitals and doctors since July, but the service is officially launching starting on Thursday.

The company stressed that Uber Health complies with HIPAA patient privacy laws.

What we don't know yet, though, is whether or not Uber Health will be able to offer rides to those persons with disabilities - whether something like the Uber XXL now offered for larger groups, or any other specific types of vehicles, will be available to those using a wheelchair, etc. Uber is also introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead.

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Additionally, the passenger isn't billed for the ride because the providers will cover the cost.

Uber said 3.6 million people miss or delay appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation. The functionality will provide an easier way for patients without access to transportation to make it to doctors' appointments.

'My health crisis was a lot to manage, ' a patient from San Diego said, according to Uber.

Uber employees have also been accused of abusing customer data.

With Uber Health, there may be a grey area concerning liability if, for example, a patient faints in the backseat of an Uber.

Not having someone show up is costly for the physician and costly for patients because care is not delivered.

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