Lyft, Allscripts partner for healthcare platform

While both ride-sharing companies voiced their commitment to lowering the rates of missed appointments through their services, a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the uptake of ridesharing was low and did not decrease missed primary care appointments among Medicaid patients in West Philadelphia.

Echoing sentiments from Uber, Lyft officials wrote in a blog post that it has set out to eliminate transportation barriers to healthcare, which affect approximately 3.6 million Americans today - many of whom are low-income patients. Additionally, 25 percent of lower-income patients have missed or rescheduled their appointments due to lack of transportation, Lyft says.

Over 100 healthcare organizations in the U.S, including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers, and physical therapy centers are already using Uber Health as a part of the beta program, including Adams Clinical, Blood Centers of the Pacific, Georgetown Home Care, LifeBridge Health, MedStar Health, Manhattan Women's Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, Pro Staff Physical Therapy, ProActive Work Health Services, Project Open Hand, Renown Health, Thundermist Health Center and Yale New Haven Health. On Monday, the transportation company announced a new goal to cut the so-called health care transportation gap in half by 2020.

The move follows the launch of Uber Health late last week, which is a service that lets doctors hail a ride for patients, even if they don't have a smartphone. Using the same dashboard, multiple rides can be scheduled and managed at the same time.

The announcement comes on the heels of rival Uber's launch of Uber Health last Thursday.

The company stressed that Uber Health complies with HIPAA patient privacy laws. Uber is also introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead.

It's no good having health care if you can't make the appointment. The platform pushes a text alert to passengers about the scheduled ride, and the business provider typically covers the cost.

Uber employees have also been accused of abusing customer data.

It's been previously reported that some people often use Uber as a replacement for calling an ambulance, perhaps because they're cheaper than emergency transport. Providers determine who is eligible based on need, and costs are covered by providers and sometimes defrayed by insurance.

  • David Armstrong