Lyft commits to cutting the problem of health care transportation in half by 2020

In the wake of Uber’s entry into the healthcare transportation market, Lyft wants to remind people that’s a space it’s been working at for years, with partnerships across brokers of non-emergency medical transportation that cover nine of the top 10 health care systems in the U.S. It’s adding Allscripts today, and already counts Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ascension and others as platform partners.

Lyft provides API access to these partners and their platforms, and with Allscripts, it’s going to integrate its ride hailing system into their open health platform as well as their electronic health records (EHR) services.

The service Lyft providers to health care companies works via their Concierge offering, a B2B version of its ride-hailing service that allows businesses to schedule and call rides for their patients and clients. The planned EHR integration would take this a step further, automatically detecting special transportation needs in a patient’s file and making that a part of the ride-hailing workflow without any additional work needed on the health care provider’s part. 

This would be an industry first, according to Lyft and Allscripts, and would also serve up real-time notifications of key events like patient pick-up, as wells live ETAs for health care providers.

Lyft’s goal with this and its other partnerships in the health care space is to reduce the number of patients who miss crucial care and appointments simply because they don’t have access to proper non-emergcy medical transportation. Lyft has set a goal of reducing the number of Americans who fail to get care for this reason by half by 2020, meaning presumably they’d want to take the 3.6 million Americans who miss an appointment per year right now and make that 1.8 million. Lyft also says it hopes to reduce this number to zero shortly after that.