Millions of Americans have transportation issues that force them to miss appointments to their healthcare professional or not bother to go at all. This creates two issues: the first is the patient doesn’t get to the doctor for regular checkups and get treatment they need. The second issue is the hospital or doctor’s office is consistently having to reschedule appointments which wastes resources and throws any sort of order or patient experience into disarray.
Lyft is aiming to change this issue by eliminating the transportation barrier problem in healthcare. With an aggressive goal to cut in half the nearly 4 million people who have transportation issues to their healthcare provider by 2020, Lyft has their work cut out for them. By making strategic moves towards that goal Lyft is trying to make improved medical transportation a reality.
Access2Care (A2C), a business sub-unit of American Medical Response (AMR), is currently working with Lyft. Medicare and Medicaid recipients are among the largest population known to have issues with transportation to their medical provider. Lyft has identified a large group with transportation issues and the right partner to help.
Sven Johnson, COO of AMR shares, “Lyft quickly grasped the unique nature of medical transports and have become the preferred partner for providing fast, reliable and cost-effective transportation — over 90% of our patients choose Lyft as their transportation provider. Our partnership has reduced complaints by 50% and improved on-time performance. These evolutionary changes continue as we work with Lyft to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, speed-up hospital discharges and provide same-day access to urgent care and clinic appointments.”
The partnership between Lyft and A2C has created the Concierge API, a one-click solution to help patients get to their doctor. American Logistics Company (ALC) used Lyft’s Concierge API to work with hospitals who have large campuses to create zones in various areas for patient drop off. The hospitals have workers who will meet and greet the patient upon arrival and guide them to their medical provider. Going to the doctor is nerve wracking enough for some people, adding the stress of trying to find their doctor in a large bustling area can keep many patients from bothering to get medical help at all. This partnership is very customer centric, efficient, and smart on all the business’s parts who have created this system.
According to USA today, Lyft is also teaming with Allscripts, one of the leading health record companies in the nation, to integrate transportation for an estimated 7,000,000 patients into the daily routine of 2,500 hospitals, 180,000 physicians, and 45,000 physician practices. Medical facilities partnered with Allscripts have a program on their computers to send Lyft to a patient’s house and let the patients know a vehicle is on the way by sending a text message.
Hospitals and Physicians Benefit
Throughout the United States, missed appointments cost healthcare providers an estimated $150 billion dollars per year according to SCI Solutions which provides IT services to the healthcare industry. Add to that nearly 30% of patients who are a no-show, the problem is widespread and expensive.
Now physicians can get rides for their patients which will properly use resources including staff, hospital rooms, and insurance submissions. Being able to see patients on a consistent basis will prevent sickness or conditions that, if left untreated, could become life threatening. The patient receiving preventative care will improve their quality of life and be much easier on them financially.
Lyft’s Future Bodes Well for this Initiative
Canadian supplier Magna will invest 200 million in Lyft to further development of self-driving cars. This multi-year partnership will aim to deliver self-driving cars at a scale to meet future demands of transportation.
Lyft’s CEO Logan Green leaves no question as to his vision with his quote: “We don’t want just one or two companies out there in the world to have access to self-driving technology,” said Green. “We want every single OEM to be able to make self-driving vehicles, and we want those vehicles to be able to operate on the Lyft network.”
Lyft’s aggressive plan to reduce the burden of missed appointments in the healthcare industry will need all the resources it can get. Potentially deploying a fleet of self-driving cars soon, Lyft will have 24-hour support for this initiative without the downtime that the human driver needs to take. Over time, the increase in efficiency will be a leading contributor in helping Lyft reach their lofty goal.