Lyft and Epic are partnering to allow hospitals to schedule patient rides

Lyft and Epic partner for patient transportation

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Lyft announced that it will be integrating with electronic health record (EHR) vendor Epic to allow hospital staff to request pick up and drop off rides for patients’ appointments. Health systems Ochsner Health in Louisiana and Tampa General in Florida will be the first to implement the nonemergency medical transport (NEMT) service. 

Here’s how we think the tie-up benefits Lyft and health systems alike: 

Lyft’s NEMT feature integrates within providers’ existing workflows, which means doctors will be more likely to use it. Physicians are facing stark levels of burnout, and health systems will want to ensure they’re not compounding this stress when they implement new provider-facing tools: 85% of physicians using EHRs reported dissatisfaction with the amount of clerical tasks they have to perform, like moving back and forth between different applications. So, integrating new tools within existing workflows will likely prime new applications for higher uptake levels among providers. 
The deal will also help health systems better target social determinants of health (SDOH)—which should help curb costs. For context, lack of proper transportation is often a major SDOH—a nonclinical health factor that impacts patient health—leading some patients to delay or forgo care. We’ve already seen health systems take interest in tackling this barrier by partnering with Lyft: It teamed up with CommonSpirit Health to give patients access to rides earlier this year. Providing patients better access to transportation should help health systems cut back on unnecessary spending, given that the US healthcare system wastes around $150 billion annually on transportation issues. 
Lyft’s deal with Epic should help it tap a new source of revenue as it contends with a lower number of consumers amid the pandemic. Epic is currently the most-used EHR vendor among US health systems. This market reach should give the ride-hailing service access to a swath of new customers to help recoup lost business amid the pandemic, as many US individuals stopped using its services: eMarketer data reveals that the number of Lyft users dropped by 32% in the past year. 

Lyft’s proven ability to get patients to their appointments faster than other NEMT services could help bolster patient satisfaction—so, EHR firms that partner with Lyft can boost their appeal in the eyes of providers. Lyft inked a similar deal with EHR vendor Allscripts in 2018, and it scored a partnership with Oak Street Health to offer its NEMT service last year.

We think it’s a smart bet for EHR companies to integrate with a ride-hailing service, as they can better appeal to potential health system partners: Lyft has proven it can guarantee that patients arrive on schedule, enabling providers to spend more time with their patients.

Insurer Centene notes that Lyft has gotten 99% of its members to their appointments on time, for instance. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if Lyft attracted Epic’s competitors that want to boost patient satisfaction: Lyft’s vice president Megan Callahan noted that the ride-hailing platform is not currently integrated with …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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