Lyft boosts its ride services for doctor appointments

Catch a ride to your doctor's appointment.

Ride-hailing apps are helping riders get to the doctor’s office — and dipping into the lucrative healthcare market.

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.

Lyft Business — the enterprise division of the transit company — is partnering with Allscripts to give 180,000 physicians that use the online records service access to the ride-sharing app for patients.

Lyft’s business arm had already established partnerships in 2016 for non-emergency transportation options, so the Allscripts integration builds on that. Like the new Uber Health service, patients who don’t have a smartphone can still catch a ride that the health facilities arrange and set up on their behalf.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sutter, and CareLinx — among other healthcare organizations — already use Lyft to bring patients in for appointments. GoGoGrandparent links older riders without smartphones to Uber and Lyft rides for medical care. According to Lyft, the company’s failure rate has dropped 20 percent since partnering with Lyft — meaning more patients are making their scheduled appointments.

Lyft is riding head first into healthcare services.

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