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Expert Concerns about Uber and Lyft Taking on Healthcare

Published Mon, Feb 21 2022 09:55 am
by The Silicon Trend




Expert Concerns about Uber and Lyft Taking on Healthcare


For the last few years, rideshare firms such as Uber and Lyft have been moving into non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), providing their networks to the healthcare sector that need to schedule patient rides. It is used to aid destitute patients and Medicaid recipients get to appointments; they may miss due to lack of transportation access. Such services are necessary, especially for low-income individuals, who miss doctor's appointments each year due to the barrier, costing the health system billions.



Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)


While NEMT is done through dedicated organizations, the rideshare groups are now interested in the $3Bn market. Rideshare is an economical alternative for healthcare companies, and some experts think it can bridge gaps in what NEMT can provide. However, clinical experts are concerned about these ridesharing organizations due to inadequate training in the safe transportation of passengers who leverage NEMT.


A Healthcare Gap


Lyft was the first to launch a NEMT program in 2016, providing healthcare with the potential to book rides for patients. Last year, the firm introduced the Lyft Pass for Healthcare program, allowing companies to cover the ride expenses that patients book for themselves. Uber launched the program in 2018. Both companies now have their systems built into e-health record platforms, so doctors can directly schedule via a patient's medical record. They also have specialized programs known as Uber Assist and Lyft Assisted, where drivers offer patient assistance from door to door than just curb to curb.

With new programs and expanded services, Lyft and Uber seem to be striving to position themselves as healthcare firms. Lyft's new healthcare head - Buck Poropatich, comes from a healthcare strategy and business background, while Uber recently hired its first chief medical officer - geriatrician Michael Cantor.

Both companies said they want to change and enhance present NEMT services covered by state Medicaid programs and few Medicare programs.