October 24, 2020

Lyft And Epic In Deal To Ease Medical Transportation

Lyft and Epic, an electronic health record firm, are partnering to help alleviate patients’ transportation barriers to healthcare services.

The ride-sharing giant said Thursday it is “integrating with Epic,” which is used by thousands of U.S. hospitals and health systems across the country, for non-emergency medical transportation. The companies said the new “Lyft for Epic” will make it easier for healthcare providers to order a Lyft ride on behalf of a patient. Financial terms of Lyft’s relationship with Epic weren’t disclosed.

The ability of doctors, hospitals and health insurers to communicate with each other and be connected to others inside and outside the healthcare system remains a problem. Thus, Lyft says a partnership with Epic will go a long way to helping the ride-sharing company as well as the increasing number of patients using its service and health plans covering ride share.

“With Lyft for Epic, healthcare staff can order a Lyft ride on behalf of a patient directly from that patient’s record,” a Lyft spokeswoman said. “Previously, a nurse, case manager, or other hospital staff would have to log in separately into the Lyft Concierge web app to order a ride, which is low on their list of priorities of the day. But having Lyft Concierge, our B2B product, directly integrated into the Epic workflow means that the hospital staff who are in Epic all day do not need to log into another system to order rides.” 

Last year, Lyft rival Uber announced a partnership with the electronic health record company Cerner to work with Cerner’s clients, which include hospitals and other medical care providers, to “embed Uber Health into the Cerner electronic health record so healthcare providers can seamlessly schedule non-emergency transportation on behalf of patients, caregivers and staff.”

Thus, Lyft’s partnership with Epic is the latest example of the expanding and potentially lucrative opportunities for ride sharing companies as more health insurance companies cover their services and integrate them with medical care provided to patients.

“Access to reliable transportation is a common barrier to seeking healthcare, especially for our most vulnerable patients,” Ochsner Health, senior vice president of community care, Dr. David Carmouche, said in a statement provided by Lyft. “By teaming up to integrate Lyft into Epic – our established health record system – Ochsner is providing a solution that makes it easier for patients to seek out high quality care when they need it and without unnecessary delays due to a lack of transportation.”

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