Lyft launched a program that will let health care organizations send patients prepaid passes that they can use for rides to doctor’s appointments.
“We’ve automated an important piece of health access that allows patients to be self-sufficient and in control, while allowing our partners to focus on the services they provide, rather than on administrative processes,” said Megan Callahan, vice president of Lyft Healthcare, in a statement.
The program, called Lyft Pass for Healthcare, lets health care organizations or social services agencies create a budget and set approved pickup and drop-off locations. They can share the pass with patients, who can apply it to their ride.
Non-emergency medical transportation is estimated to be a $3 billion market. Transportation is a major barrier to health care, and millions of people each year put off medical appointments because they don’t have a way to get to them. Lyft already partners with a number of health care organizations to schedule trips for patients, but the new program aims to make it easier for patients to request trips themselves in the app, rather than wait for the health system to schedule them.
Uber has a similar medical transportation program. Uber Health, which launched in 2018, also lets health care providers book rides for patients.