Lyft integrates with Epic, exponentially growing NEMT reach

• Lyft, the passenger transportation giant, is integrating its non-emergency medical transportation platform with Epic, the largest EHR provider in the US, about a year after competitor Uber announced a similar integration with Cerner.

• More than 250 million patients are electronically enrolled in Epic, increasing the integration with which healthcare workers can plan patient travel to and from appointments directly into the system. Lyft’s NEMT footprint is exponential, according to the San Francisco-based company.

• Many customers of Lyft’s existing healthcare system, including Tampa General Teaching Medical Hospitals and Oschner Health, have already committed to taking advantage of the integration, which will go live next month. Lyft said it is beginning to reach out to other healthcare systems and has been in an active conversation with several.

Ridesharing companies have been struggling to cut their revenue since March as the pandemic kept potential cyclists, especially high-risk patients, at home. Yet Lyft and Uber, which launched their healthcare divisions in 2016 and 2018, see NEMT’s multi-billion dollar market as an opportunity to fuel growth.

Traditional healthcare transportation companies say that consumer-centric companies cannot meet the specific needs of many patients. But Lyft and Uber have built their healthcare systems and paid customer bases in recent years to demonstrate their ability to reduce patient absences that cost providers revenue and improve healthcare outcomes.

Lyft already integrates with Allscripts EHR but is now the only major transportation network company that Epic integrates directly. That’s a huge advantage for Lyft: The Verona, Wisconsin-based IT giant had 29% of the acute care hospital market last year, according to KLAS Research.

That’s 26% for finalist Cerner, who joined Uber last October.

Integration with electronic medical records makes sense for transportation service providers like Lyft and Uber. Hospital staff can schedule tests without having to access a separate tool. Patient and appointment information is automatically entered into the trial request form.

Lyft said it is working to enable health systems to produce reports to measure the impact of carpooling on population spending and health outcomes. He is also interested in the potential monitoring of patient segments to proactively identify those who would benefit from a NEMT stroke.

Lyft does not disclose the size of its NEMT segment but has found that driver use fluctuates slightly during the pandemic as many patients have chosen to stay home and use telemedicine for non-emergent needs. The company does not have its healthcare clients but claims to work with nine of the top 10 healthcare systems in the United States, representing “thousands” of hospitals and clinics. According to Lyft, nearly 30% of the healthcare systems that use Epic already use Lyft for their NEMT programs.

Uber Health had more than 1,000 customers in 2020.