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Uber, Lyft and Healthcare

By Clive Riddle, September 9, 2016

Bruce Japson, in his Forbes article earlier this summer - On-Demand Health's Growth Second Only To Uber And Lyft, that "investment in on-demand health services is projected to reach $1 billion in 2017 with Teladoc and rival telehealth firm American Well joining the likes of Uber and Lyft in the top 10 most funded on-demand companies, according to the most recent tally by consulting giant Accenture ACN -1.02%. Investment in on-demand health was just $200 million in 2014."

While Bruce was talking about valuations of on demand companies, it is most interesting that on a different level, the paths of healthcare and on demand ride services are converging.

Just this week, CareMore Health System touted their recent collaboration with Lyft that “Improves Access to Care, Reduces Transportation Cost and Wait Times” according to results from a pilot study of their Medicare Advantage beneficiaries that was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),  in the article, “Nonemergency Medical Transportation: Delivering Care in the Era of Lyft and Uber

CareMore notes that “individuals using the service are now waiting an average of just nine minutes to be taken to or from their medical appointment” and that “average per-ride costs have been reduced by more than 30 percent (from $31.54 to $21.32). Satisfaction with the new program, which covers beneficiaries in selected areas of southern California, exceeded 80 percent.” CareMore plans to continue the program and potentially expand to markets beyond California.

Earlier this year, MedStar Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, and Uber announced a collaboration “to give patients a new option for ensuring they can get to and from healthcare appointments. Patients who miss appointments or have to reschedule at the last minute frequently cite transportation as a factor.”

The Advisory Board, writing about in July, in their article “A surging trend: Uber, Lyft have hospitals rethinking patient access” reported that “other hospitals quickly became interested in MedStar's model, said Michael Ruiz, chief digital officer for MedStar. ‘We probably had 50 different systems across the country reach out to us and ask us 'How did you do it?’’ Several other hospitals have formed partnerships with Uber this year, including New Jersey-based Hackensack UMC and Florida-based Sarasota Memorial Hospital.”

How many years off are we from driverless Uber and Lyft cars picking us up for our healthcare visits?

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