Industry Outsiders Seek to Solve Non-emergency Medical Transportation Dilemma

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Before receiving care from a physician or other healthcare practitioner, you need to find a way to their office, which can be tough without a car. Non-emergency medical transportation is a vital component of healthcare, but each year, more than 3.6 million Americans miss out on healthcare due to issues with transportation[1]. Some well-known organizations see this as an opportunity, and they’re entering the healthcare industry to offer solutions.

Studies show that access to transportation can play a major role in access to care. When consumers have the option to get a ride, they may receive more preventative care, thereby reducing the need for emergency services and lowering healthcare costs. Providers benefit too, because missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150 billion a year[2].

New ride hailing services are pushing the industry forward and providing a cost effective and efficient alternative to taxis and shuttles. The non-emergency medical transportation market is worth more than $3 billion[3], and its attracting a lot of interest from transportation experts who want to fill a need for millions of people seeking healthcare services.

Ford is expanding its GoRide service

Since late 2017, patients in the Detroit area have been taken to doctor’s appointments in specially-designed vans from Ford Motor Co. The GoRide service has teamed with a local health system to provide transportation to more than 200 facilities. There are currently 15 vans in the service, which offer flexible seating for those in wheelchairs and with mobility challenges, and Ford plans to have 60 in service by the end of the year. The health system can schedule and book transportation through GoRide up to 30 days in advance[4]. Ford sees promise with GoRide after it delivered a 92 percent on-time pick-up and delivery rate in its pilot phase[5].

Uber and Lyft are forming several partnerships with providers.

Uber and Lyft have launched similar services in the past couple years, enabling providers to schedule rides for patients, which are covered by providers and, sometimes, by insurance[6].

Lyft Concierge launched for all businesses early this year, and shortly after, Uber launched its solution, Uber Health. Both companies have pursued partnerships to spread their services. For instance, Lyft recently announced that’s its solution has been integrated into the platform by Acuity Link, which connects providers with transportation services[7]. And Uber’s solution is already used by more than 100 providers[8].

Take advantage of your options.

Consumers shouldn’t let transportation issues discourage them from finding physicians and scheduling appointments at There are many ways to use these and other similar services to get a ride to an appointment.

Ask your provider
Your provider might employ services like GoRide, Uber Health, Lyft Concierge or other transportation services you can use. Speak to a staff member to better understand your options.

Schedule a virtual visit
Maybe you don’t need to leave your home at all. Ask your provider if they offer virtual care options that will suit your needs.

[1]How Philly start-up RoundTrip helps ease a huge health problem: Getting a ride to the doctor” by

[2]Ford Launches GoRide Service to Get Patients to Their Medical Appointments” by Ford

[3]Uber is driving patients to their doctors in a big grab for medical transit market” by The Verge

[4]Ford Launches GoRide Service to Get Patients to Their Medical Appointments” by Ford

[5]Ford Launches GoRide Service to Get Patients to Their Medical Appointments” by Ford

[6]Why Uber and Lyft want to take you to the hospital” by USA Today

[7]Acuity Link, Lyft Offering Medical Transportation for Healthcare Providers” by Acuity Link

[8]Introducing Uber Health, Removing Transportation as a Barrier to Care” by Uber

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