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Lyft signs LogistiCare contract, adding to growing list of healthcare partnerships

Partnership improves LogistiCare's capacity to ensure transportation services for its commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plan members.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

LogistiCare and San Francisco-based ride-sharing company Lyft have signed a three-year nationwide partnership they say will improve medical transportation services and reduce cancellations of medical appointments.

The partnership, the latest in what is becoming a common trend of ride-sharing teaming up with healthcare,  allows collaboration in 31 states and the District of Columbia, and represents Lyft's most significant partnership, LogistiCare said. This means Lyft services through LogistiCare's platform will be available in more than 276 cities.

[Also: Medical providers try Uber, Lyft for patients lacking transportation]

LogistiCare manages more than 69 million non-emergency medical transportation trips for over 27 million riders per year, according to the company. The partnership improves LogistiCare's capacity to ensure transportation services for its commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plan members by allowing clients to request Lyft services through LogistiCare's commercial, state and managed care organization clients.

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"Transportation is a critical component of comprehensive access to healthcare and the issues surrounding it are complex," said John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft. "We're working with LogistiCare to provide a powerful solution for this healthcare offering, which helps reduce isolation and empowers people with more reliable and affordable mobility."

Lyft, as well as competing service Uber, has signed a string of healthcare contracts in the past year. For example, Uber has partnerships with MedStar Health, Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health to help provide transportation for patients.

[Also: HackensackUMC teams with Uber, hopes to boost patient access to ride service]

National Medtrans Network, another medical transportation manager,  has partnered with Uber and Lyft to help transport patients in New York, California and Nevada, according to a report by Stakeholder Health. They cited a Department of Health Statistic showing that roughly 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments every year because they don't have a ride.

Lyft has also partnered with CareLinx, a network of about 170,000 caregivers around the country. And in December 2016 it also announced a deal to provide non-emergency transportation for patients of Ascension, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in the United States.

Given the prevalence of chronic illness, especially among the elderly, having reliable transportation is crucial to population health.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn