Lyft execs cite healthcare focus as factor in better-than-expected Q4 earnings

During a Feb. 11 call following the release of Lyft's expectation-beating fourth-quarter earnings report, the rideshare company's executives touted recent partnerships with healthcare organizations as contributors to its success.

According to the report, Lyft garnered revenues of about $1.02 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, a year-over-year increase of 52 percent compared to the $669.5 million earned in the same period of 2018.

The reported numbers surpassed analysts' predictions, per CNBC, but still resulted in a decreasing stock price, likely because Lyft failed to follow competitor Uber's lead in releasing a timeline regarding when the company will become profitable.

In the earnings call, John Zimmer, the president, co-founder and vice chairman of Lyft, highlighted the successes of the company's enterprise partner strategy, much of which is centered in healthcare.

"In the healthcare sector, we have made tremendous progress in expanding our partnerships and coverage. We believe nonemergency medical transportation is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity that can drive millions of dollars of savings for our healthcare partners by ensuring their patients make their appointments and have better health outcomes," Mr. Zimmer said, according to a transcript by The Motley Fool.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, he noted, Lyft expanded access to medical transportation for Medicaid beneficiaries in six states by working with regulators and policymakers. "Changes in regulation and policy to include rideshare are important on many fronts; the patient experience improves, we add valuable rides to the business and drivers have more opportunities to earn during these less busy hours," he said.

Mr. Zimmer also singled out more recent partnerships with hospitals and health systems, including the January announcements of collaborations with Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health and Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health.

"Lyft currently partners with nine out of the top 10 hospital systems in the United States," he said, touting the cost savings and decreased wait times those partnerships have achieved, and adding, "These preferred partnerships give us new channels to provide meaningful rides for patients and the healthcare workforce."

More articles on consumerism:
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Barely 20% of providers have a consumer-centric strategy in place: 4 things to know
How Uber Health is helping hospitals' parking infrastructure

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