4 notes on Lyft in healthcare

As Lyft prepares to go public, here are four notes on its role in healthcare so far:

1. Healthcare impact. Lyft sees healthcare as a key part of its potential economic impact on communities by improving accessibility to healthcare providers, according to the S-1 form it filed March 1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In its 2019 impact report, Lyft noted 29 percent of riders have used the app for transportation to medical appointments. More than one-third of those who have used the app to reach a physician's appointment said they have gone to urgent care less frequently.

2. Healthcare partnerships. Here are a few ways Lyft has partnered to provide healthcare transportation:

  • Providers. Lyft partners directly with providers to facilitate nonemergency medical transportation. Among those it works with are St. Louis-based Ascension and Denver Health.
  • Payers. Lyft partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2017 to improve patient appointment adherence. It expanded this partnership in 2018 to include rides to pharmacies, and it announced plans in February to expand its partnership to BCBS Medicare Advantage plans for rides to medical appointments, pharmacies and fitness centers. Lyft will also extend its platform to some Humana MA plans under a partnership with LogistiCare.
  • Tech companies. Lyft recently partnered with Solve.Care, a blockchain startup. Lyft will use the Solve.Care wallet to automate data-sharing between patients, providers, insurers and employers with a single system. It also partnered with Allscripts in March 2018, enabling 45,000 physician practices, 180,000 physicians and 2,500 hospitals to request Lyft rides for patients.

3. Healthcare risk. Lyft has incurred net losses every year since it was founded and it expects expenses to increase as it expands offerings, according to the S-1 filing. Through its Lyft Concierge business, which allows providers to order a ride on behalf of patients, the company may be subject to HIPAA requirements. While Lyft is not a covered entity under HIPAA, it is a business associate of covered entities and hosts a volume of personally identifiable information on its platform. Lyft anticipates its costs could increase as it works with healthcare providers to keep patient information secure.

4. Healthcare leadership. Lyft has made a few high-profile healthcare hires in recent months. Last November, Lyft hired Megan Callahan, former chief strategy officer and senior vice president of Change Healthcare, to lead its healthcare business. In August 2018, it hired Manish Gupta, a Google veteran, to be vice president of engineering. While Mr. Gupta's role is not exclusively dedicated to healthcare, he is working to help build Lyft's business portfolio, which includes healthcare partnerships, as well as overseeing the payment, fraud prevention and privacy teams.

 

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