There is a push to streamline and improve non-emergency medical transportation. Health systems across the country are experimenting with rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. CommonSpirit Health, a Chicago-based Catholic health system, is joining in by offering patients a ride to the hospital and home through Lyft.
CommonSpirit Health is a fairly new health system, as it’s the result of a February 2019 merger between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. The system began testing the Lyft services last summer at some of its hospitals in Arizona and California. The system operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites in 21 states across the country. They plan to roll out the rideshare program at all of its locations.
The program will assist those who cannot afford to return home or get to appointments on their own. CommonSpirit Health covers the cost for patients utilizing the Lyft program. It’s estimated that the partnership with Lyft will deliver savings of 35% to 60%, compared to the old methods of transportation the facilities provided. Previously, patients who could not afford to get home after being discharged were given bus tickets or vouchers for taxi rides.
In partnership with Lyft, LogistiCare Circulation lets the healthcare system track rides and expenses. With the re-ordering platform, facilities will know that patients are being taken to the proper destinations and billing is correct.
Healthcare providers recognize that the lack of transportation is a major problem, especially among the elderly and low-income patients in rural areas. Lyft has partnered with other health systems, including one in northern California. The Alameda Health System estimates saving $400,000 a year with Lyft, compared to taxi vouchers.
In addition to taking patients to facilities and back home, there are talks about shuttling patients between care settings and helping staff members get to work or to in-home visits with patients. So far, over 450 rides for patients through Lyft have taken place. Taxi and bus rides are still available.
While this service is likely to help patients ensure they receive the medical care they need, problems could arise if Lyft drivers are negligent. Any reckless driver is at risk of getting into a car accident. If you’ve been in a crash involving a Lyft, contact our law firm today. We can help expedite your recovery and ensure you receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order.