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Lyft expands its footprint in health care

The ride-hailing company, in competition with Uber to partner with health care organizations, is promising to have a real impact on the health care sector.

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Lyft on Monday is announcing a new partnership with Allscripts, a top electronic health records (EHR) company that serves 45,000 physician practices, 180,000 physicians, and 2,500 hospitals.

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The new partnership is part of a growing effort from Lyft -- and its ride-hailing competitor Uber -- to partner with health care organizations to arrange rides for patients who need assistance getting to doctor's appointments.

Health care represents a major B2B opportunity for ride-hailing firms, given the number of patients who have transportation issues that prevent them from getting to their appointments. They say 3.6 million Americans miss appointments each year for this reason. Additionally, 25 percent of lower-income patients have missed or rescheduled their appointments due to lack of transportation, Lyft says. Health care organizations, of course, will make more money if those figures can be reduced.

Lyft on Monday said it's committed to cutting those numbers in half by 2020.

Health care organizations like Allscripts are using Lyft's Concierge service, which enables organizations to schedule rides on behalf of their customers or staff. Just last week, Uber announced its own version of the service, catering specifically to the health care sector, called Uber Health.

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While the Uber Health service is solely focused on that sector, Lyft made it clear Monday it's already established a strong foothold with health care providers. Nine out of the top 10 largest US health systems work with Lyft, the company said, while all 10 brokers that manage Medicaid transportation are already using Lyft.

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