Acuity Link Adds Lyft to Its Patient Transport Software

Ridesharing companies just can't resist the healthcare honeypot.

Tech firms can’t stay away from the healthcare goldmine, and ridesharing companies are no exception. Just weeks after announcing a partnership with Allscripts, Lyft has forged a deal with medical transport software company Acuity Link.

Acuity Link offers routing software that allows for streamlined coordination of non-emergency patient transport. Lyft will now be integrated directly into the program, dramatically expanding the transport options for client health systems and their patients. Discharged patients who do not require special transport can now opt for a ride from a Lyft driver, and health systems will be able to set up one-time or recurring rides for inbound patients.

It was founded in 2015 by Michael Pieretti Jr. and brothers Alexandre and Spero Theoharidis. Alexandre and Pieretti are both EMT-Ps, and the trio gained experience running a regional ambulance company before launching their software firm.

“The process for ordering a non-emergency ambulance and discharging a patient has essentially been stuck in the 1970’s,” Alexandre, the company’s president and CEO, said in an August 2017 statement when the software went live. He said today that the addition of Lyft would make his company “a true one-stop shop for non-emergency medical transportation.”

Acuity Link’s software is cloud-based and HIPAA-compliant. It says it’s anticipating that the addition will be appealing to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities.

“Because of this joint effort, we’re able to reach even more passengers to ensure they’re able to get to and from important medical appointments as we work to cut the health care transportation gap in half by 2020 and improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” Lyft VP of Business Gyre Renwick said.

Transportation has been a key problem in healthcare for years, and the emergence of ridesharing has been seen as part of a potential solution. A study program through Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, however, found providing Medicaid patients with free Lyft rides didn’t necessarily improve appointment attendance the way many would have expected.

“It just wasn’t as much of a slam dunk as we’d all hoped at the end of the day,” that study’s lead author told Healthcare Analytics News™ in February.

Lyft’s archrival, Uber, has also thrown its hat in the healthcare ring. Before the HIMSS 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this month, it announced an Uber Health program designed specifically to get patients to their medical appointments.

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