The rideshare company’s new partnership is another step toward tech disruption in the industry.
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Greenphire, a financial software company, announced a partnership with Lyft this week to centralize billing for the transportation of clinical trial participants, along with other payments, furthering the idea that Silicon Valley-style disruption is gripping healthcare.
The partnership would allow users of Greenphire’s ClinCard service to order a Lyft ride and provide ride reimbursement. ClinCard automates payment to participants in clinical studies, allowing site coordinators to disburse funds to a reloadable debit card, according to Greenphire’s website.
Greenphire’s CEO Jim Murphy said in a statement that Clincard is “the only application that allows a study coordinator to order a car, reimburse for a ride, and provide a stipend all within one software.”
The company’s press release touts the partnership with Lyft as one that will allow centralization and increased efficiency, increase financial transparency, and make trial participation easier for patients.
Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business, was quoted in the press release saying Lyft’s commitment to accessibility and push to eliminate complications for patients.
Greenphire frames ClinCard as a fast method for reimbursement that helps keep patients in clinical trials by giving them quick access to cash and automated reminder messages. Partnering with Lyft to allow site coordinators to provide transportation to patients could further smooth patient access and retention and smooth patient access.
But a study by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania raises questions about just how much Lyft’s ride service increases the likelihood of patients making appointments.
The study, which tracked 786 Medicaid recipients in West Philadelphia, showed virtually no difference in the rate of missed appointments between those who accepted the offer of a free Lyft ride and those who did not. And only about 30 percent of those patients who were offered the free ride accepted the service.
Integrating Lyft ride scheduling within ClinCard may streamline payments, notifications to patient participants, and scheduling within a pre-existing system that already serves over 1 million trial participants, according to Greenphire. But based on the Perelman School study, Lyft ride scheduling might not increase the likelihood of patients to make their appointments.
Lyft isn’t the only ridesharing service to enter the arena of patient transportation. In March, Uber announced its Uber Health division, which bills healthcare providers and provides a system to schedule rides for patients, caregivers, and staffers. The division could also aid telehealth patients in retrieving prescriptions, according to Uber Health head strategist Lauren Steingold.
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