Lyft launches new feature to give rides for non-emergency medical appointments

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Eligible consumers can book a ride without the normal hassle of setting up non-emergency transportation

Lyft has introduced a new feature that allows patients to schedule their own non-emergency medical rides via the Lyft app. 

The "Lyft Pass for Healthcare" service is designed to make it easier for patients to book their own medical transportation while still having it covered by a payer or provider. Lyft says patients currently have to go through their payers or providers to arrange a non-emergency transportation (NEMT) -- a process that can take several days. 

The ride-hailing company is hoping its app can help streamline the process by enabling health care providers to share a ride pass with eligible patients, which can be redeemed in the Lyft app. The patient can then enter the location and time for their ride

One limitation of the service is that health care organizations or social services agencies are in charge of setting a budget and approving pickup and drop-off locations. Still, eligible patients can enjoy not having to wait for the health system to schedule a medical ride. 

Gives patients more control

Lyft is hoping its new feature will be used to book rides to and from recurring appointments, public transportation, vaccinations, checkups, prescription pickups, and more. 

"We're inserting a world-class technology many are already familiar with into patients' care journey," Megan Callahan, VP of Lyft Healthcare, said in a statement. "By leveraging our superpower in consumer tech, we've automated an important piece of health access that allows patients to be self-sufficient and in control, while allowing our partners to focus on the services they provide, rather than on administrative processes."

In 2018, Uber launched a similar medical transportation program that also lets health care providers arrange rides for patients.

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