Yesterday American Medical Response (AMR) and on-demand ride-share service Lyft announced a strategic partnership to provide “non-emergency medical transportation services” for patients who need rides home from the hospital or for outpatient services. The partnership is being integrated with AMR‘s “One Call” service for healthcare facility transportation programs.
This is an interesting development mainly because Lyft is a direct competitor to Uber who has made headlines with healthcare transportation and services. Delivering flu shots to workplaces was one example of how Uber intentionally stepped into the healthcare arena and recent discussions about a potential DC FEMS partnership illustrated the company’s attempts to expand their presence beyond everyday shooting victims summoning them directly and giving away onesie’s for babies born in their cars.
However, AMR is already partnered with DC FEMS to supplement their ambulances and provide low-priority emergency medical transportation. It seems like a no-brainer that if DC FEMS wants to add a non-medical transportation option, that they would do it with someone who they have already partnered with and can, for all intents and purposes, “own” that side of the call volume. At some point they may very well realize that the majority of the call volume is non-emergent in nature, and look to off load some of the administrative aspects such as call receiving and dispatching. While this is all speculation, it isn’t hard to see this actually happening and this new partenrship with AMR puts Lyft in a much better position than Uber, who has been having a number of other issues not related to their service delivery.