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Call9, a telehealth startup that specializes in care performed in nursing homes, and Lyft have announced a partnership to provide transport services for family members of patients in the former’s facilities.
In a blog post, Call9 announced that its physicians and on-site first responders will be able to schedule Lyft rides for family members in care facilities where the startup operates. The family members do not necessarily need to have the Lyft app, since the emergency staff will be able to use Lyft’s Concierge platform, which is integrated into the Call9 service.
Call9 believes that such a service will “strengthen communication with family members when patients are experiencing an acute change in condition and offer reliable access to patients in an emergency situation – providing families with peace of mind that they will be there when their loved one is in need.”
Timothy Peck, a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of the New York based Call9, hopes the new service will bring convenience to both patients and their families. He juxtaposed Call9’s service, which he said brings “emergency medical providers to the patient’s bedside within minutes,” with what Lyft was bringing to the table, ensuring that patients’ “family members arrive in a reliable, efficient and comfortable manner.”
Peck said the partnership with Lyft provided a unique concierge service to family members when the patients needed them the most.
“We founded Call9 to be with patients at the moment of their emergency. Being able to offer them and their families one less thing to worry about so they can focus on important healthcare decisions is something we’re really proud of,” Peck said.
Call9’s system works by having on-site responders, known as clinical care specialists (CCSs), at nursing homes where it has a presence. If there is a change in a patient’s condition, the on-site responder contacts a physician, who, using telehealth innovations, can remotely diagnose the patient.
“Through Call9’s proprietary technology platform, physicians can direct the CCSs to administer EKG, telemetry, ultrasound and bedside labs with on-site results in under two minutes. The physician can see all the real time vitals streaming on their computer. The platform also includes a custom designed EMR (electronic medical record) and patient treatment dashboard,” Call9 explains on its website.
The company’s mission is to ensure that patients in nursing homes can get emergency assistance without having to leave their rooms.
The startup says it is now covering more than 3,700 beds in New York state. It said it had recorded nearly “100,000 first responder visits and over 21,000 telemedicine visits, reducing unnecessary emergency department visits, hospitalizations and subsequent readmissions in nearly 80% of patient encounters.”
On their part, Lyft Business Vice President Gyre Renwick said they were focused on improving people’s lives, and the partnership with Call9 was meant to make it “easier for physicians to schedule rides for patients’ families through Lyft Concierge, helping to deliver better care to elderly patients by easing the burden on their loved ones.”
With this partnership, Lyft is deepening its footprint in the healthcare sector with cost-effective and reliable transport solutions for non-emergency medical transportation.
The company estimates that 3.6 million Americans face transportation issues that hinder them from getting to or from a doctor’s appointments. Lyft further estimates that one in four of lower-income patients have missed or rescheduled their appointments due to lack of transportation.
There is a cost to missed appointments. Lyft says the number of missed and unused appointments alone are a $150 billion burden on the U.S. healthcare system and projects that the number is likely to rise as America’s aging population grows.
Lyft’s goal is to “cut these numbers in half by 2020, and soon after, to ensure that transportation is no longer a barrier to care for anyone.”
The ride-hailing service company already has a partnership with CareMore Health, a division of Anthem. It has another partnership with Hackensack Meridian HealthIn March this year, Lyft announced that it was working with American Medical Response (AMR) and its business unit Access2Care (A2C) to offer alternative transportation options for routine medical care to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Lyft has also partnered with information technology company Allscripts to expand the number of rides it offers through doctor’s offices and other health care providers.
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