It was only a matter of time before ridesharing industry leaders Uber & Lyft transitioned into the healthcare arena. These initiatives are presented as new ways to removed the barrier of care to some patients. However, does this create a new extension of medical professional liability?
To combat nationwide no-show rates, as high as 30% nationwide, Uber unveiled a new service to focus on the 3.6 Million Americans who lack reliable transportation for medical appointments. This initiative will reconcile transportation barriers for patient with chronic disease. Uber Health partners with healthcare organizations to allow healthcare professionals to order rides for patients as needed.
Allscripts & Lyft Partnership
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (Allscripts) provides practice management and electronic health record (EHR) technology for physician practices, hospitals and healthcare providers. They have partnered with Lyft to provide more accessibility for patients in need of nonemergency transportation to and from their medical appointments.
This partnership allows physicians, their practices, and hospitals to request Lyft rides for patients. Potentially there will be an integration between the Lyft app interface and Allscripts Sunrise EHR. This opens up the opportunity for automated scheduled Lyft rides for patients. Real-time notifications of patient pickup, will be available to providers, with estimated time of arrival.
Will this affect Medical Malpractice Liability?
Both partnerships have the potential to create a positive change among patients. Unfortunately, this begs the question: Will Physicians, Healthcare Professionals and the associated healthcare facilities/entities face additional liable?
Generally rideshare drivers are covered by their respective company’s insurance for bodily injury, per accident and property damage limits, uninsured motorist coverage, as well as their own personal insurance for their vehicle.
At the moment it is unknown how this could potentially affect physicians and healthcare professionals who request rides for their patients wherever necessary.