One year after launching with Uber to provide rides to the doctor, Boston healthcare startup Circulation is adding the ride-hailing giant’s main rival in the United States as a partner.
Circulation announced on Tuesday that it has added Lyft as a “preferred” partner for its digital transportation platform, which helps facilitate on-demand, non-emergency medical rides by integrating with healthcare systems and APIs provided by Uber and now Lyft.
By providing a system that integrates all transportation capabilities and enables scheduling and transportation monitoring, Circulation is tackling a $6 billion problem in healthcare: providing non-emergency medical transportation, especially for the 3.6 million Americans who miss or delay care every year due to transportation issues.
In an interview with BostInno, Circulation co-founder John Brownstein said the new partnership doesn’t change its existing relationship with Uber, which officially began in September 2016 when Circulation launched. He said adding Lyft to Circulation’s transportation options, which also includes wheelchair van service and other none ride-hailing options, is about adding more options and efficiency to its platform.
“We’re evolving to not be preferential,” said Brownstein, who is a healthcare advisor to Uber.
Brownstein also touted Lyft’s current work in healthcare, which includes a partnership with CareMore Health System to help drive down health costs. CNBC reported that through its partnership with Lyft, the health insurer has reduced wait times by 30 percent and decreased the cost per ride by one-third when compared to traditional services. CareMore CEO and President Sachin Jain said the company has saved more than $1 million in one year thanks to Lyft.
“We hit a nerve with a real inefficiency in the healthcare system that wasn’t being addressed.”
“Lyft has phenomenal deployment in a number of different healthcare systems so we’re able to collaborate with them,” Brownstein said.
Circulation has grown substantially since it started 15 months ago, now serving more than 1,000 healthcare facilities across 44 states. Brownstein said a lot of that initial growth was achieved through inbound interest, with people coming to the website to learn more about the company. But, he added, the company is now taking a more targeted approach to expansion.
“It’s been really impressive growth,” Brownstein said. “We hit a nerve with a real inefficiency in the healthcare system that wasn’t being addressed.”