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Ride-hailing company Lyft has announced a new partnership with Allscripts to help patients get to their doctors’ appointments.

Allscripts, an electronic medical records company, will integrate Lyft’s technology into its platform so doctors can automatically order rides for their patients.

“When patients’ transportation needs are noted in [their electronic record], an automated workflow would schedule Lyft transportation for that patient. Additionally, tracking boards would provide real-time notifications of patient pickup, ETA and arrival for providers and other members of the care team,” Allscripts said in a press release.

So, when patients are scheduling an appointment, the system will ask them if they need transportation. If they opt in, Allscripts technology will book them a Lyft ride that will get them to the doctor’s office on time — eliminating the need to manually order a car.

Allscripts, whose systems are used in 2,500 hospitals and by 180,000 physicians, says this deal could affect up to 7 million people. Uber also launched a service last week, Uber Health, with a similar focus of getting patients to doctors’ appointments.

Getting to a doctor’s office can be difficult for low-income patients because of cost. Fortunately, the deal also enables healthcare providers to pay for the ride itself.  The system will send patients ride details via text message, meaning they won’t need a smartphone to order or track a ride.

Lyft already works with a number of healthcare services, including LogistiCare, which provide transportation to  non-emergency medical appointments.

Missed appointments cost US healthcare providers up to $150 billion a year, according to SCI Solutions, so offering free rides can help cut down on that cost. It’s good for both patients, who can easily and affordably get to their appointments, and providers, who won’t be losing money when a patient doesn’t show up.

H/T: USA Today

Featured image by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft

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