Health transport company Circulation announces partnership with Lyft

By Laura Lovett
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Boston-based health transportation company Circulation has announced a partnership with Lyft that would allow its customers to use the ride-sharing service. 

“We are pretty passionate about building out a full transportation network that will have many ride option in it,” Robin Heffernan, CEO and cofounder of Circulation, told MobiHealthNews. 

Circulation's decision to collaborate was partially based customer feedback, Heffernan said, who noted that the company tries to keep in mind what users want when developing the product. Heffernan also highlighted Lyft's rapid expansion and strong reputation. 

“Lyft has done a very nice job internally and externally with their commitment in the healthcare space,” Heffernan said. 

Now Circulation customers can schedule Lyft rides directly through Circulation’s on-demand patient digital transportation platform. 

Circulation is a HIPAA-complaint digital platform that coordinates non-emergency transport for healthcare facilities. The company ensures that the rides match the patient's medical transportation needs. For example, if a patient needs a wheelchair ramp, the company will match the users with an appropriate vehicle. The system also helps users see what is available to them, as it is the healthcare facilities that pay for the rides — not the patients. Currently, the company serves more than 1,000 healthcare facilities across the US. 

When Circulation launched in 2016, it primarily relied on Uber as a way to facilitate non-emergency medical transportation. In fact, after the partnership was announced, Uber called the company its “preferred healthcare partner.” 

But Heffernan said choice is important to users. 

In fact, she said that in the next year the public should be watching for new collaborations. In July, the company announced that it landed $10.5 million in Series A seed funding money. The company said those funds will go towards expansion and growth of the company. 

Lyft is also expanding partnerships in the healthcare industry. It recently completed a six-month medical transportation collaboration with Cigna-HealthSpring. Lyft took Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage members to doctor’s appointments and to the pharmacy, providing 14,500 rides over six months; 92 percent of Cigna-HealthSpring customers who used the ride sharing app reported Lyft as their preferred transport option. 

"Transportation should be the last thing people need to worry about when getting to healthcare appointments. That’s why partnering with Circulation, an organization that is centered around patient convenience and simplicity, is a natural fit with our mission to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business, said in a statement. "Circulation seamlessly connects to Lyft’s API, making it easy for health facilities to request a Lyft ride when they need one. Together, we’re working to remove transportation barriers that previously stood in the way of getting people the care they need.”