Lyft gets new head of healthcare to lead expansion in nonemergency medical transportation

Lyft has named Buck Poropatich its new head of healthcare, the ride-hailing giant confirmed in an email statement.

Poropatich joined Lyft in 2019 as its healthcare strategy director and has been instrumental to the company’s healthcare expansion, Lyft said in the statement.

Previously, Poropatich spent seven years at McKesson and Change Healthcare in business development and corporate strategy. He will succeed Megan Callahan, who has served as Lyft’s Vice President of Healthcare since 2018.

Lyft expanded its ride-hailing services in April to include nonemergency medical transportation. The offering allows patients to schedule rides to destinations like medical appointments, vaccinations and prescription pickups, on the health organization’s dime.

RELATED: Lyft Pass for Healthcare lets patients book their own rides to the doctor

“Lyft Healthcare is one of the largest non-emergency medical transportation providers in the United States, making up a vibrant and fast-growing sector of Lyft’s U.S. business. I’m excited to lead Lyft Healthcare as the organization continues to invest in products and services to meet healthcare transportation needs and maintain its leadership position in the industry; the future of Lyft Healthcare is bright,” said Poropatich in a statement.

Nonemergency medical transportation services like Lyft can reduce patient no-shows, particularly in low-income populations where lack of transportation is a common reason for missed appointments.

Previously, healthcare organizations would have to schedule the rides for their patients, but the Lyft Pass for Healthcare service allows organizations to control things like budgets and approved locations while letting patients schedule rides themselves.

The move extended the company’s Lyft Pass effort, launched July 2020 to allow businesses to cover the cost of employees’ rides.

Lyft has had its eye on healthcare for a few years, launching efforts like integration with Epic’s electronic health record system, providing rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites, and partnering with various health organizations and coordination services to improve healthcare access.

Uber, Lyft’s biggest ride-sharing competitor, has expanded its services into healthcare, too. The ride-hailing giant released its Uber Health service in 2018 to provide nonemergency medical transportation in partnership with more than 1,000 healthcare organizations.

Uber has since launched various other initiatives, including its recent partnership with Papa to coordinate rides for seniors.