With growing focus on innovation, New Jersey’s largest healthcare systems are now embracing ridesharing, the millennial mainstay that hospital leaders hope can help them ensure patients with transportation challenges can still get timely and appropriate care, at no extra cost out of pocket.
Hackensack Meridian Health announced Wednesday it has partnered with the ride-sharing company Lyft to create what it said was the nation’s first “fully digital, centralized ride-share command center” to coordinate non-emergency transportation for individuals who have trouble getting to their medical appointments. The program will begin at JFK Medical Center in Edison, the site of a recent pilot program, and expand to all 16 hospitals within the Hackensack Meridian network in the coming months.
Two days earlier, RWJBarnabas Health, which serves some 5 million people, revealed it was joining with Uber Health, a ridesharing service with a federally approved medical transportation platform, to help ambulatory patients get to and from medical appointments. The program, which will supplement existing transportation services, will be available starting Monday at Jersey City Medical Center, and will grow from there to assist patients accessing the network’s 10 other hospitals and supporting provider sites.