Lyft offers more rides to non-urgent medical appointments

Hitch Health will help in-need patients get to the doctor on time.

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Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Lyft
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Lyft

Lyft is continuing its bid to become the go-to choice for non-emergency medical trips. It's launching a new partnership with Hitch Health that will offer Lyft rides to health care appointments across the US. The basic concept is familiar, but there's a personalized twist: Hitch offers technology that can identify the patients most likely to need a ride. In a 6-month trial run, the partnership focused on low-income, uninsured and vulnerable patients that couldn't realistically consider driving, taking the bus or asking a friend.

As with some of Lyft's other team-ups, patients don't need a smartphone or even a credit card. In Hitch's case, riders get a text message offering a pickup.

The deal helps bolster Lyft's role in medical transportation. It also repeats a familiar competitive strategy for Lyft: matching Uber on key fronts as quickly as possible, and looking for opportunities to one-up its rival in the same space. It's not necessarily original, but it's hard to complain when it leads to improved health care for those who need it most.

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