Hitch Health partners with Lyft to reduce no-shows by 27%.

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An internal medicine clinic had a 31% no-show rate for medical appointments, costing the clinic an average of $100 per missed visit. Those patients often experienced declining health, as well as increased emergency room visits.


Hitch Health integrated its software with Lyft and the healthcare system to automatically connect patients to Lyft rides, and manage the entire curb to curb transportation process with technology.


  • 27% improvement in appointment adherence
  • Estimated $270,000 increase in clinic revenue
  • Estimated ROI of 297%
    Healthier patients and fewer emergency room visits

Healthcare access made as simple as texting “Yes.”

Healthcare technology startup Hitch Health finds innovative ways to remove health barriers for patients, regardless of economic or social circumstances. The company grew out of Minnesota’s Hennepin Healthcare, which operates Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis.

a woman driving patient from Hitch Health

The Challenge

In 2014, the Transportation Research Board determined that transportation barriers cause 3.6 million people to miss medical appointments. No-shows result in $150 billion of lost revenue for hospitals and clinics, as well as significant effects on patients, including declining health, emergency room visits, and hospital admissions.

After doing their own research, Hitch Health leaders discovered that transportation posed a significant hurdle for elderly or low-income patients in Minneapolis. Hennepin Healthcare’s internal medicine clinic had a 31% no- show rate for medical appointments, costing the clinic an average of $100 per missed visit.

“The Hitch Health solution is fully automated and seamless for the patient and the clinic. There are no phone calls to make or passes to keep track of, making it simple to understand and easy to use.”

Susan Jepson


The Opportunity

To address the healthcare transportation problem, Hitch Health developed proprietary technology that integrates with electronic healthcare records (EHRs). The software identifies patients who may face transportation obstacles and proactively sends SMS texts to offer them free, convenient rides to and from medical appointments.

To bring the solution to fruition, Hitch Health needed a transportation partner.

The Solution

Hitch Health chose Lyft as a rideshare partner because the two companies shared a similar mission to provide safe, friendly rides and to significantly reduce the healthcare transportation gap.

Developers integrated Hitch Health software with Lyft’s technology platform via the Lyft Concierge API. Today, an eligible patient with an upcoming appointment receives an automatic text message the week before, offering a Lyft ride. A simple “yes” response schedules it.

The patient receives a reminder the day before, confirming the ride and pickup time. The day of the appointment, she receives pickup details and information about her Lyft driver, also via text. Staff at the clinic, meanwhile, can view the patient’s status and anticipate her arrival time. When the appointment is complete, the patient texts “ready,” and her Lyft ride home is on its way.


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Drop in no-shows

After piloting the Hitch Health-Lyft partnership for one year, Hennepin Healthcare’s internal medicine clinic showed a 27% reduction in the clinic’s no-show rate.

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Recouped revenue

The clinic loses money every time a patient doesn’t show up, to the tune of $100 for each missed appointment. It pays an average of $15 each way for a Lyft ride, which means that for every patient using Lyft instead of staying home, the clinic recovers about $70, or $270,000 annually.

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ROI with far-reaching implications

Hennepin Healthcare showed a 297% ROI during its pilot program, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For patients who have trouble getting to medical appointments, a Lyft ride means better health, fewer emergency room visits, less stress, and less time away from work.

"Even more important than the ROI is the immediate upstream shift of care from emergency rooms to ambulatory clinics. Ultimately, these results demonstrate the far-reaching implications Hitch Health can have on communities nationwide."

Susan Jepson, Business Wire

Looking ahead

The Hitch Health solution is live across the United States and has provided more than 100,000 ride offers and managed over 25,000 rides. All without requiring patients to call and request a ride and no need for staff to manually schedule rides from a dashboard. Hitch Health leaders look forward to reaching even more patients, so that transportation is no longer a barrier to healthcare access.

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