Lyft Business Blog

Rolling Back Barriers to Prenatal Care

Regular prenatal appointments are crucial to a healthy pregnancy. However, transportation can be a barrier to access for expectant mothers.

Mother’s Day is a time to reflect on the invaluable role of mothers—and provide support when they need it most. That’s why here at Lyft Healthcare, we’re taking steps to improve maternal health equity, one ride at a time. We’re excited to announce our collaboration with Babyscripts and Quilted Health, two forward-thinking organizations that are transforming the prenatal care experience. Expectant mothers will receive sponsored rides on the Lyft platform to and from their prenatal appointments, so that transportation is one less barrier to accessing necessary care. Lyft Healthcare, Quilted Health, and Babyscripts will study whether this rideshare access increases expectant mothers’ attendance at their prenatal medical visits.

Maternal health in the United States
The US maternal mortality rate is at its highest level since 1965, underscoring a critical and growing problem in maternal healthcare.1 Typical expectant mothers are expected to attend 14 to 16 prenatal visits, which are crucial for a healthy pregnancy.2 However, access to this essential care varies significantly by socioeconomic status, further exacerbating disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.3

Studies have shown that a lack of safe, cost-effective, and reliable transportation can be a primary obstacle for low-income women seeking prenatal care.4,5 This can hinder expectant mothers from attending their regular prenatal appointments, causing delays in receiving crucial screenings, interventions, and preventive care. Increasing access to transportation is crucial for advancing maternal health equity.

“Lack of access to adequate prenatal health care is an important and potentially modifiable risk factor. Transportation is a known barrier, globally, limiting access to adequate prenatal care.”

Our commitment
At Lyft Healthcare, our mission is to help people lead healthier lives with the world's best transportation. Since our inception in 2016, we’ve worked closely with State Medicaid Agencies, healthcare providers, health plans, and transportation managers to help address the inequalities in maternal health access. We’ve driven impact through partnerships with healthcare organizations like AmeriHealth Caritas DC, the largest Medicaid Managed Care Plan in DC. Our partnership enabled over 150,000 rides in 2023 to help their members—many of them expectant mothers—get to and from crucial medical appointments.

Joining forces to support mothers
This year, we're joining forces with Babyscripts and Quilted Health to provide access to Lyft rides to and from medical appointments for pregnant patients. As part of this collaboration, we and our partners will study how offering a seamless, user-friendly transportation solution for expectant mothers can help improve access to care and enhance the overall prenatal patient experience.

Founded in 2014, Babyscripts offers the most-implemented mobile clinical solution for remote management of pregnancy and postpartum patients, with the mission to eliminate maternal mortality and improve access to care for all. Babyscripts supports every aspect of the care journey, engaging the maternity patient as an active member of their care team. They provide patients with dynamic content tailored to their stage of pregnancy, remote monitoring tools for collecting vital data, and assessments for social and health risk-identification—all from their smartphone. Through Babyscripts, the patient is connected to their care team, ensuring that every identified risk receives a follow up.

Through this partnership with Lyft, Babyscripts will identify transportation-insecure patients through their assessment feature, and provide them with sponsored rides to and from their doctor appointments via Lyft Pass. This allows patients to initiate their rides directly from the Lyft app when they’re ready, giving them more flexibility and control over their healthcare journey.

Access is one of the biggest challenges to maternal health and infant health—and a patient’s outcomes can come down to whether or not they go to their doctor appointments,” says Anish Sebastian, CEO and Co-founder of Babyscripts. “Some patients in low access areas need to take two or three buses to get to the doctor’s office—that’s half of their day gone to attend an appointment. Many just can’t take that amount of time off of work or find support for children at home, and they end up being forced to miss an appointment. With this partnership, we’re making sure that those patients have a quick and reliable source of transportation with rides through Lyft.”

Quilted Health is committed to improving health outcomes by empowering midwives to care for their communities, increasing access to respectful, inclusive, and evidence-based pregnancy care. Their team and network of certified nurse-midwives, licensed midwives, and certified professional midwives provide a high-quality, individualized, and personal experience that ultimately leads to better health outcomes and increased health equity. Midwives also support clients beyond the clinic by helping them navigate personal journeys, including connection to pregnancy support services.

One of the ways this manifests is by screening every client for social needs, including transportation, at the very beginning of their care. Quilted Health’s own team and network of midwives can coordinate no-cost rides for their clients using Lyft Concierge. They can also choose to use sponsored Lyft Pass rides, giving clients more autonomy to help them get to appointments throughout pregnancy and after birth.

We are thrilled to partner with Lyft Healthcare in bringing reliable, accessible, and easy-to-use transportation to the communities we support,” says Christine Henningsgaard, CEO of Quilted Health. “Regardless of whether it’s a single point in time or many months throughout a care journey, we know the stress and impact it can have when someone lacks reliable transportation. We have witnessed the positive outcomes providing access to Lyft rides has had for clients we’ve supported in the past and are incredibly excited to expand our reach to more people through this partnership.”

Join Lyft Healthcare in our effort to improve maternal health equity by reducing transportation insecurity and increasing access to health-promoting services. Learn more.

*No rides offered through this collaboration are reimbursable by a federal or state government healthcare program.