Uber is now a partner in providing healthcare to Americans.
The ride-hailing company launched on Thursday a new service called Uber Health that would eliminate transportation as an obstacle to care.
Uber Health general manager Chris Weber said: “Today, we’re introducing Uber Health as a way to partner with healthcare organizations to provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients.”
“The dashboard allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need.”
Weber said riders don’t need the Uber app or a smartphone to get a ride with Uber Health because everything is done through text message.
“We’re even going to be introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead.”
Lack of Reliable Transportation for Patients
Weber cited a report by the Community Transportation Association (CTA) that revealed that approximately 3.6 million Americans “miss or delay preventative medical care due to their inability to access transportation services” each year.
The report also said research has consistently shown that transportation is one of the “most common barriers faced by low-income populations in accessing timely and necessary medical care.”
The reason for that is that those in the low-income sector do not have any income to have a working vehicle or have access to public transportation to and from medical facilities.
On the other hand, SCI Solutions said the total cost of missed healthcare appointments in the U.S. yearly is a staggering $150 billion.
“Each open, unused time slot costs a physician $200 on average. Now factor in that no-show rates are as high as 30% nationwide, and you can see how that $150 billion figure is reached.”
SCI also said that with a variety of digital reminders available to people, it is baffling how a costly and potentially dangerous problem exists.
SCI said further that a missed medical appointment could pose serious
health risks for patients because it could mean the difference between catching a disease early on or too late.
With that information, Weber said they launched Uber Health.
He also said they are also rolling out an Uber Health API for easy integrations into existing healthcare products.
Uber Health Features
Uber Health features include flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers, and staff that would allow coordinators to schedule rides “immediately, within a few hours, or up to 30 days in advance,” as well as billing, reporting, and management.
The Atlantic reported that with the Uber Health dashboard, a doctor could print out an information sheet that has the car color and license plate.
Uber drivers, on the other hand, would see the name and phone number of the patient who would receive a text when their car arrived. If the patient has an Uber app, the ride would not be billed.
100 Healthcare Organizations Already Using Uber Health
Weber said that since July last year, more than 100 healthcare organizations in the United States are already using Uber Health as a part of the beta program.
Among the healthcare organizations are Adams Clinical, Blood Centers of the Pacific, Georgetown Home Care, LifeBridge Health, MedStar Health, Manhattan Women’s Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, Pro Staff Physical Therapy, ProActive Work Health Services, Project Open Hand, Renown Health, Thundermist Health Center and Yale New Haven Health.
On the other hand, healthcare technology companies like Bracket Global and Collective Health are looking into how Uber Health can align with their services, Weber added.
Weber assured that Uber Health complies with HIPAA standards.
Uber has launched Uber Health, a ride-hailing service for healthcare professionals and their patients.
What can you say about the initiative? Share your thoughts by commenting below.