Monday, 10 December, 2018

Uber Health takes you to, and from, your doctor's appointments

The Uber Health dashboard brings Uber rides to healthcare facilities for its patients and caregivers The Uber Health dashboard brings Uber rides to healthcare facilities for its patients and
Nellie Chapman | 07 March, 2018, 11:40

'We've partnered with some of the biggest players throughout the healthcare ecosystem - from care providers and healthcare systems to insurers, transportation brokers, and technology companies, ' Baga explained. "If you get penalized (for not following up with patients), there's incentive for you to track them better, and sometimes that means helping them get to you". Through this partnership, Allscripts and Lyft have the potential to reach millions of Americans, in an effort to eliminate these transportation barriers and improve access to healthcare, the partners said in a statement.

The problem predominantly affects senior citizens and lower-income patients. On Monday, the transportation company announced a new goal to cut the so-called health care transportation gap in half by 2020. Using the same dashboard, multiple rides can be scheduled and managed at the same time.

The vehicle can either be sent to the patient's house, or it can pick patients up at a medical facility and take them home. And as urban populations continue to grow, it is likely that more healthcare services and organizations will become part of the "smart city" conversation to excel urban health.

The ride-hailing firm has been testing Uber Health with a beta group of hospitals and doctors since July, but the service is officially launching starting on Thursday. Of the organizations Uber Health has paired with so far, many have been utilizing their transportation budgets to pay for the ride-sharing.

The company stressed that Uber Health complies with HIPAA patient privacy laws.

To get a ride with Uber Health, the patient is not required to either have the app installed or even to have a smartphone to begin with, since the rides are arranged through text messages. Uber is also introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead. The platform pushes an SMS alert to passengers about the scheduled ride and the business provider typically covers the cost. While both ride-sharing companies voiced their commitment to lowering the rates of missed appointments through their services, a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the uptake of ridesharing was low and did not decrease missed primary care appointments among Medicaid patients in West Philadelphia. In the United States, 3.6 million people face this challenge, with lower-income patients missing or rescheduling more appointments.