April 21, 2018

Uber offers providers, patients new Uber Health transportation app and dashboard

04 March 2018, 01:53 | Clyde Nash

Uber Health Gives Patients Rides to Doctor's Appointments

Uber Health Will Drive You To Doctor's Appointments

Every year, 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation and no-show rates are as high as 30 percent nationwide, according to Uber.

Coordinators working for the healthcare organizations will be able to schedule individual appointments for patients, caregivers and staff, or repeat rides for those who need it. Confirmation with the passenger is instead done over text message, and Uber is also introducing the option for the ride to be confirmed with a phone call (including one to a landline).

Health care providers, not patients, will be billed for the ride.

One hundred health care organizations in the USA, including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers, and physical therapy centers have already used Uber Health's test program.

Last April, reporting by outlets such as Stat indicated that people are opting to use Uber and other ride sharing services in place of an ambulance, which in extreme cases, can cost thousands of dollars. The company partnered with Hitch Health to offer rides to health appointments focusing on uninsured, low-income and vulnerable patients that have difficulty getting to the doctor.

To its increasingly diverse array of services, Uber is adding Uber Health - a non-emergency ride service that lets healthcare providers schedule rides for patients.

A sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a auto on June 12, 2014, in San Francisco.

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Uber said that over 100 health care organizations are already using Uber Health as part of a beta program.

"Transportation is a barrier to health care", Chris Weber, general manager for Uber, told Home Health Care News.

"First, they see how much Lyft has rolled up their sleeves in healthcare, so the official trigger was a simple reaction to their main competitor".

The initiative could help seniors and those without reliable transportation more easily access healthcare.

Even as the ride-hailing company tightens its grip on all forms of transportation, don't expect this to lead to Uber-branded ambulances in the near future.

Both the service and the API are now available throughout the country. Multiple rides for follow-up appointments can also be scheduled in advance.

According to Uber, over "100 healthcare organizations" in the U.S. are already taking full advantage of Uber Health as beta testers.

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