Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Uber launches service for patients who need help getting to medical appointments

Uber Health Will Drive You To Doctor's Appointments Uber Health Gives Patients Rides to Doctor's Appointments
Wallace Pearson | 04 March, 2018, 01:57

The big idea: Transportation is a problem for healthcare, and millions of people miss appointments every year because they don't have a ride.

Patients will not need to use the main Uber app or even have a smartphone to use the new service.

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

Unlike the Uber app, rides work for patients without smartphones.

The service is also different from Uber's previous offerings in the heath care space, namely UberASSIST, which can serve patients with disabilities or who may need help getting from door to door.

The service is similar to Uber Central, which lets organizations book and manage rides for their own customers and clients.

Uber Health could therefore do a lot to redeem the company's public image, and position them as more attentive to security and inclusivity. The company also plans to introduce the option for passengers to receive a call with trip details to their landline instead.

Critically, Uber says it's worked with Clearwater Compliance to ensure Uber Health is compliant with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards.

"While transportation barriers are common across the general population, these barriers are greatest for vulnerable populations, including patients with the highest burden of chronic disease", Chris Weber, general manager of Uber Health, said in a statement.

"This is all designed with privacy in mind and being thoughtful and respectful as possible and being good stewards of our ecosystem", Jay Holley, health of partnerships at Uber, told Home Health Care News.

The company said in a press release they partnered with more than 100 healthcare organizations in the USA including hospitals, clinics and rehab centers.

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.

Everyone needs to visit a doctor at some point, but not everyone can drive there. The company also created an API to make it easy for those organizations to build the service into their existing patient management software. "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".

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