If you’ve ever gotten stuck trying to get to your appointment, here’s some good news: Uber has launched a healthcare service to easily get you to and from your doctor’s office. The service will be offered to doctors and other healthcare providers, to schedule rides for their patients up to 30 days in advance. This can be really helpful for seniors who no longer drive.
Uber: What it is
Uber is a ride-sharing service founded in 2009. You request a ride through Uber’s smartphone application, and an Uber driver in the area arrives to pick you up. Taking an Uber is much easier than hailing a cab, and it’s often cheaper, too. The concept is great for seniors, since they are often unable to drive, and they often live on low incomes. However, many seniors don’t own smartphones, and even those who do may have trouble with downloading and using the app. In practice, most of Uber’s riders are in their teens and twenties.
Uber: Removing a major barrier to healthcare
Now it just got much easier for seniors to use Uber for their healthcare transportation needs. Statistics show that lack of reliable transportation is one of the biggest barriers to good healthcare. About 3.6 million Americans miss their doctor appointments every year because they have no way to get there. Uber has just unveiled Uber Health, their new tool for healthcare providers.
Doctors and other medical providers can buy a subscription to Uber Health, where they can schedule immediate pickup, pickup in a few hours, or within the next 30 days. Passengers don’t need a smartphone to use Uber Health; they’ll get a text message with the trip details. Uber says they’re also working on an option for patients to get a phone call to their landline, in case they don’t have a cell phone.
The new service is fully HIPAA compliant, so patients and their providers don’t have to worry about damage to their privacy. The doctor will pay for the service, but may choose to pass the cost of the ride to the patient. On the other hand, providers may cover the trip as a perk for their patients.
If you’re a resident of Bridgeway of Bensenville, you get regular, free rides to your appointments as part of our service. But for seniors living at home, Uber Health has the potential to transform the medical transport industry.
Would you use Uber for your medical appointments? Let us know in the comments!