Uber wants to get you to your doctor appointment

Uber Health Will Drive You To Doctor's Appointments

Every year, 3.6 million Americans miss medical appointments because they don't have transportation.

To rectify the situation, Uber has partnered with numerous healthcare organizations to allow medical professionals to schedule rides for their patients. Last July, the nonprofit organization Disability Rights Advocate sued Uber for discrimination in NY state, alleging that UberWAV provides inconsistent access to wheelchair-friendly vehicles and prolonged wait times.

With Uber Health, the company may introduce its services to an entirely new subset of users who could download the app and begin using it for other travel needs.

No-show patients are a real problem in medicine, but it's far from clear ride-sharing services scheduled by providers are the solution.

Powered by regular Uber drivers, the service can take riders to and from "rehab and physical therapy centers, senior care facilities and clinics", according to Weber. For example, Uber drivers will be told only a patient's name, the pick-up and drop-off addresses, and will not know if the passenger is using Uber Health. Now, Uber, which held 84 percent of the US market in 2017, plans to help patients and providers arrange rides.

Patients aren't on the hook for the cost of the ride, as Uber bills the health care provider at the end of each month. According to Uber Health's About page, Uber has been looking into capitalizing on the market for health transportation since July of past year. "This service will provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients".

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.

Now Uber has figured out a pretty clever way of getting those people into Uber cars without even needing them to own a phone: have their doctor's office do it for them. Uber says it has worked with Clearwater Compliance to assess its Uber Health platform to help ensure it meets HIPAA standards. The dashboard and API are now available publicly.

"We've moved to a paper-based communication strategy, where we have forms we can provide for our customers", said Jay Holley, head of partnerships at Uber Health. "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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