Uber introduces taxis for patients in the US

  • Uber introduces taxis for patients in the US

Uber introduces taxis for patients in the US

Some 3.6 million Americans, including almost 1 million children, miss doctor appointments each year because they don't have reliable transportation, according to a Community Transportation Association report.

The Uber Health dashboard allows healthcare providers and caregivers to request and schedule rides on behalf of 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. "Even if a platform is HIPAA-compliant, providers risk potential imposition of stiff penalties for data breaches, and business associate agreements should be implemented between providers and ridesharing companies", legal consultants from Carlton Fields wrote in a 2016 note entitled "Offering Ridesharing Services to Patients: Uber Risky?" Health care providers will be able to schedule pickups and dropoffs up to 30 days in advance for patients, and more than 100 clinics across America are already using the service. Uber Health seems most appropriate for older people with a lot of appointments, but have you ever tried to get your grandparents to use Uber? Both Uber and its primary competitor, Lyft, have previously undertaken partnerships aimed at capturing the patient transportation market and helping to improve access to care.

Healthcare organizations are billed each month for the cost of patient rides, which are on par with standard Uber rates at the time of the ride booking.

The service is similar to Uber Central, which lets organizations book and manage rides for their own customers and clients. Since Uber Health would be a boon for countries where vehicle ownership is low.

Yet this new service definitely isn't an alternative to ambulances, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber told Business Insider. Instead, they may receive a phone call or text message to confirm a trip. "There's a transportation barrier, and if they can't make it to their services, Uber is a reliable option".

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

"At Uber, we recognize that the path to health may not be easy, but we know the road to care can be", the company said.

The size of the opportunity has so piqued Uber's interest that the company has deployed low-tech solutions in its pilot programs. It ultimately aims to better facilitate transportation for patients and healthcare establishments.

Fortunately, we will have the United States as a testbed for the service.