Uber is driving deeper into health care by offering to take patients in every US market where it operates to their next medical appointment.
Additionally, in New Orleans, Uber has a platform called Uber ASSIST for individuals with mobility issues. Four years on, the company has apparently chose to full-throttle its diversification - first with bike-share, then with a carpool service that looks a whole heck of a lot like public transit, and, as of Thursday, with Uber Health. 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. 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. In 2016, Uber partnered with Boston-based company Circulation to provide rides for patients to more than 700 participating health facilities in 25 states. The company says the tech service complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (better known as HIPAA), and healthcare organizations will be billed for the rides.
Health insurers and others have long recognized the need to help some patients, especially those with low incomes, make their medical appointments. Healthcare organizations involved in the pilot program include Adams Clinical, Blood Centers of the Pacific, LifeBridge Health, MedStar Health, Manhattan Women's Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, ProActive Work Health Services and Yale New Haven Health.
Whorley, who has been driving for Uber for more than two years, is more skeptical about picking up people without smartphones.
Numerous rides are provided to people who can't drive-either because of age, poverty or medical condition-and Medicare and Medicaid providers cover at least some of the cost of transportation. Home care companies have also partnered with Uber for this service.
The healthcare companies are charged at the standard rate for Uber in their area, including surge pricing.
Uber Health is out of beta.
For some, getting to the doctors or hospital is a real struggle - especially if they're needing medical attention because of a condition which inhibits their ability to move. "This service will provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients".
Both the service and the API are now available throughout the country.