Recently, one of the most popular transportation companies, Uber, made a brave decision. The international firm has just launched a health care ride-hailing service, as it hopes to help patients get from home to the doctor’s office (and vice versa) quicker than ever.
What’s truly special about this option is that caregivers and/or medical staff can now schedule transportation for their patients ahead of time.
The Uber Health range of services comes at a monthly cost for every provider who wants to sign up. Yes, this means that you won’t even get charged for your ride to the doctor’s office.
While the company considers making patients pay for this service, doctors are against the idea. Why is that? Surprisingly, providers are sure that they lose much less money by paying patients’ rides than having missed appointments.
If you’re like me, you’re probably never thought about the harm one makes by not showing up on time–but the problems are real:
“Every year, 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation. No-show rates are as high as 30 percent nationwide. And 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, Uber Health’s general manager
Depending on when a person makes their appointment, rides can be called in right then or scheduled up to 30 days ahead. Also, a single dashboard can schedule as many rides as they need.
According to Weber, over 100 health care groups signed up for the service. Many of them include senior care facilities, physical therapy clinics and home care centers.
Will this bring major changes to how seriously people treat their doctor appointments? We don’t know, but we’re about to see it this year.