Need Health Care? Uber Wants To Drive You to the Doctor

Posted March 04, 2018

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.

Uber competitor Lyft offers a similar service, called Concierge, which has enabled health insurance providers and health care providers to book rides for patients.

Uber as a company has since started different ventures. When patients don't show up, it hurts revenue, messes up schedules and physician workflow, and impacts access not only for the patients who miss their appointments but also for patients who could have taken that slot. Today's announcement includes over 100 health care providers all across the US.

Some facilities are already eager and appreciative of Uber Health's services and a partnership. All of this is done through text message so riders don't even need to own a smartphone for Uber Health.

In some non-emergency cases, a ride-hailing service could help avoid a costly ambulance ride.

An investigation into same-day surgery centers uncovered deadly risks for patients; Uber is launching a medical ride sharing service; the immortality market is attracting cash as well as plenty of skeptics.

Yet this new service definitely isn't an alternative to ambulances, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber told Business Insider.

The platform also is HIPAA-compliant.

Every year, 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation, according to Community Transportation Association of America, a national nonprofit that represents public and private transportation providers. "The cost of scheduling a ride through the dashboard is based on standard Uber rates at the time of booking and is billed directly to the healthcare organization monthly", the Uber Health FAQ reads.

This is not the first time that Uber has made entered into the healthcare space.

Uber wants your doctor to book you Uber rides straight to his or her office.

"Right now this has been acutely focused on making sure that the operational side of this is strong and sound, and that the technology does what it's supposed to do".

But could transporting patients place an extra burden on drivers?

While this is certainly an interesting idea, it might have limited success. Now, that same dashboard is publicly available everywhere in the US.