It looks like Uber wants in on every possible transportation market. Following its launch of Uber Express Pool for commuters last month, the ride-hailing app recently released a new line specifically for healthcare providers called Uber Health. This new service will allow hospitals, clinics and rehab centers to coordinate rides for patients who need them from a centralized web dashboard, even if they themselves don’t have the app. According to the company, no-show rates in the U.S. are as a high as 30% for doctor’s appointments, and a big part of the problem is lack of access to transportation, especially for patients suffering from chronic disease.
With this new business line, healthcare professionals will be able to schedule immediate and future rides up to 30 days in advance for their patients, allowing them to ensure transportation for follow-up appointments. The service is managed through text messages—with an option for calling to a landline or cell so patients don’t even need a smartphone to take advantage of it. Uber has also made sure that the entire service is HIPAA-compliant by storing all ride data on the client’s server and never on Uber’s.
Over 100 healthcare organizations have already been using Uber Health successfully as part of the beta program. Just like with regular Uber, organizations are charged only for the cost of each individual ride and billing reports are easily available so that they can keep track of how much they’re spending at all times.
“Uber has helped us drastically reduce appointment cancellations. It’s great to be able to quickly request a ride so that in-need patients can make an appointment they’d otherwise miss,” said Pete Celano, Director of Consumer Health Initiatives at MedStar Health, in an Uber press release.