Uber has announced the availability of Uber Health after beta testing the platform with more than 100 healthcare organizations across the US.
The new service is going to provide transportation for the patients of healthcare providers even if they don’t have a smartphone or the Uber app. A centralized dashboard will allow organizations in the healthcare industry to provide reliable transportation with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.
For small medical practices looking to serve patients without transportation, Uber Health is a viable solution. Elderly, disabled patients who have just had a procedure or those without a vehicle, can use the service to keep their appointments with their healthcare provider.
Patient no-shows are a big problem in the US. The Community Transportation Association and SCI Solutions claim 3.6 million Americans miss their doctor appointments because of transportation-related issues, and nationwide 30 percent of scheduled appointments are no-shows.
This problem especially affects a segment of the population with the greatest need. On the official Uber Newsroom blog, Chris Weber, General Manage of Uber Health writes, “…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.”
The dashboard on Uber Health lets staff in healthcare facilities order rides for patients on the spot or make future arrangements. Rides can be scheduled for the patient within hours or up to 30 days in advance. If a patient needs multiple rides, the staff can make the arrangement in the dashboard and manage the activities.
As stated earlier, patients don’t need to own a smartphone or have the Uber app to take advantage of the service. Text messaging can be used to coordinate rides, and the company said it is going to be introducing a feature to make trip details available on mobile or landline phones.
The system has a management solution to keep track of the billing with reporting on what is being spent on rides along with scheduling and appointment information. And because Uber is providing services in the healthcare segment, there are regulations which must be followed. HIPAA compliance was established in collaboration with Clearwater Compliance to ensure comprehensive risk and compliance assessments protocols were followed.
Uber Health is now available with the dashboard along with its API for integration into existing healthcare products.