An estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical care because of a lack of access to non-emergency medical transportation.
For many patients who need the most healthcare, transportation can be a big access barrier. So Renown departments including Rehabilitation, Renown Medical Group and Hometown Health have been using Uber Health to schedule rides for transportation-disadvantaged patients.
Renown is among 100 healthcare organizations in the U.S. to use Uber Health as part of a beta program. Numerous safeguards have also been put in place to ensure Uber Health meets HIPPA privacy standards.
Rather than exclusively using taxi companies and the MedExpress transportation options for patients, departments with patient transportation budgets have used Uber Health for their patients and they have seen significant cost savings so far. According to Chris Needham, Director of Health and Wellness, an UberX ride – which is the least expensive ride option with Uber – is 20 to 45 percent less expensive than a taxi or MedExpress ride.
Care coordinators have access to Renown’s Uber Health corporate account which enables them to request a ride home for patients after they’re discharged. Medical Group practice managers have access to schedule rides for patient’s future primary care appointments. And, Hometown Health has been using the service to schedule rides for their insurance members to get to wellness visits and wellness fairs.
Departments also have access to request an UberAssist ride for patients that need help getting from their front door into the car and from the car into the care location – a truly door-to-door service.
By providing rides for these transportation-disadvantaged patients, they can get the care they need and they don’t have to miss their appointments, which further helps Renown reduce its costs. It’s estimated that missed appointments cost U.S. health care systems an average of $150 billion each year.
“Transportation should never be a barrier for anyone seeking the care they need,” Needham says. “We hope this makes healthcare more accessible for all, which ultimately is better for the entire community.”