To ensure patients have proper access to care, Renown Health is using Uber Health to provide free transportation to patients in need.
For some, a lack of reliable transportation can make medical care out of reach. To help patients overcome that obstacle, Renown Health is using ride-hailing service Uber to provide reliable, comfortable transportation to patients who would otherwise miss an important appointment or procedure.
“An estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical care each year because of a lack of access to non-emergency medical transportation,” says Chris Needham, Renown director of member health and wellness. “Through Uber Health, we can eliminate transportation barriers for patients — even as far as Susanville and areas of California — to primary care appointments, follow-up care visits and provide a ride safe ride home after being discharged from the hospital.”
Renown Health 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.
Here’s how the service works: If a patient is identified as having a transportation need, Renown care coordinators can schedule the complimentary rides with Uber Health on behalf of patients, caregivers and staff to take place immediately, within a few hours or up to 30 days in advance. Multiple rides can be scheduled and managed at once.
And unlike the standard Uber service, patients don’t need a smartphone and Uber app to get a ride. Riders will receive a text that an Uber service has been scheduled for them through their provider. Uber is also working on a feature that will provide patients a confirmation call on a landline.
“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.”