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Sunday, 08 April 2018 00:00

On Demand transportation companies are revolutionizing patient transportation in non-emergency situations.

Written by Jonathan Druckman

Uber and Lyft are helping patients get to their doctor appointments.

By providing less expensive and reliable transportation options, both Uber and Lyft are trying to help patients get to their non-emergency doctor and other healthcare appointments. It is estimated that approximately 25% of lower income patients miss or reschedule their healthcare appointments due to lack of viable means for transportation.

Uber launched Uber Health, a website based platform that allows doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers to request rides for their patients’ appointments. Uber Health was designed to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This transportation platform allows healthcare organizations such as hospitals and other healthcare provides to request, manage and pay for a patients’ ride to appointments.

Uber Health is available on demand 24 hours a day in any state that Uber is available. Uber Health does not require the Uber app or even a smart phone, the healthcare professional simply books a ride on the Uber Health dashboard. The Uber dashboard allows medical professionals to arrange rides for patients going to and from the care they need. One of the key elements is the ability for healthcare professionals to schedule rides on behalf of patients to take place immediately, within a few hours, or even up to 30 days in advance. This mechanism allows for follow up appointments to be scheduled while the patient is still at the medical facility. It also allows for multiple rides to be scheduled at the same time, all from a easy to use dashboard. Another key aspect that distinguishes this program from regular Uber is the fact that riders are not required to install the Uber app, or even have a smartphone. With Uber health, patient’s rides are arranged through text messaging.

Lyft created Lyft Concierge API, which allows the organization requesting the ride to integrate Lyft Concierge API into their own system. The Lyft application programming interface (API) allows organizations to use Lyft Concierge API without having the Lyft app or a smart phone. Lyft has partnered with AllScripts and other organizations to make the healthcare experience better for everyone.

These companies are helping eliminate transportation barriers by giving hospitals, physical therapy centers, rehab centers and senior care facilities faster, reliable and cost effective transportation.

These services may be of great help to patients injured in accidents where they lack a method of transportation to, and from, the medical providers for treatment. Less than half of the patients receiving physical therapy complete the full course of treatment recommended for them. The failure to complete treatment following a serious injury can delay recover, result in greater loss of income and result in a greater percentage of permanent injury.

In fact, in evaluating the merits of a personal injury claim, insurance companies and defense attorneys will routinely look at the type of medical treatment provided, as well as the duration of the treatment. It is not uncommon for insurance defense firms to place a lower value on the cases where the injured party was non-compliant with their treatment. If you have been injured one of the best ways to speed your recovery is to follow your doctor’s instructions. These new programs by Uber and Lyft may make it easier to do so.

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