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Uber Unveils Service for Healthcare Customers

Uber Unveils Service for Healthcare Customers

"The dashboard allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need", writes Uber Health's General Manager Chris Weber. Through this partnership, Allscripts and Lyft have the potential to reach millions of Americans, in an effort to eliminate these transportation barriers and improve access to healthcare, the partners said in a statement.

Lower-income patients are disproportionately affected by this particular problem, with 25 percent of lower-income patients having missed or rescheduled appointments due to transportation challenges. Uber Health is a similar service to Lyft Concierge that focuses on health care partnerships to reduce transportation hurdles for patients. On Monday, the transportation company announced a new goal to cut the so-called health care transportation gap in half by 2020.

The announcement comes on the heels of rival Uber's launch of Uber Health last Thursday.

HIPAA Compliance. To ensure Uber Health meets HIPAA standards, the company has been working hard to develop, implement, and customize numerous safeguards.

Passengers don't need a smartphone or the Uber app in order to use the service because Uber Health sends riders notifications about their auto via text message. "We're even going to be introducing the option for riders to receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline instead", Weber elaborates. The platform pushes a text alert to passengers about the scheduled ride, and the business provider typically covers the cost. It's somewhat of literally the last mile, or the last lock of health care, getting the patient involved and making it easier for patients to get to appointments. Accordingly, transportation for follow-up appointments can be taken care of while patients are still at the healthcare facility.




While Uber Health seems like a positive service in several aspects, privacy experts were quick to point out that Uber's past data breaches might present some concerns in the near term.

Uber Health's data is "cordoned off" from Uber's other data and only a select number of employees are given access to it, he said.

With Uber Health, there may be a grey area concerning liability if, for example, a patient faints in the backseat of an Uber. Providers determine who is eligible based on need, and costs are covered by providers and sometimes defrayed by insurance.

Additionally, if a patient experiences some kind of medical emergency in an Uber, the company says the driver is encouraged to call 911.

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