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Ride-sharing firms make inroads in health care sector

March 9, 2018

Several recent articles show that ride-sharing firms such as Lyft and Uber are continuing to broaden their scope, most recently beginning to work with health care providers.

A service initially associated with social life in the city is now teaming up with doctors and hospitals to reduce the rate of missed appointments caused by unreliable transportation.

Technology creates options, but it can also create barriers. In a pilot program that includes about 100 hospitals and doctors’ offices, Uber has developed a way for doctors to hail rides for their patients who may be unfamiliar with the app. Rides can be scheduled as far as 30 days in advance. Patients are not required to have a smart phone or the app.

Ride sharing also shows promise in reducing unnecessary ambulance rides. A recent study by the University of Kansas found that ambulance use is down at least 7 percent  in hundreds of cities where ride sharing apps are used. Relying on ride sharing for transportation to medical facilities leaves the ambulances for those with medical emergencies and saves money.

“Lyft, Uber and other ride-sharing companies are having a significant impact on mobility,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “It’s great to see ride-sharing evolve and have a positive impact in health care as well.”

 

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