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Uber Health might provide you a free car service to your next doctor’s appointment


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Photo: Instagram/@uber

Getting to the doctor might seem easy enough, but an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss appointments with health-care providers every year, all due to transportation issues. On top of that, no-show rates might be as high as 30 percent across the country. It’s certainly a problem, and Uber just announced it has a plan that could help turn things around—directly toward your appointment.

Uber Health is partnering with health-care organizations nationwide to give patients a comfortable and reliable way to get to and from their appointments—at absolutely no cost to the patient. According to the press release, you don’t even need a smartphone to use the service, which utilizes text message alerts.

The health-care professionals subscribe to the service, so they are the ones to order rides for their patients and foot the bill. Once your ride is scheduled, you’ll simply receive a text letting you know your pickup details.

So, how in the world is this free? The health-care professionals subscribe to the service, so they are the ones to order rides for their patients (either for immediate pickup or up to 30 days in advance) and then bill the provider. Once your ride is scheduled, you’ll simply receive a text letting you know your pickup details. And don’t worry about your doc—who knows personal details about you—working directly with the transportation company: Uber Health meets HIPAA standards and your health information is kept private and separate from the rest of Uber’s data, the company reports.

The next time you’re left without a ride to the doctor, check to see if the office subscribes to Uber Health. The company noted more than 100 health-care organizations in the United States—including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home-care centers, and physical therapy centers—are already participating in the service’s beta program.

And, who knows whats next? Maybe Uber will partner with pharmacies to deliver prescriptions (if Amazon doesn’t corner that market yet, that is).

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