Recognizing what’s already going on around the country, Uber is putting a name on its efforts to be the provider of choice when patients need to see a doctor but can’t get there under their own steam. The minor twist Uber Health offers is that it is designed to encourage providers to arrange transportation for their incoming patients. While that may appear to favor traditional primary care practices, urgent care operators should consider that ready availability of transportation may encourage more patients to return to your office for follow-up, make it easier for homebound patients to make return visits as needed (provided you let them know Uber Health is an option), and solve the problem of getting patients who need to go to the ED but shouldn’t drive and don’t need an ambulance. Patients will not need to have the Uber app (or even a smartphone) to participate; they can receive information on their ride via SMS text messages. Uber has been testing the platform since last July and plans to roll it out gradually. (The cover story of the March issue of JUCM addresses some of the challenges of treating patients who may—or may not—need transfer to a higher-acuity setting. Read it here.)

Uber Wants to Drive Your Patients to Your Office
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