One of the biggest obstacles facing low and limited individuals and families when it comes to receiving adequate healthcare is transportation to and from medical appointments. It may or may not be surprising to hear that there are no-show rates in some medical facilities as high as 30%, many of those patients citing lack of transportation as the main issue in missing appointments. Not only does this cost the healthcare industry millions upon millions of dollars each year, but it also can create less than ideal outcomes for patients.
Medical administrators and professionals struggle to find answers that will help more patients make their appointments. Recent major partnerships with Uber and Lyft may be the solution that they are looking for. The two ride-sharing giants have created connections with major healthcare corporations that will both benefit those with medical transportation issues, as well as helping reduce the income loss created by missed appointments.
Uber has created a complete platform for healthcare providers to arrange rides for their patients and caregivers. Through an easy to use Uberhealth dashboard, rides can be scheduled for those in need, right from the medical facility. Fees are then billed to the provider account, removing the burden of transportation cost from the shoulders of the patient. Everything within the Uberhealth system is HIPAA compliant and has patient safety in mind.
Lyft Concierge service has been in place for some time, but recent partnerships with Allscripts and Hitch Health opens up access to the service to doctors and hospitals serving millions of patients. They are actively seeking new partnerships that will help them to play a role in finding a solid solution for this healthcare issue that affects so many. As with Uberhealth, rides scheduled for patients are billed directly to health organizations without any worries for the patient and their privacy and safety are at the forefront.
How to Get Your Practice Involved
If your practice wishes to take advantage of one of these services, the first step is to check with your parent organization to see if there is a partnership in place that may offer reduced rates to those within the organization. Then, follow instructions provided by your organization or on the website to set up your account and begin using the service to schedule rides for those in need of help getting to and from their appointments. Be sure to reach out to those with existing appointments who have had issues with missed appointments in the past to see if they would like to take advantage of these free rides and make it known to those who qualify in your practice that you are now offering this service for the benefit of both your patients and your practice.
It may take some time before these services become the norm in the healthcare industry, but there is potential for this being an endeavor that makes a difference in no-show rates. This means a more profitable industry, which puts more money in the pocket of providers, which trickles down to making medical services more affordable for everyone.