What to Know About Taking Uber to Doctors’ Appointments
For many people, it’s difficult to make it to scheduled doctors’ appointments, because of poor health, a lack of transportation or the inconvenience they face.
For example, people who use public transportation for doctors and health-related appointments may find that it takes long periods of time during rush hours, causing them to be late or miss their appointments, or it could take them nearly an entire day to make it to an appointment without private transportation.
When people are missing appointments because they aren’t able to get there, it can be problematic for their health, and it’s something a lot of doctors and healthcare providers are looking to address through the use of rideshare services.
Uber rates aren’t as expensive as a lot of people think either, and they’re often less than the cost of a cab.
The following are some things to know about using Uber and other rideshare services to get to medical appointments.
You Can Schedule Ahead
For people without access to private transportation, they may think Uber or another rideshare service could be just as inconvenient as public transportation, but they don’t realize these apps do allow people to schedule ahead.
Just as an example, with Uber you can schedule a ride up to 30 days in advance through the app.
You can choose your pickup date, time, location and destination and you’ll also receive an estimate for the fare at that time.
While it varies depending on your location and your insurance, some plans are working on addressing the transportation problem and are covering the cost of rideshare services for people using them to go to medical appointments.
It is even covered by Medicaid in some instances, so it’s something worth looking into.
As an example, for patients who use Medicaid, the cost of transportation for non-emergency medical visits is covered, but it does depend on the rules of your state.
The idea of using Uber or another rideshare service as a way to transport patients to appointments has caught on so much that a lot of hospitals and medical organizations around the country are starting to incorporate it into their service offerings.
For example, according to The Atlantic, MedStar Health which has hospitals in Maryland, started a partnership with Uber recently. Through the partnership, MedStar Health patients can access Uber through the hospital’s website, and even create appointment reminders.
For Medicaid patients without the Uber app, it’s possible to call the hospital’s patient advocates, and they’ll arrange the rides for them.
There’s a lot of other systems and organizations around the country who are considering doing the same thing.
Finally, for patients who miss their appointments because of a lack of transportation, the downsides are pretty apparent. Transportation is a major barrier to healthcare, and it can be difficult for people to manage their health without a way to get to appointments, particularly if they have chronic conditions.
There is a benefit for medical organizations as well, however, because they can help their patients keep up with their care and also avoid the lost revenue associated with missed appointments.