Need to see the doctor? What if you don't have a car — or easy access to public transit?
Relatient, which reports it is the first-ever nationwide full-service messaging company to partner with Uber, uses real-time healthcare data to contact patients at specific intervals using the desired method of contact. The company sends out reminders for patient check-in, population health engagement and even financial collections.
Together with Uber, Relatient is offering the first Ride to Health Week from Aug. 22-26. The duo is providing a discount to anyone heading to or from a health appointment to help people get the care they need.
Relatient president and CEO Sam Johnson said lack of transportation can be a serious barrier.
“We think it's somewhere between one and two percent of patients that don't show up to their appointments because of transportation failure. What we don't know yet is how many patients prefer to be self-sufficient rather than relying on a family member or close relative.”
Asked why the healthcare company chose to partner with Uber instead of other ride-sharing options, Johnson was quick to focus on Uber’s healthcare knowledge.
“They have a significant healthcare focus and are active in trying to solve some of the problems in healthcare that we also see. Plus, they have a vast knowledge of the healthcare sector.”
Uber's previous excursions into healthcare include bringing registered nurses to Uber users to provide flu shots on demand, as well as partnerships with other healthcare companies like Washington, D.C.-based provider MedStar Health, Indian healthcare network Oxxy and coverage recommendation platform Stride Health.
Johnson claims he is expecting hundreds of thousands to participate in the first Ride to Health Week, and fully anticipates making this week an annual event — if not more frequently.
Taking transportation issues out of the game is a boon for doctors, says Dr. Hugh Sims, a partner at ENT Bowling Green.
“One of the most difficult things to anticipate in the office setting is who will be a no-show for their appointment," Sims said. "Despite our best efforts at texting and calling patients, those with transportation issues cannot always be identified. This creative solution between Relatient and Uber offers patients a previously non-existent option for assistance.”
Sims said he believes patients will also appreciate the creative solution Uber and Relatient have brought to the table, and that those in need of transportation will be hopeful that someone is attempting to help alleviate the problem.