- Uber Health has partnered with healthtech startup Grand Rounds to provide first mile/last mile transportation to medical appointments.
- The rides will be free for users and covered by employers, reports CNBC. Grand Rounds works with more than 100 companies, including Walmart, Costco and Comcast, covering 4.5 million people.
- Grand Rounds' care coordinators will book free rides for members, but the companies are working to get the service integrated into the Uber app so users can directly book rides.
Uber Health launched last year for the sole purpose of providing customers with non-emergency rides to medical facilities. The trips can be booked on demand or in advance. Uber Health partners with healthcare organizations, who pay for patients' transportation.
Placing the cost of transportation on employers could improve the likelihood of people seeking preventative care. The American Hospital Association estimates 3.6 million Americans do not obtain medical care each year because of issues with transportation such as lack of access to a vehicle or cost.
While it might seem unlikely that employers would want to pay for patients' transportation, that's not necessarily the case. Uber Health and similar services are experiencing an uptick in interest. Employers or medical facilities that pay for the trips to preventative care realize these trips are far more reasonable than covering the cost of care if a patient develops a serious, but preventable, ailment down the road.