For patients of the Community of Hope and Mary’s Center clinics in Washington, D.C., getting to their medical appointments can be a challenge — many live far from public transit or lack cars. If they’re pregnant, the fallout can be especially harmful if they miss prenatal doctor visits, risking the baby’s and mother’s health.
That’s why ride-sharing company Uber, which has for years been searching for a viable way into the $4 trillion health care market, swooped in to offer hundreds of pregnant patients in D.C. free rides to appointments in 2021 and 2022. Uber says patients who participated in the pilot were slightly more likely to get prenatal care, and it’s shopping the data around to insurers in a bid to get them to pay for the service.
Medicaid plans typically offer patients a benefit covering non-emergency medical transportation, but it often requires providers to call into a third-party dispatch service that can be difficult to coordinate with patients in real time, Community of Hope perinatal care and transportation coordinator Hannah Low told STAT.
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