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Health Care Ride Share

Intersection of the new contract economy and wellness providers to meet the changing ACA-driven landscape.

H&HN Magazine recently reported about health systems partnering with ride sharing services Uber and Lyft in order to help patients find reliable transportation for their appointments. It’s important for health care communicators to understand why that’s not surprising and how the new model of health care will continue to drive health providers to innovate around new ways of engaging with patients.

In the old model of health care, providers paid attention to lapsed appointments because preventing them was one of the closest-in opportunities to meet volume goals. In the new model of health care post-Affordable Care Act, providers still want to make sure that patients keep their appointments, but with a goal of keeping them well – reducing the likelihood of readmission, and helping to keep the general population protected from the preventable spread of disease or infections.

These new goals, rather than previous volume goals, continue to play a larger role in health care provider payment structure and are redefining the patient-provider relationship. So, it makes sense that providers will go to even greater lengths to ensure patients get the care they need to stay well. That’s where programs like rider sharing partnerships emerge in the case of providers like MedStar Health. According to H&HN:

Since the partnership launched in January, a “Ride with Uber” link has been placed under “What’s Trending Now” on the MedStarHealth.org website, providing patients with reliable door-to-door transportation to doctor appointments. They simply enter their pick-up location, the MedStart [sic] provider location and date of appointment. Another feature allows patients to set and receive automatic reminders an hour before their appointments, in addition to being able to know wait times and the approximate cost of the rides.

If ride sharing companies can partner with appointments, they’re not far off from delivering prescriptions. UberMEDS anyone? And if online food ordering services like Sprig or Blue Apron can deliver nutritious fresh foods, how long will it take for diabetes specialists to partner with these services for delivering on patients’ unique diet needs within the context of a convenient service already available to them?

Well-care is about meeting people in the communities where they are and helping them be the healthiest version of themselves. It’s not a task physicians, nurses, therapists or other health professionals can accomplish on their own. And in today’s new economy, they have an increasingly large pool of partners who can support them.  Your marketing communications partners should be offering you support in this area as well, communicating innovative new services with equally innovative and effective tactics and bringing some of their own ideas to the table based on market opportunity and needs.

Is your organization ready to empower wellness through today’s new contract economy? Tell us how below in the comments.

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