Uber and Lyft Think They Can Solve One of Medicine's Biggest Problems

Our injury lawyers report that Uber and Lyft will be providing non emergency medical transportation.

Getting to the doctor is a necessary – but often difficult – part of recovering from an injury. If the injury was a car accident that left you too hurt to drive or without a vehicle, you may find yourself needing help to get to medical appointments. Whatever is making it difficult for you to find transportation to the treatments you need, new services from ridesharing platforms Uber and Lyft may make your road to recovery a little smoother.

Last month, Uber announced the launch of Uber Health, a new service that will allow healthcare providers to coordinate rides for their patients. This comes after both Uber and Lyft have already partnered with non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) companies to bring ridesharing to patients in need. These new features and partnerships have the potential to be a great help to personal injury victims who have trouble making it to their appointments.

The Problem with Missing Appointments

After a personal injury, missing appointments can hurt both your medical recovery and your legal case. Even after the initial emergency has been taken care of, regular doctor visits are often necessary for long-term recovery and pain management, helping you to get back on your feet. At the same time, attending regularly scheduled appointments shows that you are following your doctor’s instructions and are doing everything you can to recover, strengthening your injury claim. In other words, if you start missing appointments, your health could suffer, and the insurance companies could claim that you did not truly need compensation for your medical care.

What Uber’s New Service Does

Uber Health puts the power of Uber’s ridesharing service in medical providers’ hands. Providers will have the ability to book rides for patients on a flexible schedule through an online dashboard. They will also be able to integrate Uber rides into apps for their patients to download. For patients with participating doctors, this service could turn the medical booking and transportation processes into one streamlined and cost-effective experience.

Pros and Cons of Uber Health

Ridesharing is not for everyone. For any particular patient, there may be reasons for or against taking advantage of Uber Health. Here are just a few of the points in Uber’s favor:

  • Uber may be more cost effective than other forms of NEMT.
  • Uber is easy to use for the patient and the provider.
  • Uber Health is HIPAA compliant — it will not share medical records with drivers.

However, like any new service, Uber is far from perfect. There are a number of causes for concern among potential Uber Health users, including these:

  • Uber has suffered data breaches in the past, potentially putting any medical records shared with the app at risk.
  • Not all Uber drivers have wheelchair-accessible cars.
  • Older patients may be uncomfortable with the idea of getting into a car with someone they don’t know.

If your healthcare provider uses Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing app to coordinate medical rides, you should consider all these factors and have a conversation with your doctor’s office before deciding whether to use these services.

Get Help with Your Personal Injury Claim

However you’re getting to your appointments, if you’ve suffered an injury in Missouri caused by someone else’s negligence, an experienced lawyer can help you seek the compensation you need to pay for your recovery, transportation, and more. Call the St. Louis personal injury attorneys of Sansone & Lauber today or contact us online now for more information on how we can help.