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How Ridesharing Is Transforming Healthcare

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This article is sponsored by Paulson & Nace, PLLC.

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The ridesharing industry proved to be much more than just a passing trend, and it’s managed to establish a solid place in our current society, not just in the U.S. but across the whole world. And it looks like we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg here. The industry has quickly extended beyond the basic functionality implied by ridesharing, and it’s started to expand in various other territories. Among those, healthcare is one that seems to be in dire need of certain changes, and the ridesharing industry is bringing that transformation about. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the future.

Filling a critical niche

Photo: ElyPenner

The need for alternative transportation in the healthcare industry in the US has gotten painfully obvious in recent years, with millions of people living in areas notorious for the “no-show” attitude of local healthcare providers. In some parts of the country, getting a ride to a hospital can be extremely challenging, even impossible. At the same time, this situation seems to be deteriorating, rather than improving. More and more people are now finding themselves stuck in situations where they can’t get the help they need in time.

Current options

uber lyft rideshare service
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Companies like Uber have started to respond to the situation by offering their own specialized solutions. This was inspired partly by the fact that their customers were already doing that – many realized that it’s more reliable to just get an Uber to the hospital rather than calling an ambulance. And then there’s the issue of price – a ride like that can often cost just a fraction of an ambulance bill. Uber Health was created in order to provide a more legitimate platform for those who want to perform these services, and companies like Allscripts and Lyft have been entering the market as well. At this rate, ambulance service might become a thing of the past not too long from now.

Medical malpractice and other legal issues

Of course, the situation is not as simple as getting a ride to the hospital in most cases. There are various legal issues on the scene, most notably in the area of medical malpractice. Ambulance drivers, paramedics, and everyone else operating around them are typically covered by special contracts that dictate their approved protocols and procedures. Not so much in the case of privatized services operated by random people. Which, as one can guess, can create a variety of problems in case of an accident. However, the situation has been changing in this regard as well, and we’re starting to see more and more attention being paid to this side of the issue. Hopefully, in the near future, a person getting into an Uber headed to the hospital is not going to have to stress over this aspect of their situation, on top of everything else.