Uber Health rolls out same-day prescription delivery with plans to ship healthy food, OTC meds

Uber's healthcare arm rolled out same-day prescription delivery on its centralized platform, enabling clinicians to quickly ship medications to patients' homes.

Healthcare providers and health plans that use Uber Health will be able to manage prescription deliveries from any pharmacy in their service area through the same platform they already use to coordinate rides for patients, according to Uber Health.

Uber aims to use its logistics muscle to push further into healthcare delivery with a particular focus on transporting patients to medical visits and home drug delivery.

The company also signaled that it would soon be moving into the delivery of healthy food and over-the-counter medicine—including to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid beneficiaries.

“At Uber Health, we are building solutions that address lessons we’ve learned from years at healthcare companies operating in value-based care contracts. Too much time has been spent ensuring patients had a ride to their follow-up appointment, had picked up the right prescriptions, or had access to food,” said Caitlin Donovan, global head of Uber Health in a statement.

"From prescription delivery and NEMT today to healthy food and grocery delivery in the coming months, Uber Health remains committed to delivering a more connected care journey through a single, seamless platform," Donovan said.

Uber Health launched in 2018 primarily focused on streamlining non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) options to patients to and from medical appointments.

In August 2020, Uber Health made its first foray into medication delivery through a partnership with NimbleRx. About six months later, the company expanded its prescription delivery business in collaboration with software company ScriptDrop, which works with some of the top grocery chains, pharmacy chains and health systems in the U.S.

Through its integration with ScriptDrop, Uber Health can facilitate prescription deliveries through any pharmacy registered with the NCPDP within delivery coverage areas. Uber Health also allows for access to delivery coverage areas that include pharmacies dispensing medications covered by the 340B program, helping health plans and providers reach low-income and uninsured patients, executives said.

Many patients don't take their medications as prescribed because they don't ever make it to the pharmacy to pick them up.

Uber Health says the new service enables the patient care team to arrange for the medications to be shipped directly to patients and track when the medications arrive in order to fully “close the loop."

More than 3,000 healthcare customers like Boston Medical Center and ModivCare work with Uber Health to provide access to rides to medical appointments, according to the company.

Last year, at the HLTH conference, Uber Health announced it was going to make a push into the employer market. Donovan told Fierce Healthcare at the time that the lessons learned in Medicaid and Medicare Advantage (MA) are applicable in the employer space, too.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Donovan also said Uber Health was exploring using its services for specialized meals and medical devices.