Uber deepens ties in healthcare with American Logistics partnership

Uber Health is partnering with healthcare transportation management company American Logistics to expand access to on-demand rides for medical appointments.

As part of the collaboration, the companies will combine Uber's network of drivers and payer partners and American Logistics' transportation platform. 

By integrating the two technology solutions, healthcare plans and organizations will be able to provide patients more accurate and efficient scheduling, pickup and dropoff, real-time GPS tracking and messaging through one unified platform, the companies said in a press release.

The application programming interface integration between the two companies will enable rides to be scheduled without a smartphone. Rides also can be customized based on patients' needs, according to the companies.

It marks Uber Health’s first national collaboration with a healthcare transportation management company and deepens the company's ties to the healthcare sector.

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Uber Health, Uber's healthcare arm, launched in March 2018, and the platform saw 400% year on year growth in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2018, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the company's second-quarter 2019 earnings call on Aug. 8.

"By partnering with a best-in-class broker like American Logistics, we're looking to deepen how Uber Heath can drive value for healthcare providers, payors and improve health outcomes for millions of patients," Dan Trigub, head of Uber Health, said in a statement. 

Partnering with Uber Health further expands American Logistics' transportation network of transportation providers, which includes ambulatory, wheelchair and gurney services. The transportation management company announced a partnership with Lyft in 2016 to provide on-demand nonemergency medical transportation and paratransit services.

The demand for curb-to-curb rides has increased, particularly with Medicare Advantage (MA), as more health organizations recognize the benefits of access to additional mobility through ride-share. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized in April its plan to allow MA plans to cover certain supplemental benefits such as home air cleaners for beneficiaries with asthma, heart-healthy food for people with heart disease or transportation to doctor’s appointments.

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CareMore, a subsidiary of Anthem, has worked with American Logistics for more than 15 years to provide mobility access to its plan members. The company began partnering with Lyft in 2016 as the ride-hailing company's first MA partner. That partnership led to beneficiaries’ ride costs going down by 39% and wait times decreasing by 40%.

Sachin Jain, M.D., CareMore president and CEO, said the addition of Uber's driver-partner network to the American Logistics platform will ensure that patients continue to have reliable transportation to access care.

"CareMore is aligned with American Logistics innovative approach to designing optimal experiences for those we serve and we look forward to what that brings," Jain said.