Uber Health partners with Pack Health to offer rides for patients

Uber Health is working with Pack Health to help patients with chronic conditions get free rides to their medical appointments.

The subsidiary of the Uber ride-sharing service is working with Pack Health, which operates a health coaching platform for chronic care management; Pack Health staff will request and coordinate rides via a centralized dashboard.

Patients who need a ride do not need to have the Uber app; they will receive a text message with the time of the ride on their phone and can send a text message response when they are ready.

“For members who lack reliable means of transportation or whose health prevents them from driving themselves to appointments, offering a free ride through Uber Health is a simple and intuitive way to close care gaps,” says Mazi Rasulnia, President and CEO at Pack Health.

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For now, Pack Health will assess the impact of the service by tracking usage and asking follow-up questions for members using the service, such as ease of the experience and how valuable the ride was perceived to be, says Dan Trigub, who heads Uber Health.

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“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Pack Health and value working with an organization that places its focus on capturing data on patients’ access, outcomes and experience,” he adds. “By working together, we can deliver a broad spectrum of services that support the patients’ journey to better health.”

Pack Health also offers concierge services connecting members to resources or personalized plans to help individuals overcome social determinants of health, Rasulnia explains. “Sometimes, that’s a personalized diet or exercise plan, but other times it’s more basic,” he notes. For members who lack reliable means of transportation, offering a free ride through Uber Health is a simple and intuitive way to close care gaps.”

The rides are covered by Pack Health as part of the membership of participating in one of Pack Health's programs. The organization offers programs in nearly 30 chronic diseases. providers who pay the cost of rides to ensure patients can make it to an appointment, reducing missed appointments because of patients who could not get rides. The cost of rides are covered by a variety of stakeholders that include ambulatory providers, healthcare delivery systems, insurers and employers, and grants, says Maggie Belshe, director of marketing and communications at Pack Health.

"No patient or customer of Pack Health pays for these rides directly," says Jamie DeMaria, vice president of strategy. "As we have looked at published data and our own internal data on social determinants of health, we have realized the critical importance of helping patients who struggle with non-clinical aspects of managing their chronic illness. We have made the decision to fund these rides out of the Pack Health operating budget."

Pack Health will roll out the coordination of rides through Uber Health as a member benefit at no cost, to be scheduled by health advisors when needed to close care gaps.

This is the latest in a series of resource partnerships designed to address social determinants on a personalized basis. Other resource partners include a prescription assistance program and a meal-planning service.

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