How Uber Might Soon Be Delivering Home Health Workers

Soon, Uber may be a more common way for home health workers to reach their clients.

The popular ride sharing company recently partnered with Circulation, a Boston-based health care transportation platform that integrates with health care systems, as well as with Uber’s API. Right now, the goal of the partnership is to provide reliable non-emergency medical transportation in Uber-driven vehicles to patients traveling to and from the hospital. But the opportunity exists to use the platform to bring health care practitioners, like home health care workers, to patients in their homes, John Brownstein, Circulation’s co-founder, told Home Health Care News.

“That would be the next phase of this platform,” Brownstein said. Brownstein, a Harvard Medical School professor and a health care adviser to Uber, has also worked with Uber on its UberHEALTH vaccine delivery platform.

Currently, transportation coordinators at hospitals use Circulation to schedule and manage affordable, on-demand rides that are tailored to patients’ specific needs, including whether that patient has a wheelchair, sensory impairment or a service animal. The HIPAA-compliant platform automatically verifies a customer’s ride eligibility and health insurance, and customers’ health and contact information is auto-populated into the platform from their health records, according to a Circulation press release.

Patients and their caregivers can also receive ride reminders and real-time notifications through text, by email or by phone, and all billing and payment reconciliation with Uber and health care organizations is dealt with on the backend of Circulation’s system.

Circulation was “designed with seniors in mind,” Brownstein said. “There’s definitely an opportunity to use Circulation for on-demand home health services,” he explained, adding that the idea is being discussed.

Circulation’s service is currently being piloted at Boston Children’s Hospital; Nemours Children’s Health System in Wilmington, Delaware; three acute-care hospitals in the Mercy Health System and an all-inclusive care program for seniors in Pennsylvania. Circulation hopes to roll out in six more states in 2016, according to the press release.

Uber has designated Circulation “the preferred healthcare platform partner of the Uber Developer Platform,” according to Circulation’s press release.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson