“It’s not life threatening, but I can’t drive…Call an Uber.” An unlikely phrase muttered 10 years ago. However with the boom in ride-sharing services across the globe, patients are finding new (and much less expensive) modes of transportation to the emergency room. And patients (and payers alike) are rejoicing.

A report in late 2017 by Scripps Mercy Hospital’s, Leon S. Moskatel and University of Kansas’s Economist, David J.G. Slusky, studied the impact ride-sharing service, Uber, has impacted ambulance needs. After Uber’s entry into the various cities they studied, an overall 7 percent drop in ambulance usage resulted.

“It’s the same in the provider space: you don’t need a neurosurgeon to diagnose a strep throat.” – David Slusky

A couple of potential explanations for the drop in usage:

  • More Uber drivers = less accidents & drunk drivers
  • More conscientious patients = more control over financial commitment to health
  • More proactive payers = increased education on available services

Both reports are quick to point out of course, your Uber driver is not a medical professional, merely a qualified resource to get you to the professional medical staff as well as serious medication conditions and accidents require an ambulance.

You can read more about the coverage by Forbes here and the full report from Moskatel & Slusky here.

Why This Matters –

It is always exciting to see the unintended realized benefits as new services such as on-demand ride-sharing evolve: especially in the healthcare space. And anytime you can reduce frustration and expense for patients, it is a big win.

What has me even more jazzed about this report – what are the future unforeseen influences on-demand services will provide us? A couple on the horizon – Amazon’s (potential) entry into the pharmacy business as well as CVS joining forces with Aetna. Both will bring never before seen conveniences to patients…all while saving payers more money and (fingers crossed) reducing overall health expenses to everyone. 

Are you interested in reading more about what has us jazzed in 2018? Download our 2018 trend reports and let us know how we can help you understand the shifting expectations affecting your customer base and how best to evolve tactics for 2018 and beyond!

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.