Uber Health started offering grocery, prescription-free services to patients


Uber Health is jumping on the food-as-medicine train. The company is also adding grocery and checkout services to its platform. announced Tuesday.

Based in San Francisco Uber health Transportation company Uber is the healthcare arm. His solution provides non-emergency medical transportation and prescription. Providers, payers and case managers can use the same web-based platform for these services that they use for grocery and over-the-counter delivery.

If a provider or paying customer notices a patient needs an Uber Health service — whether it’s groceries or prescription items, transportation or prescriptions — they can request it on the platform. You can also keep notes for the patient, such as dietary restrictions, to ensure they provide the correct items. Uber has a large network of partners to work with, including restaurants, prepared foods, grocery stores and over-the-counter retail companies.

“Really, it’s your dietitian or care coordinator or case manager who can choose the items that are right for you as a patient,” Kathleen Donovan, global head of Uber Health, said in an interview.

No application is required for patients who receive the items at home. Instead, they’ll receive a text message or phone call when the provider or payer requests the service on their behalf, and they can track a live map to see the status of their delivery.

“Many patients who need the service are not receiving it. [or] He may not be comfortable with the technology,” Donovan said. “Even if they are, you might not want to use their data plan because it’s too expensive. So it is frictionless for them. They don’t need to download an app.”

Uber Health pays for these services through insurers’ benefits. Most (especially Medicaid and Medicare plans) cover transportation and delivery for prescription, grocery and over-the-counter drugs, Donovan said. But some providers, especially value-based providers, pay for the benefits out of pocket. Donovan said patients do not have to pay for the service.

“Many providers, and especially value-based care providers, are finding that those benefits are not rich enough, especially for the most complex and high-risk patients,” she said. “So we have a lot of providers that supplement those insurance benefits with out-of-pocket payments.”

Donovan supports patients in all insurance sectors with this solution. Many Medicare enrollees have complex chronic conditions, while the Medicaid population often battles challenges to access transportation and healthy meals. Additionally, there is an increasing need for employers to support transportation and transportation services for patients. Uber health soon It is spread Its own platform for self-insured employers.

There is a growing awareness that supporting healthy food and nutrition can reduce costly health care issues down the road. A recent study found If payers provided medically necessary meals to patients who need it, 1.6 million hospitalizations could be avoided and payers could save $13.6 billion, he said.

In launching this service, Uber Health aims to reduce complications for its customers and patients.

“For me, it’s all about making the experience comfortable and frictionless for patients and providers, and tying the entire healthcare ecosystem together,” Donovan said.

Other companies that provide healthy food delivery services include FarmboxRx, Instacart And Hooks. Several payers have also launched food-as-medicine programs. Kaiser Permanente And Highmark Health.

Photo: Uber Health


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