USA – CVS Health is collaborating with Uber Health to provide free transportation to people seeking access to medical care, work, or educational programs.
The partnership is part of CVS Health’s new initiative, Health Zones, which provides concentrated local investments to reduce health disparities and advance health equity in high-risk communities across the country.
The Health Zones program aims to combat six social determinants of health: housing, education, food access, labor, transportation, and access to health care.
The initiative is currently operational in five markets: Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, Fresno, California, Hartford, Connecticut, and Phoenix. Uber Health rides will be available in Atlanta, Columbus, and Hartford at first, with plans to expand this year.
The program aims to remove financial barriers to care and employment opportunities that can result in poor health outcomes.
“Our Health Zones initiative allows us to make a real impact on the health of communities across the country by working closely with organizations that share our commitment to addressing social determinants of health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer, CVS Health
According to the press release, CVS Health and Uber Health want to help eliminate transportation barriers to care and overall well-being, as they can limit an individual’s ability to receive medical care and lead to negative health outcomes.
Enhancing population health management
The partnership with CVS Health is a natural extension of Uber Health’s larger commitment to improving population healthcare management so that more people can achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles.
Its HIPAA-compliant solution is used by over 2,000 health care organizations in the United States.
Other pharmacy retailers have also made significant investments in the local healthcare sector. Over the next year, Walgreens plans to expand its Health Corner concept, which focuses on neighborhood-centric, highly personalized care, from 47 to 100 locations.
By the end of 2022, the retailer plans to co-locate VillageMD locations with at least 200 Walgreens stores.
Meanwhile, Portugal is the first country to offer healthcare via Uber Eats. As a result of a collaboration with the medical services company Ecco-Salva Medical Services, Uber Eats will offer home medical assistance and consultation services.
This new category will be available on Uber’s platform for the first time in Portugal.
Users will have three types of medical assistance available through the “Doctor at Home” option, which is included in the app’s health category: requesting a doctor to come to their home, as well as medical advice via phone or video consultation.
For the time being, the collaboration allows for general clinical services, with plans to expand into nursing and physical therapy services in the near future.
The new service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the first phase, but only in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. However, the plan is to expand it to other major urban areas throughout the country.