On most days, passengers tell Uber driver David Heinicke where to go. However, on this particular ride he had a suggestion for the passenger.
“(I) tried to get him to go to the hospital, he would not do it, refused to do it,” said Heinicke. Heinicke says he received a call to pick up the 20-year-old man. “Looked like a handkerchief or something tied around his leg, trying to stop the bleeding. You could see right into his leg and the big crease down his pants where something had obviously hit him in the leg, and he later told me he had been shot by a .22 pistol.”
However, despite the obvious injury, the man only wanted a ride home.
What makes this interesting is that this isn’t the first time Uber has been used for medical services. Within the last six months Uber has been reported as faster than an ambulance, the company launched mobile mobile flu shot clinics, and was declared the winner of Mobile Integrated Healthcare. Is a Jimmy Kimmel like Ubulance that far off???
Uber‘s model has something many ambulance agencies would love to have. They have a database with their customers information and method of payment. Payment gets processed when the service is rendered. While I don’t believe Uber will be able to convert medical services to its company, I do believe that an ambulance agency with the correct vision would be able to utilize Uber‘s technology to disrupt how ambulance service is delivered in their community. Couple the technology with a Mobile Integrated Health program that allows the user to choose an ambulance or a single provider, and I think you will see a huge change in the way healthcare is delivered in that area. Including Surge Pricing for non-emergency transports and discharges home will force facilities to include transportation in their discharge planning.
Of course, there would be many obstacles to this model that would need to be overcome. Namely the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services that would not honor such price changes or provide the immediacy of payment. If the government was honestly interested in providing better healthcare to the population, then they would look to allow a program such as this. Surge Pricing would serve as an incentive for both ambulance services and hospitals to do better, as opposed to the current model of delivering punitive action in the form of decreased revenues that will only cause service to suffer.
The man in Grand Rapids, Michigan who was shot was convinced to go to the hospital… and yes… he went via Uber.