Helping Low-Income or Disabled Senior Patients Get Transportation to the Doctor

Helping Low-Income or Disabled Senior Patients Get Transportation to the Doctor

Many people don’t go to the doctor because they don’t have any transportation to get there. In fact, at least four million Americans neglect their health and wellness due to no access to transportation. Low-income senior citizens make up the biggest percentage of these people.

Primary Medical Care Center encounters many patients who have trouble finding reliable transportation on their own. If they need vital medical treatment or examinations, they usually rely on public transportation to get to their doctor’s office. Unfortunately, public transportation is not 100% reliable for patients, especially when trying to make their appointments.

We eliminated the transportation problem for our patients. Primary Medical Care Center has offered transportation services to our patients for many years, and it has been very successful. Our senior patients are more motivated to manage their health and wellness because they have an easy way to get to our health care facility.

For a long time, we had a van that picked up patients at their homes, brought them to our facility, and returned them home again. However, recently, we partnered with rideshare companies like Uber to transport our patients to our care facility and then back to their homes again. It seems to be a faster and more cost-effective way to provide safe transportation.

One of the main problems with the van transportation was the overcrowding of patients in the vehicle. Some patients would have to sit in the van for hours as the driver picked up different patients at their homes. As a result, we decided to switch to ridesharing services for our patients so that they wouldn’t have to wait long to get to our facility.

In addition, ridesharing services are safer because there is less exposure to respiratory diseases like COVID-19. Overcrowded vans spread germs everywhere, which was very dangerous for senior patients with preexisting illnesses. So by switching to rideshare services, we are keeping patients safe during transit.

Uber and Lyft are our two main ridesharing partners. When a patient needs to come for an appointment, we’ll use either of the two ridesharing apps to order a ride for them on their behalf. All the patient has to do is come to their front door to get picked up. The rideshare will do the rest.

The Primary Medical Care Center staff members will track the patient’s location via the ridesharing app. Then we can verify whether the patient made it from and to their home safely. This tracking ability via an app is one more feature we didn’t have before with the van service. But the accommodations don’t stop here.

Lyft has started a new pilot program designed to assist riders who may have physical disabilities or require physical assistance getting into the vehicle. This new program is named “Lyft Assisted.” The difference here is that when a Lyft Assist driver shows up at a patient’s home, they will help the patient gather their personal items and assist them with walking to the car.

Lyft Assisted drivers are put through a higher degree of training and background screening than standard Lyft drivers. The drivers need to demonstrate they have the ability and temperament to offer this extra care to their customers. Primary Medical Care Center has already received a lot of positive feedback from our patients regarding the Lyft Assisted service. It is a beneficial addition to the transportation services we make available to our patients.

Our transportation services are continuing to expand in order to accommodate more patients. Rideshares can help transport the average patient to and from our facility, but they don’t offer much assistance for people who need to use large medical equipment like wheelchairs. The reason is that the average rideshare driver uses a regular vehicle not designed to accommodate such medical equipment.

Right now, this is the current issue we are working to overcome. Primary Medical Care Center is actively engaging with multiple companies to develop a solution that would allow immobile patients with medical equipment to receive special transportation accommodations to their doctor’s appointments and back home.

Partnerships between medical facilities and private companies are how new innovative practices can get accomplished. Primary Medical Care Center is always looking to offer more accommodating features to our senior patients, especially when it comes to transportation.

That way, seniors will have more desire to make their doctor’s appointments and actively manage their health. They won’t let social health determinants keep them from focusing on their health any longer. We’re proud to be part of this everchanging journey in the healthcare industry, and we know our patients are pleased too.

Contact Us

Would you like to learn more about how we use ridesharing apps to transport our senior patients to our facilities? Call us at (305) 751-1500 to speak with one of our staff members.