For individuals with unreliable transportation to see a doctor, Uber and a health-tech startup that advises major corporations have launched a pilot program to pick them up. There are plenty of catches, Uber said Wednesday as it announced the program with Grand Rounds. The deal currently applies only to companies Grand Rounds calls its clients. Although Uber has already worked with selling its services to Medicare and Medicaid, the Grand Rounds partnership expands its health care work into companies that are self-insured. The idea is a company will gladly cover the cost of, say, a $10 Uber ride for a company employee if it means they catch something that could be costlier down the road, such as surgery or procedures that imaging or tests could notice earlier. Grand Rounds already has some major companies on its client roster including Walmart and Comcast. Employees won’t need to work with the Uber app for their free ride. Instead, Grand Rounds will automatically book the ride with an Uber driver while on the phone and let them know it’s a no-charge fare. The program can also guide employees to better-rated doctors since he or she will have a ride to an appointment that’s perhaps further away. The non-emergency health care transportation market is worth $3 billion today and it’s expected to continue to grow. The transport market could be worth $42 billion by 2024. Uber’s efforts may help cement the service as a standard with more employees seeking out reliable transportation for a check-up.


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