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Is riding Uber or Lyft to the ER worth cutting costs?

Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 02:41:27-04
Research shows more people are choosing to take rideshares to the emergency room instead of an ambulance to avoid cutting costs.
But health professionals are warning against using Uber or Lyft for medical emergencies
"It’s not like we are just a taxi giving you a ride to the hospital. We have paramedics that are trained to provide advanced life support medical care from the point that they arrive on scene and during transport to the hospital," said Mark Corum with Hall Ambulance.
"Yeah that would be a little scary if it had something to do with the heart," said Uber and Lyft driver Karen Plotkin. "I would think that they would need 911 medical attention at that point.”
While the difference in price between an ambulance and rideshare could amount to thousands, healthcare professionals say that it accounts for several factors.
The trained professionals on board and behind the wheel, the treatment on the way to the emergency room, and the communication with hospital staff ahead of time are all reasons why ambulances are said to be worth the cost.
“If they see that the patient is having a heart attack prior to us arriving at the ER, they are going to be able to activate their cat lab team," said Ryan Strange with Hall Ambulance. "Their cardiologist can be ready for us when we arrive which is going to save very precious minutes for the patient in their condition.”
When it comes to medical appointments, Uber and Lyft offer services that provide rides to the doctor's office. Depending on your healthcare provider, the costs could be covered.