A newly established partnership will increase transportation availability for older adults in the interest of heightening their healthcare accessibility and reducing instances of detrimental social isolation. Papa, a company that connects the elderly with "Papa Pals" for companionship and day-to-day assistance, has struck a deal with Uber Health in an effort to mitigate the transportation-oriented obstacles preventing that population from engaging in beneficial activities such as community events, medical appointments, and even errands.
With this wide-ranging health plan partnership, Uber's HIPAA-enabled Health offshoot will see a significant boost to its business. It's an equally advantageous situation for Papa, which has heretofore worked with Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and many employer-determined health plans, as it will now be able to utilize Uber's fleet of drivers to transport its members to Pal-supported affairs.
The older adult population in the U.S. is experiencing rapidly rising rates of loneliness and social isolation; since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of them now self-categorize as socially isolated. Research shows that the mortality risk caused by isolation is comparable to or worse than that of smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day, being obese, or being physically inactive.
These transportation offerings will be made available to all U.S. markets linked with Papa and Uber apps. The Uber Health platform can be used by Papa care coordinators to handle transportation specifics. Members and Papa Pals need not have smartphones, credit cards, or the Uber app to reap the benefits of this partnership.