Uber v. Ambulance – A Cheaper Trip to The E.R

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

A recent study has revealed that people are more likely to call an Uber rather than 911 when needing to go to the hospital.

An economist at the University of Kansas, David Slusky and a doctor from Scripps Mercy Hospital Department of Medicine conducted a study comparing ambulance usage rates in over 700 U.S cities both before and after Uber was introduced between the years of 2013 to 2015.

Research showed that ambulance usage dropped 7 percent following the availability of Uber concluding¬†that ambulance transportation’s “excessive costs for patients and insurers” is the main reason for why people are opting to use Uber over trained medical professionals.

Uber’s ride-sharing feature was deemed the most popular option amongst hospital goers in the study meaning people will sometimes share an Uber with a stranger while being taken to the hospital.

Researchers added that unlike ambulances who take the patient to the closest hospital, the Uber App allows the patient to choose which hospital they want to go to which could be a potentially important factor as these facilities may have results for the same illness, with higher-cost hospitals associated with better outcomes.

But is saving a couple thousand dollars worth risking your life?

The study only included a statistic of low-risk patients but failed to address high-risk patients and the poor outcomes that could happen or probably have already happened.

Nevertheless, the study introduced a spectrum of people who do think it’s worth the risk if it means saving money.

Click here to view the study. 

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