By Katelyn Howard
Courtesy of The Journal Record
Each year, about 7 million people miss their medical appointments due to a lack of transportation, according to market research. SendaRide offers a solution to this problem.
Care partners provide a non-emergency concierge transportation service by walking riders in and out of their medical appointments, ensuring patients arrive safely and on time. The company’s technology allows family members, hospitals, providers, independent living centers and health plans to arrange scheduled or on-demand transportation for another person.
“It alleviates a lot of anxiety people have about getting to their medical appointments,” said SendaRide CEO and co-founder Laura Fleet, who has practiced health care and administrative law for 20 years.
After she had back surgery, Fleet developed the idea for SendaRide since she didn’t want her family to have to keep taking her to physical therapy.
She and her husband, David, launched SendaRide in Oklahoma City in May 2017 with 30 rides for the month. By June 2018, the company had grown to completing 700 rides for the month.
The service expanded to Tulsa in March 2018.
Riders are matched with a specific care partner who is recruited from the health care industry based on the rider’s needs such as hearing impairment, oxygen, English-as-a-second language and more. Care partners express the needs they can accommodate and what certifications they hold when they complete their initial profile.
“It’s different in a sense that it’s customized since the rides are based on the attributes of the passenger,” Fleet said.
In the first four months of operation, the company completed a contract with all six Oklahoma City-based hospitals. This concierge service decreases patient no-show rates. The industry patient no-show average ranges between 20 percent and 30 percent. After more than 4,000 rides, SendaRide’s patient no-show rate is less than 2 percent, Fleet said.
SendaRide’s technology is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act -compliant and follows health care industry regulations, Fleet said. SendaRide is different than its competitors, including ride-hailing services like Uber and broker companies like LogistiCare and Circulation.
When it comes to sales and marketing, the company aims to target hospital systems and health plan companies for direct sales and integrate into popular electronic health systems.