Roseburg VA Health Care System Offers New Transportation Program
Roseburg, OR – Veterans can now participate in VA Uber Health Connect — an initiative that provides supplemental transportation to eligible Veterans needing access to and from medical care appointments.
Based on survey feedback from 2,300 Veterans between March 2022 and January 2023, 83% of Veterans stated they would not have been able to access their medical care without the program.
“The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative bridges the transportation gap by ensuring Veterans have reliable transportation for their health care needs,” said National Lead of VA Uber Health Connect Indra Sandal, Ph.D. “By offering ridesharing as an additional means of transportation, VA is helping Veterans access the best and soonest possible care — while still achieving cost savings.”
The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative launched as a pilot program in 2022 at ten VA Medical Centers. From January 2022 to March 2023, VA Uber Health Connect completed more than 30,000 Uber rides across 408,529 miles for Veterans.
These rides have increased access, improved clinical engagement, and saved VA an estimated $35 million. The cost savings are partly from faster emergency department and inpatient discharges and closing the gap on an estimated 28,000 missed appointments.
This year, the program is expanding to nine new Veteran Integrated Service Networks and 60 VAMCs.
According to the American Hospital Association, 3.6 million people in the United States do not obtain medical care due to transportation challenges. Children, older adults, and Veterans are especially vulnerable to transportation barriers due to social isolation and underlying medical conditions and have a greater need for frequent clinician visits.
“This is a life-altering program that offers our most vulnerable Veterans care — the moment they need it,” said RVAHCS Medical Center Director Patrick Hull. “It also advances our ability to offer more accessible, equitable health care to our local Veteran community.”
Veterans or transportation teams interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to contact their local facility.