At this time every year, we take a day to celebrate all the wonderful moms who helped raise us. At Uber Health, we think that the people who bring us into the world, nurture us, and love us deserve more than just our recognition—they deserve our support. And while there are many challenges of parenthood, those challenges shouldn’t include access to care.
That’s why Uber Health, alongside Surgo Ventures, launched the Rides for Moms program to donate free transportation for prenatal- and postnatal-care appointments for up to 1,000 pregnant people in the Washington, DC, area. The capital city of the US has some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the country. Compared with the national average, the maternal mortality rate in DC is almost 19% higher and the infant mortality rate is over 30% higher.
Conquering the challenges of parenthood
At Uber Health, we’re on a mission to help change care delivery for the better, and research shows that timely and adequate prenatal care can improve outcomes for both mothers and babies. Practically speaking, that means attending at least 7 appointments in the course of 6 months—and more for mothers with high-risk pregnancies.
Lack of affordable and accessible transportation is a critical barrier to care for many expectant or new parents, particularly for lower-income people and women of color. And at a time when being a parent can be hard enough, they shouldn’t have to worry about how they’ll get to their next doctor’s appointment.
Supporting moms when it matters most
In 2021, Uber Health and Surgo Ventures, an advanced analytics company with a deep focus on personalized healthcare and precision population health, partnered with 2 federally qualified health centers in the Washington, DC, area: Community of Hope and Mary’s Center. Together, we launched the Rides for Moms program to help combat barriers to care, like lack of transportation, for up to 1,000 pregnant people in that region.
With transportation support integrated into care delivery, expectant parents are offered a choice in how they’d like to receive their rides: either scheduled in advance on their behalf through the Uber Health platform or on their own Uber app with a voucher for a ride. This makes it possible for all participants, even those without consistent access to a mobile device, to participate in the program. And with additional support from transportation coordinators, people in the Rides for Moms program have one less thing to worry about on their pregnancy journey.
“Not only did Imani feel safer with her care, but she also benefited from many programs offered by the Family Health and Birth Center,” says Community of Hope about one expectant mother in the program. “The Rides for Moms program, offered through a partnership with Uber Health and Surgo Ventures, was incredibly helpful because Imani doesn’t drive. This makes access to healthcare much easier, covering rides with Uber to go to and from appointments.”
Imani isn’t alone; 68% of Rides for Moms participants reported difficulty even finding daily transportation. With Rides for Moms, patients like Imani are able to better access their own care while feeling more empowered to choose how they’ll get there. By leveraging Uber Health and Surgo Ventures, Community of Hope and Mary’s Center can streamline the population health management for pregnant people they care for while enabling better access to care.
Affecting the mothers of tomorrow today
To date, Rides for Moms has provided over 3,000 rides to more than 400 program participants. Of these pregnant patients, 76% have said it would have been more difficult to get to appointments without this program. Over half of participants who enrolled in the program have taken 3 or more rides to date. Participants who have used Rides for Moms at least once tend to use it for approximately 66% of all their appointments, showcasing how this program helps achieve more consistent adherence to prenatal and postnatal care.
While these findings are preliminary, Uber Health remains committed to supporting pregnant people by enabling access to care to help with their pregnancy. We’re working closely with Surgo Ventures to track the impact of Rides for Moms. And in 2021, we joined Vice President Harris’s Call to Action to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and announced our plans to publish Rides for Moms results. This will inform future initiatives and improve access to maternal health.
Our hope is that one day, all mothers across Washington, DC—and beyond—will be able to access the care they need without having to worry about how they’ll get there.
If you’re interested in offering maternal health rides, contact us here.
Uber Health’s platform facilitates offerings from mobility solutions to same-day deliveries, streamlining population health management and supporting better patient outcomes. For more information, visit UberHealth.com.