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Lebanon VAMC Offers New Transportation Program to Medical Care for Local Patients

by Lebanon VA Medical Center

Lebanon VAMC Offers New Transportation Program to Medical Care for Local Patients

South Central Pennsylvania Veterans are now able to participate in VA Uber Health Connect — an initiative which provides supplemental transportation to eligible Veterans needing access to and from medical care.

Based on survey feedback from 2,300 Veterans between March 2022 to 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 receive access to the best and soonest possible care — while still achieving cost savings.”

The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative launched as 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 in part from faster emergency department and inpatient discharges as well as 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, underlying medical conditions and have a greater need for frequent clinician visits.

“This is a life-altering program the offers vulnerable Veterans care — the moment they need it,” said Jennifer Stevey, Mobility Manager at the local Veterans hospital. “It also advances our ability to offer more accessible, equitable health care to our local Veteran community but it’s very important that Veterans understand how the program works. They must allow VA to schedule their ride with Uber; otherwise, they may be responsible for the cost of the trip.”

Veterans or transportation teams interested in learning more about the program should contact their local facility.

Lebanon VA Medical Center is one of 170 medical centers in the nation with the sole purpose of providing world-class medical care to America’s Veterans. Lebanon VAMC serves a nine-county area in South Central Pennsylvania covering Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties. Lebanon VAMC also oversees community clinics located in Mechanicsburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, Wyomissing, York and Fort Indiantown Gap. If you are Veteran, you may be eligible to receive care and benefits from VA. To learn more, call 717-228-6000.

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