Papa and Uber Health Announce Partnership, Addressing Isolation Among Vulnerable Populations
Using the Papa Pals network and Uber Health's mobility solutions, this partnership will meet patients and companions where they are today, advancing the companies' missions to address the needs of vulnerable Americans.
Papa, a nationwide provider that pairs older adults and families with Papa Pals for companionship and assistance with everyday tasks, and Uber Health, Uber's HIPAA-enabled solution for health care organizations, today announced a nationwide partnership aimed at reducing barriers to transportation access and mitigating social isolation and negative health outcomes among America's vulnerable populations.
Papa provides companionship and assistance to older adults and families through its work with Medicare Advantage plans, as well as increasingly with Medicaid and employer health plans. Its on-demand, tech-enabled service pairs health plan members with Papa Pals, who provide companionship as well as support for everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping and household chores. Through this new partnership, Papa's care team will coordinate between Uber Health and Pals to facilitate easy and stress-free transportation for Pal-supported medical appointments, errands, community events, and more. Papa Pals and members gain efficient access to transportation solutions, from the hundreds of thousands of drivers using Uber's platform, and, importantly, more quality time with each other. Now, with Papa, Uber Health will help address social isolation, while also augmenting its health plan partnerships.
The partnership advances Papa's ongoing work to scale its nationwide Pal network, and Papa's and Uber Health's shared missions to support population health among vulnerable communities. For example, the partnership enables Papa and Uber to join forces in supporting older Americans to live as they choose and at home.
As the older adult population continues to grow in the US, there are still critical gaps in care left by the traditional health care ecosystem. This population faces rising rates of social isolation and loneliness, with over half of older adults now considering themselves socially isolated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic¹. Social isolation has comparable or greater risks of mortality than smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day, obesity, physical inactivity, and air pollution.² As more Medicare, Medicaid, and employer health plans recognize the importance of addressing social determinants of health, including loneliness, Papa is becoming an increasingly common benefit offering.
"Our national Uber Health partnership is about so much more than getting from A to B," said Andrew Parker, Founder and CEO of Papa. "Companionship is a critical component to a successful transportation ride, especially for older adults. Together we are able to help members with rides while providing a great social interaction and assistance. It's the perfect synergy."
By working closely with Papa, Uber Health is doubling down on its focus on communities often hit hardest by mobility accessibility issues. Since launching in 2018, Uber Health has worked alongside health care providers, non-emergency medical transportation brokers, and other organizations in the continuum of care to coordinate rides for those who need them most.
"Too often older adult populations are limited by barriers to care, whether it is due to transportation access or feelings of isolation from their communities and loved ones," said Caitlin Donovan, Global Head of Uber Health. "Uber Health is uniquely positioned to provide its logistics platform and technology to make requesting transportation or deliveries easier for Papa members and Papa Pals. We're proud to work with Papa to address the chronic needs of vulnerable populations and their companions, and in turn, improve long-term health outcomes."
Transportation solutions will be available in any US market where Papa and the Uber app are available. Papa's care coordinators can coordinate transportation for Papa members or Papa Pals directly through the Uber Health platform. Members and Papa Pals do not need to have a smartphone, credit card, or Uber app to take advantage of this partnership. For more information on how Papa and Uber Health are working together please visit Uber Health's blog.