New app makes getting to and from doctors appointments easier

Friday, October 5, 2018
New app makes getting to and from doctors appointments easier
New app makes getting to and from doctors appointments easier. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on October 5, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new start-up in Philadelphia is helping people get to and from medical appointments without the added stress.

Many times when you have a medical appointment, that means you may have to leave early, battle traffic and search for parking or walk to take public transportation.

It can be a hassle and add stress to an already difficult situation. That's how RoundTrip aims to help.

As a history professor, 79-year-old Bill Lubenow stays busy. Last year his schedule became hectic. He was having complications from a previous cancer treatment and it required a lot of extra appointments and treatments.

"It was every day for an extended period of time every day and about a month and a half," he said.

For help getting to and from his appointments from South Jersey into Philadelphia, he used RoundTrip.

The company was co-founded by Mark Switaj, a former EMT and now entrepreneur. He says one in five medical appointments in the US are missed largely due to transportation issues.

"They didn't know if rides were coming or going or if they had a ride scheduled and then after the appointment the process of ordering a ride was pretty laborious," said Mark.

RoundTrip's goal is to make healthcare transportation simplified. They have a partnership with Lyft for more mobile patients like Mr. Lubenow and also work with more advanced medical transports.

RoundTrip works with healthcare insurance plans and with hospitalls, sometimes hospitals foot the bill knowing it can save costs in the future.

"A patient who doesnt go to a cardiologist outpatient appointment, misses that appointment, may turn into an expensive ER of inpatient visit," said Mark.

For patients and their families, the service simply helps to alleviate added stress.

"The treatment, it was kind of a relief to be driven home rather than walk to the subway, take the high speed line," said Mr. Lubenow.

RoundTrip is working with several hospitals in our area and it's now in 15 states. The co-founders hope it will lead to better health outcomes for patients.

Typically the rides are set up by someone's healthcare team or a social worker.

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