Medical ride service a life-saver for manyPosted: Updated:
Virginia Torrey needs to go in for dialysis three days a week, every week. The visits are not short. She's there for a couple of hours every time.
But her biggest worry is not about the dialysis itself. It's about how to get there. She does not drive. Neither does her husband.
"You wonder if you are going to be able to get a ride, and it really upsets you. It really does," she said.
Torrey relied on family and friends, but they are not always available.
"Because they work during the day," she explained. "They just can't drop things and come and get us and take us."
Torrey has since discovered a Scottsdale-based company called Ruby Ride. The company offers a variety of ride services, but the medical ride service works especially well for the Torreys.
Jeff Ericson founded RubyRide and said while the company offers rides for everything from special events to school, the medical service is really making a difference in people's lives.
"It really does in a coherent way connect the patient experience in the facility to back to their home and makes that transition complete," he said.
While the Torreys make use of the rides on a regular basis, Ericson says the company has now added a post-operative concierge service as well.
"When Dr. Karl Frindrich came to us, he had this idea of helping people get in and out of outpatient procedures, more easily, more comfortably and safely," Ericson explained.
Frindrich, an anesthesiologist, says he really noticed a need at outpatient facilities.
“Also as an anesthesiologist, I saw procedures getting canceled," he said. "I would have my day of 10 cases, and they would say this patient isn't showing up because they don't have a ride that day."
Frindrich says missed appointments caused by the lack of a ride means patients did not get the care they needed. At the same time, those who were in the centers were delayed.
Those centers, of course, focus on people needing minor surgery or procedures like colonoscopies.
Frindrich came up with the idea of Post-Op Concierge -- the patient's ride home is simply part of the service.
Drivers check safety issues in the patients' homes and remain with the patient for up to an hour after surgery.
"So we look at pain, nausea, vomiting, movement, consciousness and breathing," Frindrich said.Torrey said the RubyRide is a life-saver for her -- literally.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't get my dialysis," she said.
A one-time round trip is about $140, but the company also offers monthly pricing for those who need to get to regular appointments.
- Sun City: Passport to Sun City "Unlimited Rides" -- $149.99/month.
- Post-Op Concierge: $140/round trip, $100/one way
- Patient Transport: Participating clinics within 5-mile radius, $12 ($1.25 for every additional mile)
Mention azfamily to get the following promotional pricing
- One way: To the surgery: $45
- One way: From the surgery, including the home readiness care: $75
- Round trip: Post-Op concierge: $ 120 (within a 10-mile radius of home; outside the 10-mile radius is $4/mile)