LVMAC Tidbit: Uber Arrives in Our VA Healthcare Area

Published by Rich Hudzinski on

The VA has formally launched Uber Health Connect (VUHC) as a nationwide program — after successful pilot testing — to provide an additional option to those under VA healthcare to get them to their appointments.  Its goals are to improve the military veterans’ experiences, to reduce appointment cancellations and no-shows, and to ostensibly create savings for the VA.  We are finding that the announcement has been almost too quietly done, however.  Hence, this blog article.

So, here is the poop (as they used to say in the Navy):

1.  Upon inquiry, we have found that it is now operating throughout Pennsylvania, according to the VISN-4 Director responsible coordinating its VA hospital networks.

2.  There is no upfront cost to the Veteran, including no requirement to tip the driver, and veterans don’t have to file claims afterwards.  Nor does the veteran need to use the Uber app.   However, the veteran must be ambulatory.  It is an particularly useful option for those no longer able to drive or when public transportation or other VA options, such as the DAV’s Veterans Transportation Network, cannot accommodate (Pennsylvania’s inter-regional public transportation could bare improvement, for instance).

3.  The system does have some constraints. For example, its eligibility criteria.  One must:

  • have a service-connected (SC) rating of 30 percent or more, or
  • be traveling to or from treatment of a service-connected condition, or
  • be receiving a VA pension, or
  • have an income which does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate.

4.  Veterans can find their points of contact for each VISN-4 facility, hereWe are told it is the Beneficiary Travel Representative (BTR) in the Transportation Services Office.  Wilkes-Barre VAMC’s BTR’s currently are: Jennifer Rafalko at 570-824-3521 ext. 27456 or the alternate, Gloria Sharon at 570-824-3521 ext. 24925.

For more information, click here for the Uber Health Connect brochure and here for the VA’s Uber Health webpage.


As of 1 December 2023