driving to ED
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – Filling a niche in a market that has been underserved for years, on-demand transportation company, Uber, has rolled out a novel transit service for drug seekers designed to get them from ED to ED more efficiently.  Results for the service, offered 24/7 for local inter-ED transport only, have outpaced even the wildest predictions from experts in the industry.

driving to EDUber founder and CEO, Travis Kalanik, shared with us the following official statement: “As a service to the unfortunate cohort of customer afflicted with intractable pain management needs, we have been excited to offer our exclusive transportation options to this underserved market.  We are thrilled to provide a means for our customers to search for, and receive, as many potential life-saving unique medical opinions and treatment modalities as necessary per day to manage our customers’ various chronic pain afflictions.”

Drug seekers everywhere in Philadelphia have been utilizing this service, sometimes at 4 to 5 to a vehicle.  Previously, seekers had been reliant on calling 911 for ambulances from the hospital waiting room, having enablers among their friends, and occasionally engaging in the act of walking on foot to the next ED, sometimes for several miles, only to suddenly be unable to walk the moment they hit the door.  In fact, drug seekers have expressed a level of enthusiasm over the service not seen since Oxycontin was discovered to be snortable.

“This service is amazing,” exclaimed one enthusiastic user of the service between puffs of her cigarette.  “Previously I was lucky if I could get to 3 to 4 EDs in the same day.  Thanks to this new service, I was able to get to 10 EDs yesterday!  I got 8 scripts for Percocet, 7 IM Dilaudid injections, and more turkey sandwiches than I could count!”

Local hospitals had been concerned that the increased ED utilization among the drug seeking crowd would lead to more unhappy and complaining customers, but this new policy seems to have bucked that trend.  In fact, drug seekers, so happy with the service, have overlooked their disappointment with occasional denial of their meds and seem to appreciate the opportunity to get to the next ED more quickly in order to try their luck again.

Uber has even partnered with local hospitals to install airplane-style tray tables in the back of their vehicles to offer convenient opportunities to fill out Press Ganey surveys.  During the initial promotional period, Uber has been subsidizing a sizable portion the cost of transportation in order to gain market share, further enthusing the notoriously penurious drug-seeking crowd.

This service is not without controversy, however.  Local cab drivers are outraged about the loss of business and have threatened to sue Uber for ruining their 2 AM cash cow.  We contacted the spokesman for Yellow Cab for his comment but, while he said he’d call this author at 3 PM, it is now 5 PM and I haven’t heard from him yet and, frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out the author’s website First World Emergency Medicine for other great articles.

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