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Uber to the ER? Study finds ambulance use drops after ride-sharing services arrive

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By Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star Published 11:52 a.m. ET Dec. 30, 2017 

Instead of calling 911, more people are opening the Uber app, a study has found. Ambulance calls have reduced by at least 7% when Uber has entered many urban markets, according to an analysis by David Slusky, an assistant professor of economics, and Leon Moskatel of the Department of Medicine at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. The paper is available online as it undergoes peer review for publication. The authors hypothesize that the decrease happens because more people are opting for an UberX over an ambulance when they feel too sick to drive but are not experiencing an emergency. In their study, the authors looked at ambulance rates in 766 cities in the United States to compare what happened when Uber entered these markets from 2013 to 2015. In each city, ambulance usage decreased by at least 7%.




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