Access to transportation can improve access to, and options for, healthcare. When talking to people around the country, and our readers, Patients Rising has learned that medical transportation access is a significant issue for many.
In an attempt to better understand how medical transportation access impacts patients’ access to care, we developed and deployed a survey. Based on 33 usable survey responses, we conducted an interim analysis to identify opportunities for educational and policy interventions. Here’s what our survey found.
- 72.73% of respondents had to reschedule their health appointment because they were unable to travel to it
- 78.78% were not confident about securing a transport for a non-emergency medical situation
- 42.42% of respondents were unaware if their town or county provide medical transportation to residents
- 43.42% of residents did not know if their insurance covers some or all of the cost of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)
- 60.61% of respondents did not know if community programs (such as a church charity, assisted living facility) in their area offered transportation services
Respondents also shared the following grievances:
- Lack of access to reliable transportation restricts them to seeking care from local doctors only
- Uber/Lyft are unreliable as an NEMT service
- May have to miss work and compromise wages
- Delays or cancellations with ride-share service led to missed doctor’s appointment
- Patient had to pay a fine for cancelled appointment
- Often have to wait several hours at doctor’s office for pick up
- Community-based transport services are often restricted for those 60 and older
- Insurance-specific restrictions on transportation cause barriers
- Only specific distance is covered
- Certain counties may not be covered
take the survey
Want to share your medical transportation experiences with us? Our survey remains open:
Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, Ph.D. is a biologist with academic research experience, who brings her skills and knowledge to the health care communications world. She provides writing and strategic support to non-profit groups via her consultancy, SDG AdvoHealth, LLC.
Jim Sliney Jr. is a Registered Medical Assistant and a Columbia University trained Writer/Editor. He creates education and advocacy materials for patient support groups. Jim has worked closely with several rare disease communities. He also collaborates with patient-writers at Patients Rising and leads their writing team. Jim is a native New Yorker where he lives with his wife and lots of cats. Twitter Email