News, stories and tips about NEMT Cloud Dispatch software.
Why Transportation Becomes a Barrier to Healthcare Access
Last updated: 13/02/2024
6 mins read
3.5/5(11 vote)

Why Transportation Becomes a Barrier to Healthcare Access?

It's no secret that there are many barriers to healthcare access. One of the most significant barriers is transportation. According to a National Conference of State Legislatures study, "lack of transportation is cited as a reason for not seeking preventive care, not filling prescriptions, and skipping follow-up appointments."

31% of adults say they had not gone to a doctor when they needed to because they couldn't get there. Commonly a question rise “What are transportation barriers”? This is especially true for people living in rural areas, where public transportation is often unavailable. Even when public transportation is available, it may not be reliable or affordable.

For these reasons, many rely on friends or family members to get them to the doctor. But what happens when you don't have anyone to ask for help?

Let's look at how does transportation barrier effect health and what are barriers.

How Transportation Becomes a Barrier to Healthcare Access?

There are many ways in which transportation can become a barrier to healthcare access.

One way is that it can be challenging to find reliable transportation to and from medical appointments. This is especially true for those who live in rural areas or do not have a car.

Public transportation may be an option in urban areas, but service may be infrequent or nonexistent in rural areas. This lack of reliable transportation can lead to missed or rescheduled appointments and worse health outcomes. Let's discuss some core aspects:

Transportation Infrastructure:

Poorly developed transportation infrastructure can strongly deter or delay people from getting to their medical appointments. This covers the limited availability of such infrastructure and the difficulty in accessing routes. In other words, there may not be enough resources, facilities, and infrastructure in safe conditions, or stations may not be easily accessible. While this affects the general population, those who require the infrastructure to access to care non-emergency transportation medical help may be more seriously affected. Public transport is another barrier, as trains and buses are usually overcrowded and may not possess the proper equipment to help people travel to health clinics.

Affordability Challenges:

The price of transportation is a big issue. Having your car is the best way to get to medical appointments, but it's becoming more expensive because of the high costs of gas, insurance, and keeping the car in good shape. This makes it really hard for people with low incomes to have their vehicles.

The cost of getting to medical appointments also depends on where you live. In rural areas, low-income people might not be able to afford a car, and there might not be public transportation to help them get to their appointments. In cities, public transportation is often too full, and it doesn't have what's needed for people who have special medical needs while traveling.

Challenges in Getting Around Without a Car:

If you don't have your car and there's no good public transportation, it makes it really hard to go places, especially for healthcare. This is a big problem because it also means you can't use a friend's or family member's car.

Not being able to get to places with a vehicle makes it challenging to go to the doctor regularly, whether it's for regular checkups or emergencies. A study in Houston found that about 82% of people who could make it to their medical appointments had their cars.

Challenges with Traveling Long distance:

When researchers look at the problems people face in getting to healthcare, they often find that how far you have to go is a big issue.

If you have to travel a long way to see your doctor or go to a clinic, it can make it really hard to get there. This becomes even more of a problem when the appointment times are not convenient or if they fall on days when you're really busy. It can take up a lot of your time, and you might have to take days off work to make it to your appointment.

You May Also Read: NEMT Vehicle and Business Requirements

How Government Rules Affect Getting Healthcare

In the Traveling Towards Disease survey, there was a study about how the rules made by the government about public transportation can impact how often people use healthcare services. They found that when there was a change in the rules that made it harder to use Medicaid for transportation, fewer people were able to get their medicine refilled.

When the government cuts down on money for transportation, it really hurts people who don't have a lot of money. This means there might be fewer buses and trains, and the places where you wait for them might not be taken care of well. Sometimes, the routes for transportation might even get closed. Budget cuts can also cause strikes and other problems, which make it even more difficult for people to get to healthcare places.

Role of NEMT in providing Healthcare Access

NEMT is an often overlooked yet crucial aspect of healthcare. Non-emergency medical transportation ensures that patients have reliable and accessible means of getting to and from medical appointments.

Without NEMT, many individuals face significant transportation barriers - they may not have access to a vehicle or public transportation, or they may have disabilities that prevent them from driving or taking public transit.

NEMT can provide rides for these individuals, allowing them to attend important medical appointments and receive necessary care. NEMT also helps to reduce missed appointments, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. In short, NEMT is vital in removing transportation barriers and ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all individuals.

Technology has also played a pivotal role in enhancing the effectiveness of NEMT providers by automating most of their daily chores; by using NEMT software, NEMT organizations will make fewer human errors and become better at tactical communication; as a result, NEMT providers can do more in less time and provide better service to those in need.

How NEMT Cloud Dispatch is helping NEMT Transportation be More Efficient

NEMT Cloud Dispatch is a leading NEMT software provider which enables NEMT service providers to be more productive and provide well-deserved care to patients/passengers.

With its Top-notch technology solutions like Dispatching, Routing, Drivers’ app, and so on, this Tech-solution can completely change how NEMT business operates and interact with customers

Please take a look at our website to see how we are bringing change. 

Take away

Transportation is a significant barrier to healthcare access. It can be challenging to find reliable transportation, and it can be costly. This can lead to missed or rescheduled appointments, leading to worse health outcomes.

Nevertheless, lack of transportation should not be a barrier to healthcare access. Several options are available for people who need help getting to the doctor, including taxis, Uber, medical transport services, and hospital-provided transportation services. These options vary in cost and convenience, so choosing the option that best meets your needs is essential.

3.5/5(11 votes)

About the author

Yurii Martynov
Tom Malan

As NEMT Cloud Dispatch Marketing Director, Tom has expertise in NEMT company and performs well in marketing, utilizing different strategies to increase the Nemt Cloud Dispatch business. His dedication extends to offering NEMT providers with advanced software for massive development. Tom is one of the industry's experts and shares his experience with readers through interesting content on home care, medical billing, medical transportation, and marketing.