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. 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 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.
Another way that transportation can become a barrier to healthcare access is that it can be costly. This is especially true if someone travels a long distance for medical appointments. The cost of gas, parking and tolls can add up quickly and make it difficult for someone to afford the transportation they need.
The cost of transportation is often cited as a reason for not seeking needed care. Unfortunately, this can lead to people forgoing necessary medical care, which can lead to serious health complications.
A few options are available for people who need help getting to the doctor. One option is to call a taxi or an Uber. However, this can be expensive, and it may not be possible to afford it regularly.
Another option is to use a medical transport service. Community organizations or hospitals typically provide these services. They may be free or low-cost and can be a reliable way to get to the doctor. However, medical transport services are often only available during business hours, so they may not be an option if you need to see the doctor after hours or on weekends.
Finally, some hospitals and clinics offer their transportation services. These services are usually free or low-cost and can be a convenient way to get to your appointments.
You May Also Read: NEMT Vehicle and Business Requirements
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.
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.
Please take a look at our website to see how we are bringing change.
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.