Can access to Transportation be that big of a factor to a community's overall health ?

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Many patients miss appointments and become non-adherent to medication and treatment plans due to lack of transportation. According to the American Hospital Association, medical transportation was the leading cause of missed appointments and patient no shows in 2017 (Population Humana, 2019). Missing clinical and dialysis appointments are associated with increased medical costs, poor provider-patient relationships, and in the long run, there is increased emergency room visits when patient conditions deteriorate. Therefore, access to transportation is a major barrier to health social needs, resulting in low productivity. As per the report, 3.6 million Americans do not access non-emergency care due to transportation barriers (Population Humana, 2019). Also, $150 billion is spent annually due to missed appointments in the healthcare sector (Population Humana, 2019). Moreover, 4% of children in the United States miss healthcare appointments due to a lack of transportation barriers, which results in increased cost and more emergency services (Population Humana, 2019).

Supporting patient’s transportation problems can have a big impact on their health and wellness. Social determinants of health, including proper care, low stigmatization, and faster delivery of patient services, account for 40% of patient’s health. Missed appointments have a negative impact on patient health and healthcare revenue cycle. Patients' health deteriorates due to missed appointments, which increases healthcare costs. For example, patients with chronic illnesses need to attend regular check-ups with their healthcare providers. According to Sara Heath, reliable patient care should be considered essential for patient wellness efforts and proper management of chronic diseases (Sara, 2018). Hence NEMT should be considered a core solution to patient care access to populations facing transportation challenges within New York. Hence Four J's Transportation Inc. will provide positive solutions to patients within New York in accessing medical appointments, which reduce healthcare costs.

"Transportation wont make a difference in healthcare. We need to prioritize major healthcare issues!"

With rising dialysis cases in the United States, the lack of proper transportation channels for low-income earners and aged veterans lead to worsening healthcare costs to the national budget. Many people in the United States often rely on non-profit agencies to provide essential transportation services due to a lack of funds for clinical and dialysis appointments (Michael & Marsha, 2017). Some of the common problems reported by patients include vehicles getting late, long waits from home to access dialysis services, long trips, and riders not showing up which results in stressful conditions. Dialysis facilities report that patients have to wait long before accessing transport back home, Medicaid transportation in most cases is unreliable due to long queues, and patients have inadequate resources if transportation is not subsidized in their insurance.

  • Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is an important benefit for beneficiaries who need to get to and from medical services,

Transportation agencies also report that the rising cost of dialysis makes it difficult for them to access clients while scheduling trips with short notices becomes a problem in their work. Due to these challenges, patients reverse back to public transportation, which is unreliable and results in complications to the patient's health. As per figure 1 below, an estimated 139 million trips are done annually of which 70 million are provided through public transport (The National Academics of Sciences Engineering Medicine, 2019). The United States government budgets around $2 billion on public sector trips for dialysis patients. (The National Academics of Sciences Engineering Medicine, 2019).

  • Many insurance companies do not cover transportation costs resulting in high no show & cancellation of doctor appointments.

Where Four J's + Partners come in.

Four J's Transportation Inc.has set a goal of offering the essential transportation needed within the New York region. The benefits from this social impact initiative are to set the stage for an overall reduction in cost of emergency services from suffering patients who lack transportation for clinical and dialysis appointments through utilizing easy access transportation solutions as a healthcare maintenance benefit of insurance plans. Hence, the overall goal of Non Emergency Medical Transportation services - to prevent costly interventions resulting from missed appointments from different classes of appointments.

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