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Out of Service: How a Missed Ride Can Impact Health Outcomes

August 11th, 2022

Author: 
Source: Managed Healthcare Executive

When the healthcare industry and government entities started working in earnest to resolve challenges related to social determinants of health (SDoH)—defined by Healthy People 2030 as economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context—the experts soon realized the gravity of the gap in healthcare and everyday services that these factors can present.

As much as 80% of health outcomes are negatively influenced by the ongoing effects of SDoH, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Many of those SDoH categories cross lines, and what we as an industry realized is that the blurred lines of SDoH factors can be co-dependent.

But we also recognize that co-existing factors present multiple barriers to care, not only access to care but the equity of care: one of those is access to reliable, convenient transportation.

“Transportation barriers are often cited as barriers to healthcare access,” according to the Journal of Community Health. “Transportation barriers can lead to rescheduled or missed appointments, delayed care and missed or delayed medication use. These consequences may lead to poorer management of chronic illness and thus poorer health outcomes.”

In addition, the same study found that when transportation barriers are eliminated, we have a good chance of improving health access and equity. Underserved populations do a lot of waiting because of a lack of secure, dependable transportation, which impedes good health, well-being and the overall patient experience.

To break down barriers to healthcare and improve health equity, we must ensure dependable and safe transportation to healthcare services, no matter who the rider is or where they live.

A separate Health Affairs analysis found that those with a transportation barrier had a 63% higher risk of readmission within a specific population of high-risk patients.

If we can make a substantive impact on transportation, we have the possibility of improving patient satisfaction, lowering healthcare costs for patients and providers and improving health outcomes.

Read the full article at Out of Service: How a Missed Ride Can Impact Health Outcomes (managedhealthcareexecutive.com)

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