Transportation Remains a Big Barrier to Health Care

  • Date: 04/08/2024

From University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics: Senior Fellow Marina Serper, working with Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Nneka Ufere and colleagues, studied how transportation affects the lives of the 4.5 million Americans with chronic liver disease (CLD) in the United States. In their study in Hepatology Communications, the authors looked at the relationship between care-related transportation insecurity and financial security, self-reported health status, work productivity, outpatient and acute health care utilization, and mortality.

About 6% of the 152,836 adults with CLD surveyed reported experiencing care-related transportation insecurity. These individuals faced a cascade of challenges, from financial strains to compromised health outcomes.

The study discovered some intriguing correlations. Transportation insecurity was linked to increased chances of cost-related drug nonadherence, food insecurity, and a decline in self-reported health status. The authors also found an association between transportation-related anxiety and increased health care use and mortality.

According to the authors, transportation insecurity is a critical risk factor that should be screened for. They also suggest expanding insurance benefits to include medical transport to appointments, along with supporting broadband internet to improve access to telemedicine.

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