Payers Can Help Tackle Transportation Barriers That Stymie Health Care Access

Challenges with finding transportation is keeping many U.S. adults from accessing necessary health services, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute. Health policy experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that providing non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) can benefit payers by enabling people to make their routine appointments and adhere to medications, which lowers the risk of high-cost hospitalizations.

However, they say that while Medicaid requires NEMT and Medicare Advantage plans are increasingly offering the benefit, NEMT remains uncommon in the commercial, employer-sponsored insurance sector.

Even when NEMT is available, its usage remains low. For instance, a study released earlier this year from the Medical Transportation Access Coalition (MTAC) found that only 4.6% of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries used NEMT in 2019. The MTAC, which was formed by three leading NEMT brokers and is managed by Faegre Drinker Consulting, analyzed data from 66 million people enrolled in 32 states and Washington, D.C.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has been a reporter and editor for newspapers, websites and magazines for more than 20 years, including 10 years covering health care business topics. He has a deep knowledge of the managed care industry and pharmacy benefit management. He also has experience covering medical conferences and clinical and legislative health care issues. In 2014, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing selected Tim as one of 15 journalists to participate in a national symposium on the Affordable Care Act. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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