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Inadequate transportation provides one of the critical care access barriers in America. Among the
transportation-related challenges cited by patients include poor infrastructure, high transportation
costs, lack of vehicle, and long-distance travel. Such barriers often result in delayed/missed
medication use, delayed care, and missed/rescheduled medical appointments. Transportation
barriers imply inadequacy regarding disease management, particularly in the early stages,
resulting in poor care outcomes. Currently, advancements such as improved bus access,
ridesharing, and cycling lanes may moderately help address transportation-related challenges.
However, such privileges may not be available for the rural populations, hence the need to
consider telemedicine as an alternative to physical hospital visits.
A substantial number of Americans remain affected by transportation-related challenges as a
barrier to healthcare access. According to a study by Chaiyachati et al., the lack of adequate
transport as a barrier to healthcare access affects up to 51% of Americans (2018.).
Transportation-related barriers affect patients and care providers alike. While people miss or
delay medical appointments due to transportation issues, care providers are likely to be affected
by issues such as inadequate infrastructure, poor public transport systems, and long-distance
travel, resulting in lateness and no-shows. Wolfe et al. (2020) found out that approximately 5.8
million Americans delay access to healthcare due to transportation issues. Similarly, a study by
the National Center for Mobility Management 50% all patient that miss appointments cite
transportation issues, while up to 30% of people who honor appointments encounter similar
challenges, resulting in delayed accesses ("Transportation to Healthcare Destinations," n.d.).
Studies on the subject have established significant variations between urban and rural
populations regarding the impact of inadequate transportation as a healthcare access barrier.
Rural residents tend to struggle with affordability poor transportation infrastructure,
characterized by poor road networks, long-distance travel, and lack of access to adequate public
transport. On the other hand, their urban counterparts are likely to encounter more affordability
than availability challenges. Transportation-related challenges are more pronounced in rural
compared to urban areas, affecting 68.3% and30.9%, respectively (Smith et al., 2017).
Transportation barriers lead to disjointed care, which compromises clinical productivity and
patient outcomes.
The last five years have seen moderate improvement in terms of transportation barriers to
healthcare access. Even though considerably costly, emergency medical transportation has
improved tremendously in the country, with various hospitals offering ambulatory and flight
escort services. Currently, numerous private companies offer emergency transportation services
that include wheelchair, stretcher, courier, flight escort, and ambulatory transportation. Similarly,
ridesharing companies have significantly expanded their operations across the United States in
the last few years; these companies are increasingly moving from major cities to smaller towns
(Ryan, 2017). As a result, transportation is increasingly becoming available for both the rural and
urban populations.
Technological advancements realized in the field of medicine provide a solution to transportation
barriers. Telemedicine bridges the gap between healthcare consumers and providers. The
technology disregards the transportation disparity gap by allowing patients to access healthcare
services from the comfort of their homes. In addition, telemedicine kiosks are increasingly
becoming commonplace in the United States. Investment in such technologies would enable
patients to access care services from places like local universities, airports, and pharmacies,

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Inadequate transportation provides one of the critical care access barriers in America. Among the transportation-related challenges cited by patients include poor infrastructure, high transportation costs, lack of vehicle, and long-distance travel. Such barriers often result in delayed/missed medication use, delayed care, and missed/rescheduled medical appointments. Transportation barriers imply inadequacy regarding disease management, particularly in the early stages, resulting in poor care outcomes. Currently, advancements such as improved bus access, ridesharing, and cycling lanes may moder ...
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