- Lack of transportation was identified as a barrier to accessing healthcare services for many rural population groups.
- Transportation challenges experienced by rural communities include limited funding, bus driver labor shortages and lack of vehicle access, especially among immigrant populations and households with incomes below the federal poverty level.
- Specialty care, such as dialysis or cancer treatment, is often not available in rural communities, and a lack of transportation is often a barrier to receiving these services in other counties.
- It is important to understand community and patient needs when developing effective strategies around transportation.
- While some communities rely on volunteers to support transportation services, there is concern about the long-term sustainability of this approach due to burnout and a lack of volunteers, as well as the need for training and liability protections.
- Some communities focus on securing funds through Medicaid reimbursement for transportation services, using 340B funds, or working with community champions to leverage local, state and federal funds.