Home » Resources » Patients Rising asked, and you answered: Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Barriers

Patients Rising asked, and you answered: Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Barriers

Access to transportation can improve access to, and options for, healthcare. When talking to people around the country, and our readers, Patients Rising has learned that medical transportation access is a significant issue for many. 

In an attempt to better understand how medical transportation access impacts patients’ access to care, we developed and deployed a survey. Based on 33 usable survey responses, we conducted an interim analysis to identify opportunities for educational and policy interventions. Here’s what our survey found.


  • 72.73% of respondents had to reschedule their health appointment because they were unable to travel to it
  • 78.78% were not confident about securing a transport for a non-emergency medical situation
  • 42.42% of respondents were unaware if their town  or county provide medical transportation to residents
  • 43.42% of residents did not know if their insurance covers some or all of the cost of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)
  • 60.61% of respondents did not know if community programs (such as a church charity, assisted living facility) in their area offered transportation services

Respondents also shared the following grievances:

  • Lack of access to reliable transportation restricts them to seeking care from local doctors only
  • Uber/Lyft are unreliable as an NEMT service
  • May have to miss work and compromise wages 
  • Delays or cancellations with ride-share service led to missed doctor’s appointment
  • Patient had to pay a fine for cancelled appointment
  • Often have to wait several hours at doctor’s office for pick up
  • Community-based transport services are often restricted for those 60 and older
  • Insurance-specific restrictions on transportation cause barriers
    • Only specific distance is covered 
    • Certain counties may not be covered

get help

If you or someone you know needs assistance with medical transportation, you can reach out to Patients Rising Concierge or search for health-related resources in your geographic location

take the survey

Want to share your medical transportation experiences with us? Our survey remains open:


Surabhi Dangi Garamella

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, Ph.D. is a biologist with academic research experience, who brings her skills and knowledge to the health care communications world. She provides writing and strategic support to non-profit groups via her consultancy, SDG AdvoHealth, LLC.

jim patients rising

Jim Sliney Jr. is a Registered Medical Assistant and a Columbia University trained Writer/Editor. He creates education and advocacy materials for patient support groups. Jim has worked closely with several rare disease communities. He also collaborates with patient-writers at Patients Rising and leads their writing team. Jim is a native New Yorker where he lives with his wife and lots of cats. Twitter  Email

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