Medical Transportation & the Aging Population

Brendan McNiff

The ability to easily get to routine doctor’s visits, medical treatments, or travel home after a big surgery has a significant impact on the lives of older adults. While some seniors have family members or friends who can help them, most are stuck looking elsewhere for reliable medical transportation.

We know that our country is getting older. In the next 15 years, 8.7 million Americans will be over the age of 85, and most will no longer have the capability to drive themselves to critical medical appointments. So what are the alternatives?

Public Transit
Public transportation simply isn’t an option for many in the aging community. Can you imagine someone with a physical disability walking more than 10 minutes in inclement weather and waiting for a crowded bus to go to routine dialysis or physical therapy appointments? We can do better than this! Access to public transportation is also a problem; a 2011 survey found that 60% of people age 50 and over did not have public transportation within 10 minutes of their homes.

Ride-Sharing and Taxis
With the advent of ride-sharing programs, many Americans are getting around easier due to convenient transportation at their fingertips, generally at a lower cost than traditional cab services. Unfortunately, many seniors do not have access to the right technology and have trouble finding convenience, especially in rural areas. Many ride-sharing platforms and cab services also generally do not provide medical transportation, which includes helping patients out of their home and safely into the car.

Government Assistance
As we’ve discussed before, Medicare will pay for non-emergency ambulance services, and Medicaid will pay for select medical transportation needs. These services can help fill in the gaps for older Americans requiring assistance, but the system has inefficiencies that result in seniors missing appointments or waiting for hours for a ride. Antiquated communication and scheduling systems mean drivers can be late without notice or not even dispatched to a pickup location until hours after a ride is requested.

What’s left for the aging population?
The RoundTrip team has been focusing on helping the aging population receive the transportation they need for their medical appointments. That’s why we partner with hospitals, health plans, and healthcare facilities, providing them an easy-to-use trip scheduling and monitoring software app. We bring the advantages of ride-sharing technology into these facilities to improve the quality of trips for any patient the facility orders transportation. Hospitals can order medical transportation for patients in less than a minute without ever picking up a phone, and trips are automatically dispatched to credentialed medical providers for those patients who require higher levels of care.

Interested in learning more about RoundTrip? We’d love to talk to you!