Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Virtual Doctor Visits Get High Marks in New SurveyBig Pharma's Marketing to Docs Helped Trigger Opioid Crisis: StudyDisrupted Sleep Plagues Hospital Patients, But New Program Might HelpOpioid Prescriptions Almost Twice as Likely for Rural vs. Urban AmericansClimate Change Already Hurting Human Health, Review ShowsCalling All Blood Donors …Even Older Drugs Are Getting Steep Price Hikes, Study FindsAs Medical Marketing Soars, Is Regulation Needed?Radiation Doses From CT Scans Vary WidelyU.S. Leads Health Care Spending Among Richer Nations, But Gets LessIs Your State a Hotspot for Obesity-Linked Cancers?Health Tip: Choose the Right DoctorFDA Warns Companies on Dangerous, Unapproved Stem Cell TreatmentsMore U.S. Kids Dying From Guns, Car AccidentsRoad Rules on Smartphone Use Are Saving Bikers' Lives, TooAHA: Should Pacemakers, Defibrillators Be Recycled -- and Reused in Others?California Farm Tied to E. coli Outbreak Expands Recall Beyond Romaine LettuceHealth Tip: Use Medical Devices SafelyCalifornia Farm Implicated in Outbreak of E. coli Tied to Romaine LettuceFentanyl Now the No. 1 Opioid OD KillerHospitalizations Rising Among the HomelessElectronic Health Records Bogging Docs DownMore Are Seeking Mental Health Care, But Not Always Those Who Need It MostMillions of Americans Still Breathing Secondhand Smoke: ReportNew Approach to Opioid Crisis: Supervised Heroin Injection Programs?Many Americans Unaware of Promise of Targeted, 'Personalized' Medicine: PollAs Gun Violence Grows, U.S. Life Expectancy DropsMost Americans Lie to Their DoctorsOpioid Crisis, Suicides Driving Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy: CDCWant to Learn CPR? Try an Automated KioskHealth Surrogates Often in Dark About Loved One's WishesRestaurant 'Health Grade' Posters Could Mean Safer DiningSmoking Bans Might Help Nonsmokers' Blood PressureWarmer Winters, More Violent Crimes?Are Food Additives Good or Bad? Consumer Views VaryDrug Studies in Children Often Go Unfinished: StudyFDA Moves to Restrict Flavored E-Cig Sales, Ban Menthol CigarettesAgeism Costs Billions in Health Care DollarsAmerica Is Worried About Antibiotic ResistanceRed Cross Issues Urgent Call for Blood Ahead of the HolidaysUnder Pressure, Juul Withdraws Most Flavored E-Cigs From MarketMany Drugstores Won't Dispense Opioid Antidote as RequiredNew Cholesterol Guidelines Focus on Personalized ApproachAHA: Defibrillators Can Help Kids Survive Cardiac Arrest, TooFDA Will Ban Many Flavored E-CigarettesU.S. Smoking Rates Hit Record LowOnly a Quarter of Opioid Painkillers Taken After Most SurgeriesHome Health-Care Tests: Proceed With CautionFDA Takes on Flatulent CowsWhy Bystanders Are Less Likely to Give CPR to Women
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Uber, Lyft Rides May Not Help Boost Doc Visits for Poorer Patients

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 7th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Unreliable transportation keeps many poor patients from their medical appointments. But offering free ride-sharing services isn't the easy fix some predicted, a new study suggests.

Some health care systems and ride-sharing and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have formed partnerships to make it easier for these patients to get to appointments.

But the University of Pennsylvania study suggests this approach alone may not make a difference.

"Transportation is often a barrier to care for many patients, but solutions that don't address other barriers may not be enough to help patients get to doctor appointments," said study lead author Dr. Krisda Chaiyachati. He's a Veterans Affairs advanced fellow at Penn Medicine.

The study included nearly 800 Medicaid patients in Philadelphia, half of whom were offered free Lyft rides to two primary care practices. Medicaid is the publicly funded insurance program for the poor. Half the patients were younger than 46.

The missed appointment rates were nearly identical -- 36.5 percent for those who were offered the ride service and 36.7 percent for those who were not, the researchers reported.

"While it may be a negative finding, it's an important one because it can inform future efforts to help improve attendance rates, and highlights the complexity of social barriers when caring for poor patients," Chaiyachati said in a university news release.

A prior study found that around 3.6 million adults in the United States miss medical appointments each year because of transportation problems. Many of those patients are low-income, research suggests.

"One of the takeaways here is that we need to be thoughtful about how we design and test new programs that address social barriers to health care," said study senior author Dr. David Grande, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

"While we want hospitals and health systems to address patients' social challenges that impact health -- we need to rigorously evaluate new programs to make them successful," he added.

"In this case, addressing transportation alongside other barriers could make a difference or doing a better job identifying who needs the services," Grande said.

The study was published Feb. 5 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how to get the most out of your doctor appointment.