Healthcare Access Problem Statement
Approximately 15.7% of residents in Louisville live in poverty, with higher rates in communities of color. Individuals experiencing poverty are more likely to face logistical challenges in accessing healthcare services, since they may struggle to afford the cost of transportation, especially when their healthcare needs require frequent medical visits.
Marginalized communities, including low-income individuals, communities of color, elderly populations, and people with disabilities face significant barriers in accessing reliable, affordable and suitable transportation options. These challenges are limiting their ability to access essential services, employment opportunities, and social connections. Barriers associated with NEMT and healthcare access often result in delayed or missed health appointments, inability to fill prescriptions, and inadequate healthcare management, and other social barriers to health, ultimately leading to poorer health outcomes.
Healthcare access options sometimes exist to help patients reach medical facilities for non-emergency appointments, treatments, or follow-ups, but are often unaffordable, unavailable, not culturally sensitive, or otherwise inaccessible, particularly in economically disadvantaged and rural communities. Many healthcare access providers may not adequately cater to diverse linguistic and cultural needs, leading to a lack of trust and misunderstanding, which can discourage individuals from utilizing healthcare access services even if they are otherwise available. The lack of insurance coverage or limited reimbursement options for healthcare access further exacerbates financial burdens, creating multiple barriers to accessing health services.
Reconstruct Challenge: Healthcare access is seeking to find and fund innovations addressing access to healthcare in the Louisville region. This is an open call for solutions that address related challenges. Some particular areas of interest include:
Enhancing public transportation systems in underserved areas
● Increasing the availability of accessible vehicles and transportation options for individuals with disabilities
● Fostering partnerships between healthcare providers and transportation agencies to coordinate Healthcare services
● Establishing referral networks to connect patients with appropriate transportation options
● Coordinating transportation services alongside healthcare appointments and schedules
● Providing cultural competency training for healthcare access staff to better understand and meet the needs of diverse populations.
● Promoting inclusive and culturally sensitive practices in healtcare service delivery
● Increasing affordability of Healthcare access services
● Establishing volunteer driver programs or ridesharing initiatives for non-emergency medical transportation, or other community-driven transportation coordination and support systems
● Otherwise improving accessibility of healthcare for those who lack affordable transportation options
This Reconstruct Challenge was supported by funds made available by the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Office of Health Equity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for STLT Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce, under RFA-OT21-2103.