The people who come to PAN for financial support are often facing hard choices: pay steep out-of-pocket healthcare costs or pay for groceries.
Since 2004, we’ve helped nearly one million underinsured people with chronic and rare conditions pay for their out-of-pocket costs and access life-saving medications.
But our research has shown that co-pay assistance sometimes isn’t enough; many patients lack reliable transportation to get to appointments or live hundreds of miles from their medical specialists.
It’s not just our patients: in 2017, 5.8 million Americans delayed medical care because they did not have transportation.
By the numbers: getting to and from treatment is expensive
the average cost for a three-night stay at a hotel
the average round-trip airfare to see a specialist
the estimated annual cost to take a taxi to medical appointments twice a month
Transportation is a growing barrier to treatment
Among 4,000 older adults with serious conditions surveyed in 2019, 61 percent reported transportation barriers getting to and from their medical appointments. More than 20 percent of respondents also reported accessibility barriers to getting to their doctors, including challenges with their vision and mobility limitations.
From having to schedule appointments based on the availability of friends to not having reliable access to transportation, these patients reported that it was often tough to see their doctors.
Rural, suburban, and urban residents all face challenges
Most of our patients travel more than 10 miles to get treatment. For some, like Gail Munk in Nevada, it’s much farther. Mr. Munk has to make a 220-mile round trip each time he visits the oncologist. His story isn’t unique for many in rural America.
Even in more urban locations, the cost to take a taxi or non-emergency medical transport can be prohibitive for people who need weekly or monthly treatment. Maria Cabrera, who receives treatment for colorectal cancer in New York City, highlights the challenges:
My immune system is compromised, so it is not safe for me to take public transportation. Because of this I have to take a cab or car delivery service. Having to pay for transportation to and from chemotherapy is a big burden.Maria Cabrera, living with colorectal cancer
No other transportation program provides support for patients experiencing such a wide range of serious illnesses.
Subsidizing rising transportation costs for patients across nearly 70 disease states
We recognize that if our patients can’t get to appointments and pharmacies, they can’t stay on the course of treatment they need to get and stay well. It’s why we launched the Transportation Assistance Fund, to help our patients living with life-threatening and serious conditions along their complete health journeys.
Our program addresses transportation barriers for qualifying recipients of all PAN grants, from many types of cancer to chronic and progressive conditions like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. We don’t limit support to one specific diagnosis.
Flexible support for each patient’s unique needs
With financial help from our 12-month program, patients can choose the right type of transport for their mobility needs and geographic location, from a taxi or rideshare service, to a wheelchair-supported medical transport van, or even airfare and lodging for medical appointments that are farther away.
We give patients the autonomy and dignity to choose the option that best suits their specific needs.
A seamless user journey for the patient
It’s easy for patients or caregivers to apply either online or by phone, learning right away if they are approved for a grant.
Patients will receive a pre-paid debit card authorized for eligible, non-emergency medical transportation expenses so that they have financial assistance available when and where they need it. With card spend limits and a fraud detection system in place, we’re providing maximum ease of use for patients, while simultaneously protecting the program from potential misuse.
How you can help
The need for transportation assistance is growing, but we can’t do it without partners like you. Your support will help us maintain and expand this fund for people who may not be able to stay on treatment without it, making sure that no one is left a few miles short of wellness.
Help us subsidize rising transportation costs for those living with life-threatening and chronic conditions
Contact Leena Patel, Vice President of Development, to learn more about how you and your company can support healthcare access through transportation.