SDOH: The Basic Role of Community Transportation
What if there was something more health plans could do to provide community transportation for their members, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes, reducing healthcare expenses, and encouraging members to improve their quality of life? This month, our Director of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and Product Development Tamara Carlton takes it back to the basics to show how MTM is leading the way in helping our clients mitigate the impact of social determinants through reliable community transportation.
The Role of Community Transportation
Not only is transportation itself a critical social determinant—it also impacts almost every other social determinant by either providing or hindering access to services or destinations. In fact, a 2019 survey by Kaiser Permanente showed that:
- Americans view social needs, such as housing and transportation, as equally important to their health as medical care.
- The vast majority of Americans want their medical providers to ask about their social needs.
- Those experiencing unmet social needs were twice as likely to rate their health as fair or poor compared to those who did not have unmet needs.
- Social needs are predictors of physical and mental health.
Additionally, according to the National Center for Mobility Management, “It is critical for transportation and mobility professionals to understand not only the impact of their work on individual and community health, but also the value and potential that partnerships could provide to the health and well-being of your community.” Access to safe, reliable transportation could be one of the major turning points healthcare providers rely on to positively impact SDoH throughout many communities.
How Does MTM Make a Difference?
This is where MTM comes in to play. As an innovative, forward thinking partner, MTM prioritizes safe and reliable transportation nationwide. When our members have access to reliable transportation, that means they can achieve better employment and education opportunities, they have the ability to connect with family and friends, and they have a consistent method for accessing daily needs like grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor visits, and more.
MTM is the transportation partner that makes positive SDoH change possible. By arranging more than 13 million trips annually to those in need, we help members prioritize a healthy lifestyle starting in their homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. Through our industry-leading customer service model and large national transportation network, we continue moving forward in the fight against the negative impacts unmitigated SDoH can have.
Tune in next month for Tamara’s next article, which will highlight how MTM is taking the role of transportation a step further by diving into the importance it plays within healthcare facilities. Stay tuned to learn more about how transportation ties into member health outcomes, and how MTM is supporting healthcare facilities for critical care needs.