Preview of Study Findings Shows Intersection Between Health/Wellness and Transportation

In a prerelease presentation of new research on the role of transportation and health and wellness, Dr. Thomas Prohaska, of the University of Illinois, Chicago, said that managing chronic illnesses and disabilities without access to nonemergency medical transportation is harder for older adults and their caregivers.

The presentation, at the U.S. Access Board in Washington, D.C., was hosted by the Easter Seals Project ACTION and the National Center on Senior Transportation. The event allowed attendees to preview highlights of the study and provide feedback on the implications of the research, ideas for future research needs and suggestions for the final report.

The research team worked with medical transportation data provided by LogistiCare, which manages more than 26 million medically necessary transports each year. Their research also included both a general environmental scan and a comprehensive review of related literature.

In his presentation, Prohaska, who led the study, said that aging baby boomers will present significant demand for nonemergency medical transportation.

“We know that for many people transportation options are an essential link to mobility and connectedness in the community,” said Mary Leary, assistant vice president of Easter Seals Transportation Group. “Additionally, there is a growing awareness that there may be a direct link between increased health/wellness and access to transportation options — the need to explore this potential link was the impetus for the study.”

Final results from the study are expected to be released later this year.