Lack of transportation can be a serious barrier for people on in-center hemodialysis. Cuts to transportation programs at the state and federal level can worsen an already serious problem. Many people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) live on fixed incomes and with three treatments every week, transportation costs add up. Cuts to transportation programs can be devastating to countless individuals who rely on these services for their life-sustaining treatments, potentially forcing some to choose between treatments and basic necessities. Adding additional transportation costs for people on dialysis could also lead to increased use of emergency transportation and missed treatments, which can cause avoidable hospitalizations. As a result, DPC strongly supports Medicaid and other transportation programs.
Additionally, with most ESRD patients requiring dialysis treatment three times a week, convenient access to local facilities is key to ensuring: treatment adherence, positive health outcomes and a high quality of life. Recent studies have found that mortality rates increase with increased drive times, while quality of life decreases dramatically. DPC continues to educate policy makers about the adverse impact of lengthy drive times, especially for those in rural communities where choice may be limited.