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The Complex Patchwork of Transportation for In-Center Hemodialysis.
Tian FF, Hall YN, Griffin S, Kranze T, Marcella D, Watnick S, O'Hare AM. The Complex Patchwork of Transportation for In-Center Hemodialysis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2023 Oct 1; 34(10):1621-1627.
Reliable transportation is an important determinant of access to health care and health outcomes that carries particular significance for people with ESKD. In the United States, there are almost half a million patients receiving treatment with in-center dialysis, translating into more than 70 million roundtrips to dialysis centers annually. Difficulty with transportation can interfere with patients' quality of life and contribute to missed or shortened dialysis treatments, increasing their risk for hospitalization. Medicare, the principal payer for dialysis in this country, has not traditionally provided coverage for nonemergency medical transportation, placing the burden of traveling to and from the dialysis center on patients and families and a range of other private and public entities that were not designed and are poorly equipped for this purpose. Here, we review the relationship between access to reliable transportation and health outcomes such as missed and shortened dialysis treatments, hospitalizations, and quality of life. We also describe current approaches to the delivery of transportation for patients receiving in-center hemodialysis, highlighting potential opportunities for improvement.