The National Academies

NCHRP 08-172 [Active]

Benefit Analysis of Private Health Sector Investments in Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Staff Responsibility: Camille Crichton-Sumners
Research Agency: Econometrica Inc.
Principal Investigator: Imelda Flores Vazquez
Effective Date: 12/7/2023


State departments of transportation (DOTs) are responsible for providing mobility services to the transit-dependent public while maximizing investments of state and federal dollars in public transportation. Available funds often leave needed projects partially or wholly unfunded. Mobility managers, frequently housed within DOTs, are responsible for coordinating transportation resources for individuals with unique access needs and are sometimes challenged to find suitable transportation options for the individuals they serve. 

People who are unable to transport themselves and require recurring medical trips for chronic conditions not served through telehealth, such as diabetes or cancer, face challenges when seeking access to care. Public or healthcare transportation may help individuals without a support network, however, transit service limitations, prohibitive costs, or the lack of access to public transportation may cause restricted healthcare access. Additionally, those with access to public transportation may experience service delays, interruptions, or closures. 

Healthcare transportation, known as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), is provided by some health insurance plans, but the uninsured, underinsured, or those who have insurance without this transportation benefit struggle to gain access to healthcare services. Private healthcare organizations that do not contribute financially to NEMT need information about the potential benefits, costs, and advantages, which may include greater service delivery. NEMT affects healthcare providers and patients and is necessary for healthcare customers. Research is needed to provide actionable solutions with multifaceted benefits of providing improved NEMT services for patients resulting from the healthcare industry’s increased investment. 


The objective of this research is to develop a guide and tool kit for a diverse set of stakeholders, aimed at determining and communicating the costs and benefits of healthcare providers and hospitals providing healthcare customer transportation. 

The accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks. 



Task 1. Perform a review of literature related to providing transportation to and from healthcare providers and the healthcare sector’s investments in non-emergency medical transportation. Provide a summary in a Task 1 Report.

Notes: NCHRP approval of the Task 1 Report and the proposed approach to accomplishing Task 2 is required before advancing to Task 2.

Task 2. Identify the state of practice related to providing transportation to and from healthcare providers. 

Note: Enabling rules, legislation, regulations, and guidance should be considered when preparing Task 2. 

Task 3. Prepare an Interim Report No.1 that documents the work completed in Tasks 1 and 2. Include a detailed work plan for the work anticipated in Phase II. 


Task 4. Identify the key performance indicators used by healthcare providers and hospital systems (HPHS) impacted by customers’ limited transportation access. 

Task 5. Summarize the benefits, opportunities, challenges, and barriers encountered by HPHS investing in and supporting accessible transportation for customers. 

Task 6. Describe the risk factors associated with underfunded customer healthcare transportation.

Task 7. Identify successfully implemented models of collaboration between healthcare providers and transit agencies to provide transportation services. 

Task 8. Recommend strategies that would incentivize funding sustainable healthcare transportation. 

Task 9. Prepare an Interim Report No.2 that documents the work completed in Tasks 4 through 8. Include a detailed work plan for the work anticipated in Phase III.


Task 10. Develop a guide and a communication and marketing tool kit, targeting a diverse set of stakeholders, to help summarize the costs and benefits of providing funding for healthcare customer transportation. 

Task 11. Prepare final deliverables.


Research underway.

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