Transportation is a Health Equity Barrier: SDoH Survey Findings 2023

people waiting for transportation at bus stop

In May 2023, Engagys conducted an SDoH (or social determinants of health) survey of 570 U.S. respondents aged 18+. Among other findings, the survey revealed that a lack of transportation remains a barrier for some. Just over 20% of total respondents agree or strongly agree that due to transportation challenges they have been kept from medical appointments, work, or from getting things needed for daily living. However, the results showed that certain population segments experienced more dramatic impacts than others. Diving deeper into the data, here are some important findings.

Those with annual income under $25k are more vulnerable

When it comes to income, respondents whose income falls under $25,000 are nearly twice as likely, at 28%, to report challenges with transportation than respondents with annual incomes greater than $75,000, 15% of whom experience transportation difficulties.

Burdens associated with transportation are not evenly distributed among racial and ethnic groups

The survey shows that Hispanics were twice as likely, at 37%, to agree or strongly agree that they had faced transportation challenges than non-Hispanics, at 16%.

Transportation barriers are more prevalent for certain age groups

Older Americans appear to be doing better than other groups in terms of transportation. They are 3-4 times less likely to report barriers associated with transportation than other groups, regardless of income levels. This finding, along with others in our survey, indicates that older populations seem to have greater understanding and confidence when it comes to navigating the healthcare system, compared to younger age groups.

Final Thoughts

These findings have important implications for health plans. The good news is that there are proven solutions to remove transportation roadblocks for vulnerable populations.

Interested in learning more about this and other SDoH barriers, along with successful interventions to correct them? Get your copy of the Social Risk and SDoH Consumer Survey Findings 2023 eBook.

Jack Newsom
  • Jack Newsom

During a 25-year career in healthcare, Dr. Newsom has specialized in building teams focused on improving consumer engagement with an emphasis on integrating communications, analytics, and delivery. At Engagys, Dr. Newsom continues the practice of using analytics to drive better health outcomes and improve the results of consumer communications. Additionally, he has led the Healthcare Consumer Engagement Practices survey since its inception in 2017. As Chief Program Officer at Caravan Health, Dr. Newsom lead a team of more than 40 professionals across analytics, quality, events, content management, and delivery to help practices succeed in accountable care frameworks. Prior to that, he created the analytics functions at Silverlink Communications and CenseoHealth. Dr. Newsom holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Clinical Evaluative Science from Dartmouth College, as well as a Doctor of Science in Health Services Research from Boston University where he taught at the School of Public Health for five years.