Since the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) was established through Executive Order 13330—Human Service Transportation Coordination in 2004, the CCAM has undertaken a variety of interagency efforts to improve the availability, accessibility, and efficiency of transportation, including:
- United We Ride (2004)
- Mobility Services for All Americans (2005)
- Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative (2011)
- Rides to Wellness (2016)
Transit & Health Access Initiative
A significant factor in rising healthcare costs is the prevalence of chronic disease across the country, with a disparate impact on low income populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems and the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. CDC notes that 86% of all healthcare spending in 2010 were for individuals with one or more chronic medical condition, contributing to the approximate 17% of GDP being spent on healthcare. Chronic conditions reduce workplace productivity and cause absenteeism, producing an annual economic loss of over $1 trillion.
Lack of transportation access can create a barrier for treatment and screening, with an estimated 3.6 million Americans missing or delaying non-emergency medical care each year because of transportation issues. Many people may not make appointments or take advantage of free health screenings due to not being able to get a ride.
For all of these reasons, the Federal Transit Administration launched the Transit & Health Access Initiative in 2016 to increase partnerships between health and transportation providers and show the positive financial benefit to such partnerships.
The initiative’s goals are to:
- Increase access to care
- Improve health outcomes
- Reduce healthcare costs
In March 2015, FTA hosted a cross-agency summit to clarify the needs, identify the barriers and brainstorm solutions. Representatives from FTA, HHS, USDA and the Department of Veterans Affairs attended.
The FAST Act authorized the pilot program for five years, starting in 2016, including a competitive pilot program for innovative coordinated access and mobility (Section 3006(b)) to help finance innovative projects for the transportation disadvantaged that improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services. The Access and Mobility Partnership grants fund projects that include:
- the deployment of coordination technology
- projects that create or increase access to community
- one-call/one-click centers
View the FY2018 Access and Mobility Partnership Grants notice of funding.
Transit & Health Access Community Scan Project (Spring 2017)
To determine the impact of transportation barriers on health care costs and begin to demonstrate the return on investment for providing transportation to care, FTA funded the Transit & Health Access Community Scan Project through a cooperative agreement with Health Outreach Partners (HOP). In May 2016, HOP launched the project, which was intended to determine the impact of transportation barriers on health care costs and to highlight existing, patient-centered transportation solutions. The project consisted of two elements, the results of which are summarized in the report:
- National survey: Implementation of a national survey of health centers and private providers to identify the impact of lack of transportation on missed medical appointments and associated health care costs
- Community profiles: Development of profiles illustrating communities that are adopting patient-centered transportation solutions that show promising opportunities for return on investmen
National Center for Mobility Management
The National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), an FTA-funded national technical assistance center, provides community grants. In 2015 and 2017, NCMM provided community planning grants to further the goals of the Transit and Health Access Initiative:
Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative
Mobility Services for All Americans
Launched in 2005, Mobility Services for All Americans (MSAA) enhances accessibility and mobility for people who are transportation disadvantaged and the general public by applying technological solutions to advance human service transportation, overcome technical and institutional barriers to coordination, and showcase promising technologies and practices that enhance mobility.
United We Ride
The CCAM created the United We Ride initiative in 2004 to improve the availability, quality, and efficient delivery of transportation services for the transportation disadvantaged by facilitating coordination between transportation and human services programs. United We Ride worked with states and communities to identify transportation-service gaps and needs, reduce transportation duplication, create more efficient and productive services, and aid in building local partnerships and developing coordination plans. The vision — One Call — simplifies access to transportation services.