The Medical Transportation Access Coalition (MTAC) is excited to announce the release of two comprehensive bibliographies that compile extensive research on the role of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and non-medical transportation in promoting access to care and improving health outcomes. These critical resources are designed to support Medicare Advantage organizations (MAOs) subject to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and other stakeholders interested in enhancing policies and practices surrounding transportation services.

MTAC is poised to assist MAOs and their contracted transportation service providers in addressing new requirements finalized in the Contract Year 2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule. The rule mandates that MAOs establish a bibliography for relevant acceptable evidence that items or services offered as a Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) has a reasonable expectation of improving or maintaining the health or overall function of a chronically ill enrollee. Because SSBCI benefits can include NEMT, non-medical transportation, or both, it is essential for MAOs to understand the available research supporting their inclusion.

Key findings from the bibliographies include:

  • Access to Care: Both bibliographies demonstrate that transportation services, whether medical or non-medical, improve access to healthcare services for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, particularly for those with chronic conditions.
  • Disparities: The bibliographies include several studies that identify racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in transportation needs, suggesting a need for targeted policy interventions to improve equity in access to transportation services in order to address health disparities.
  • Managing Chronic Conditions: Transportation services are critical for ensuring that patients, particularly those in rural areas or with mobility challenges, can attend necessary medical appointments, access other health-related social needs like food, and manage chronic health conditions effectively.
  • Return on Investment: Research indicates a positive return on investment for medical transportation services, highlighting cost savings through reduced missed appointments and decreased need for expensive emergency interventions. More research on the return on investment for non-medical destinations is needed to demonstrate that these services not only help enrollees feel more empowered to manage their health and increase satisfaction with their plans, but also have the potential to reduce downstream costs for MAOs.

You can find the link here for the NEMT bibliography and here for the non-medical transportation bibliography.

MTAC was formed in 2017 to educate federal and state policymakers and other stakeholders about the benefits of medical transportation and the need for policies that support continued access to these services. The coalition’s founding and allied members include a diverse set of transportation management services companies, managed care organizations, trade associations, and patient advocacy groups.