BACKGROUND Transportation challenges affect access to health care. Our objective was to describe transportation challenges faced by Latino children with medical complexity and identify strategies that could address these challenges.METHODS This is a qualitative study. Seventy Latino children with medical complexity who were enrolled in a complex care program of a tertiary care children's hospital were followed for a median duration of 18 months. Qualitative data were care coordination notes for each child obtained from care coordinators' encounter logs and reported experiences. Using thematic content analysis and an iterative process, we identified recurrent themes related to transportation challenges.RESULTS Caregivers of Latino children with medical complexity face many challenges transporting their children to medical appointments. These include lack of vehicle, inability to drive, lack of driver's license due to immigration status, and lack of resources to maintain a vehicle. As a result, Latino children with medical complexity often need non-emergency medical transportation, but caregivers find these systems difficult to use, in part because of language difficulties. Thus, they rely on care coordinators to access non-emergency medical transportation. Transportation problems can lead to missed medical appointments for the child and lost work for the caregiver. We identified interrelated factors that contributed to transportation issues for Latino children with medical complexity and potential strategies to address them.LIMITATIONS The extent of transportation challenges cannot be discerned because this is a qualitative study.CONCLUSIONS Transportation is difficult for Latino children with medical complexity, who rely on non-emergency medical transportation to access medical services. Care coordinators play a major role in addressing transportation problems for Latino children with medical complexity and their caregivers.
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