What’s the longest you’ve ever traveled to see a doctor? What about to pick up a prescription? Or get a surgery? A recent story on NPR titled, When Getting a Blood Pressure Cuff Takes All Day tells the story of Sharlene Adams' long journey to get a blood pressure cuff - demonstrating how multilayered and challenging access to healthcare can be.
When the doctor told Adams she needed a blood pressure cuff, she needed to take 4 bus rides, a stop to get the doctor’s signature, 2 visits to a pharmacy downtown for medical supplies, a detour to borrow money for the copay, a bus breakdown, and then the purchase of the cuff on the east side of Baltimore. The 7.5 mile trip took her 5 hours to complete - and that was just getting there.
Sharlene is covered by Medicaid - the US healthcare program for families and individuals with low incomes and limited resources. Sharlene’s story serves to highlight just one of the many challenges in healthcare tied to access to care.