By Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist; Certified Diabetes Educator, PearlPoint Cancer Support
As part of cancer treatment, you may make frequent trips to your cancer treatment center for appointments and treatment. If your treatment center isn’t close to home, this may mean extra transportation and lodging expenses. Many resources are available to cancer patients to help cover the costs of travel for treatment.
The first step is to talk to your healthcare team. Many treatment centers have lodging coordinators in house to help with your lodging needs, especially if your treatment center serves a lot of people from out of town. If you need a ride to treatment, talk to your healthcare team, too. Your treatment center may have social workers on staff to help you find transportation or even provide a shuttle from certain locations.
Medicaid’s non-emergency transportation services—people with Medicaid may be eligible for rides to doctor’s appointments for Medicaid-approved care. Rides in your area may be offered by taxi, car, van, or a form of public transportation. Call your Medicaid caseworker for more information and to find out if you are eligible.
Road To Recovery—through the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program, volunteers offer rides to treatment for cancer patients and a caregiver. To find a Road To Recovery program in your area, click here or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Grind for Life—an organization started by a skateboarding cancer survivor, Grind for Life provides financial assistance to cancer survivors who have to travel for treatment. Call 561-252-3839 to learn more.
Public Transportation—check all public transportation options in your city. There may be more than you think! Check the bus schedules, and see if there is a route that may work for you. If your immune system is weakened from treatment, talk to your healthcare team about using public transportation.
Friends and Family—don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family, or religious community for rides to treatment. Most people want to help, but they just don’t know how!
Healthcare Hospitality Network (HHN)—hospitality houses provide free or reduced cost lodging to patients and their families while the patient receives medical care. Some hospitals and treatment centers have their own hospitality houses. Use HHN to locate hospitality houses near your treatment center.
Joe’s House— this nonprofit organization provides an online, searchable database of hotels and hospitality houses that offer lodging for cancer patients at a reduced rate.
Hope Lodge—the American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsors Hope Lodges in many major cities throughout the country. Hope Lodges provide free rooms for cancer patients and their families traveling for treatment.
Hotels with Medical Rates—many hotel chains offer medical rates for people travelling for medical treatment. You will need to book the room in advance, and the hotel may ask for a letter from your doctor. The Joe’s House database includes hotels that offer medical rates.
Family and Friends—again, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you for help, especially if you have family and friends who live near your treatment center. If the situation were reversed, wouldn’t you want to help a friend in need?
*PearlPoint Cancer Support does not endorse any commercial products or services. Mention is for informational purposes only.