Traveling to the Facility
If you choose in-center hemodialysis, you will need to get to and from dialysis, three days or nights a week, every week. If you have a car and can drive yourself—and you feel well enough after treatment to do so—this may not be a challenge. If not, here are some transportation options you may find, depending on where you live:
- Your area may offer paratransit services if you are elderly or disabled for a small fee. You will need to apply, and it may take time to get approved so plan ahead if possible. You will need to schedule rides in advance. How often you can get a ride or how far in advance you need to schedule will depend on the rules in your area.
- In some areas, patients ride together to treatment in a van.
- Carpools may work, if you live near another patient on the same shift as you.
- Some churches or volunteer centers may offer volunteer drivers.
In general, Medicare does not pay for transportation to dialysis, unless your doctor says that you need an ambulance. In some cases, a family member has had to give up a paying job to drive a loved one to and from dialysis. If this happens, family income is reduced even further. Rather than give up a job, it might make more sense to keep the job and pay a driver. Your social worker can help you sort out your transit options.