Why Non-Emergency Medical Transportation May Be Necessary
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If you or a loved one suffer from an injury or life-altering illness, it can be difficult and costly to arrange transportation for important doctor’s appointments, scheduled surgeries, or procedures. In these situations, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is necessary.
An affordable and effective solution for anyone who needs to get to a doctor’s office, hospital, or rehabilitation center, NEMT solves your transportation problems. Here’s how non-emergency medical transportation can be a huge help.
What is Non-Emergency Medical Transportation?
Non-emergency medical transportation, or NEMT, is a transportation service designed for individuals who aren’t in a life-threatening emergency situation but have an injury or illness that leaves them in need of assistance. NEMT will get those who cannot drive to a medical appointment or procedure safely and on time.
Depending on the patient’s condition, NEMT services also offer a few different types of vehicles designed to meet patients’ medical needs. Medically-equipped SUVs, shuttle buses, wheelchair vans, and fully-equipped medical vehicles can all be used if needed. NEMT vehicles are specifically designed to safely transport injured or ill patients as well as any medical equipment they need transported with them.
NEMT is particularly helpful for disabled patients who live alone; it’s the easiest way to ensure you get to all medical appointments on time. In many cases, NEMT also includes a medical attendant who can help safely transport the patient.
How to Choose a NEMT Provider
When considering a NEMT provider, you have options – but it’s important to find a provider that fits your needs and medical situation. Every medical issue is different and requires unique needs and services. In addition to searching for a NEMT provider that’s professional and experienced, you’ll want to look for transportation that offers:
- A focus on safety
- Medical knowledge and expertise, including important certifications such as CPR
- A strong customer service reputation
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the services offered by different NEMT providers. Some NEMT providers are full-service companies, offering to transport patients any distance and providing help from the door of their home to the door of their doctor’s office or hospital. Other providers may offer only short distance transportation, meaning they will only work with patients traveling within a city or regional area. Still others may offer long distance transportation, taking patients anywhere they need to travel.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider pricing. NEMT providers charge different rates for their services, and those rates can vary widely. You want a NEMT provider who offers top-tier service, on-time transportation, and quality patient care at a price you can afford.
What’s the Cost?
Relying on a transportation service sounds expensive, especially if you or your loved one has frequent doctor’s appointments. However, non-emergency medical transportation and the services included doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be an affordable option for anyone.
NEMT providers typically, ACC Medlink¹ reports, calculate your cost by setting a pickup fee, a cost per mile or for the distance covered during transport, and additional fees for any extra personnel or specialized care needed during the trip. This means the cost charged by NEMT providers varies from case to case, transport to transport.
However, those costs aren’t as expensive as many people think. If you simply need to get to a doctor’s office in your hometown or a nearby hospital just a city away, short distance NEMT trips can be cheap. As T&S Medics Transportation Services² writes, these trips are the most common, and they’re designed to be budget friendly – many companies will charge just $20 per ride if you aren’t traveling far.
You can also cut costs with Medicare or Medicaid. Medicaid often covers the entire cost of NEMT for those in need of regular transportation. If your medical conditions makes transportation assistance necessary, or an alternative transportation option could put your health in danger, Medicare may cover all of the costs. Check with your Medicare plan and coverage to see if you can get some or all of the costs covered.
See if Your Insurance Will Cover NEMT
Non-emergency medical transportation is an incredibly helpful solution for individuals who are medically unable to drive or rely on regular transportation. NEMT ensures patients’ safety, gets them to important appointments and procedures on time, and offers medical assistance as it’s needed.
And NEMT doesn’t have to break the bank. It can be an affordable solution, one that doesn’t leave those in need relying on busy friends or family members. To make NEMT even more affordable, you can check with your health insurance provider to see if any of the costs are covered under your plan. You might be surprised at just how affordable non-emergency medical transportation can be.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.