Medical Transportation Options Compared

Emergency public transport can be expensive and inefficient. Learn what you need to know about non-emergency medical transport and start saving today!

Using an ambulance for medical transport is expensive and unnecessary.  For those who need a trip to the dentist, hospital or another health practitioner, a non-emergency medical transport provides an affordable and effective option. If you are a senior who no longer drives, relying on family members exclusively to take you to your appointments can often be unreliable or frustrating. Thanks to Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), you no longer have to worry about this. NEMT transportation is also good for those who do not have friends or family who can take you to the hospital and back in the event you must have surgery. The NEMT can pick you up, and then after you are discharged from the hospital, they can deliver you back to your home.

What is Non-Emergency Medical Transportation?

NEMT can be described as a transportation service offered to people who are not in an emergency situation but who need specialized support. The transportation providers may be specially trained to carry passengers in wheelchairs, stretchers or other who have other special requirements.

NEMT services are most commonly offered by transportation providers through advanced software. It locates available transport vehicles and plans the required trip. This form of care is often provided for by Medicaid or Medicare, but not everybody has access to it. In other instances, NEMT is funded by state and municipal programs, aging departments and healthcare systems.

Understanding How it Works

Qualified NEMT brokers manage non-emergency patient transport services. Their role is to qualify passengers, plan and book journeys, and sort the transport demands with an adequate vehicle to suit the needs of the passenger. NEMT brokers also maintain up-to-date licenses, insurance and preparation for their transportation companies. You need to follow some steps to get set up for NEMT services:

  1. Begin the process: You make a phone call to the NEMT call center in order to provide the broker with the details needed for the pickup service.
  2. Ride selection: The broker uses their proprietary scheduling tools to pair drivers and vehicles with requested rides that can meet any need for transport.
  3. Validation: The broker then works to check NEMT credentials and payment plans for the client.
  4. Pickup: The client meets at the agreed time and location for pickup.

Trust in Your NEMT Broker

In order to cover all kinds of non-emergency requirements, NEMT brokers use advanced tools to classify the transport needs specialized vehicles. Most non-emergency medical equipment like wheelchairs, gurneys and mobility scooters can access these types of vehicles. The software also takes into consideration the travel costs paid by the company to the broker for that particular trip, the area of operation in which the driver functions, and the availability of drivers and cars at the time of the requested trip.

Benefits of NEMT:

Here are some of the benefits of renting a non-emergency transportation:

  • Skilled personnel: With a professional team of nurses and drivers is always available. For stable transport, they have all the necessary certifications and skills. In addition to this, in order to keep up-to-date with the new laws and regulations, workers have to undergo training classes on a daily basis.

  • Convenience: A professional coordinator assigns a vehicle based on the distance of the destination. The goal is to reach the destination with no patient discomfort or tension.

  • Privacy: Every patient is treated with privacy. They are entitled to anonymity. If the patient is not satisfied with the service, he or she can file a complaint with the company.

  • Ease of Transaction: To make it easier for the patient to pay the fee, most new services keep machines in the car itself. To save time, most providers already have sites which provide online payment.

  • More independence: The main issue faced by the elderly and is relying on others to satisfy their transport needs. To bring them to and from doctor events, food shopping or daily checkups, they need someone to drive them around. NEMT can take care of this.

Types of NEMT

There are several types of NEMT to choose from depending on your needs:

  1. Ambulatory transport: The most popular method of non-emergency medical transportation is ambulatory care transportation. It is for people who do not require travel support and who are able to walk.

  2. Stretcher support: In addition, medical stretcher support is possible, especially for patients suffering from back problems or who are unable to sit upright. Scheduling this operation means there is no need for medical assistance in transit or at the time of arrival.

  3. Wheelchair support: Wheelchair transport facilities provide support for people who are permanently disabled or who are unable to walk alone. The vans and wheelchair lifts are powered by CPR-trained drivers. Wheelchairs are eligible for hire and people with disabilities are given special care.

  4. Flight service: For people who are safe enough to fly by plane but need special supervision since they do not sit straight, medical flight escort services are also available. Using this escort service ensures that there is no need for a private medical helicopter or plane. 

Cost of NEMT Services

The cost you will pay for NEMT services depends on where you are in the country, which service you use and if any specialized care is required in order to transport you or a loved one. On average you can expect to pay between $25-30 if you need an ambulance-style vehicle. Vehicles that can accommodate a stretcher or a wheelchair cost more at around $50-$200 dollars. Many NEMT services also charge by the mile at around $3-$5 dollars per mile, and they charge per 30 minutes the driver has to wait on you for pickup. If you know you are going to need a roundtrip drop off and pick up (even if the pick up is on a different day) make sure to call the NEMT servicing your area to get an estimate.