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Many people struggle to find a suitable non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service that will allow them travel interstate for medical visits. It is tempting to go on a road trip with a loved one on the wheels when you have a medical appointment in another state.  

However, issues may arise that neither of you can handle properly. Therefore, investing in a state-to-state medical transportation service appears to be the ideal option when making interstate medical trips. Here are four important reasons why you should patronize this service: 

1. Peace of Mind 

Nothing beats the joy of knowing you or your loved ones are safe, especially when traveling with state-to-state medical transportation services. NEMT firms provide training for their employees on managing medical emergencies. They also install GPS trackers on the vehicles to keep tabs on the progress of the medical trips.  

Hence, loved ones can be sure that the clients have reached their destination in time and without issues. Consequently, they will have peace of mind, which boosts the family’s well-being. 

2. Better Health Outcomes 

Patronizing a state-to-state medical transportation service helps clients avoid no-shows for their medical appointments. During medical trips, drivers are tasked with monitoring the client’s medical status on a round-the-clock basis.  

In addition, the vehicle is equipped with vital medical devices to prevent complications that may develop due to a medical condition. Similarly, research shows that diabetic patients in need of wound care can attend a monthly average of 5.5 treatment sessions when NEMT service is patronized as opposed to a monthly average of 1.3 treatments when NEMT service is unavailable.  

Also, patients can now visit hospitals far away from home for various medical procedures due to state-to-state medical transportation services. This translates to improved health outcomes. 

3. High-quality Care  

Top NEMT firms offering interstate medical transportation services ensure their employees have industry-level training on patient care while in transit to medical facilities. The drivers are skilled at mental health transport and managing traumatic brain injuries. They also have a broad knowledge of hospitals and clinics in different states. 

In addition, they are trained to monitor the medical condition and provide basic medical assistance when necessary. NEMT vehicles are equipped with installations that allow for the safe transport of non-ambulatory patients, especially those using wheelchairs. All in all, top NEMT firms are dedicated to the highest level of care and prioritize safety and comfort. 

4. Increased Comfort  

NEMT services make state-to-state medical transportation more bearable and less stressful for clients. Employees usually assist clients from the residence into the NEMT vehicles. They also ensure that clients get into the medical facility safely. 

Furthermore, clients can book rides from the comfort of their homes. They can also customize NEMT services to meet their needs. However, interstate medical trips are boring and uncomfortable due to the long hours on the road. NEMT ensures that clients find the vehicle convenient and relaxing. 

Conclusion 

Taking advantage of the services of a state-to-state medical transportation service is beneficial for those who want optimized medical care and supervision while in transit across various state lines. NEMT services not only guarantee peace of mind but also ensure that they receive excellent care, have better health outcomes, and are more comfortable without having to break the bank. 

Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries are lucky to have several medical procedures and services covered by these healthcare schemes. Unfortunately, they still have several obstacles that hinder their access to medical care.  

A significant example of these hindrances is the lack of transportation. According to a national survey in the United States, an estimated 3.6 million people delay or do not show up for their medical appointment due to inadequate transport options. 

NEMT or Non-emergency Medical Transportation helps make transportation accessible to people who have no other means of getting to their medical appointments, especially those who are disabled or elderly. Besides, some have chronic diseases like cancer, obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and kidney diseases.  

In addition, clients with these medical conditions need to visit their healthcare providers for regular checkups and treatment. Unfortunately, limited transportation options can deny these people access to life-saving care and medical management. Similarly, lack of non-emergency medical transportation options seems to have a ripple effect on health status and the cost of care. 

Missing medical appointments aggravates the effect of poor health conditions and leads to an increased need for pricey emergency transportation and excessive ER visits. Furthermore, the influence of NEMT in eliminating the need for medical emergency services demonstrates the cost-effective nature and importance of this service. 

People who have medical conditions affecting their mental health will also find non-emergency medical transportation valuable. A recent study reports that most NEMT clients used the service to access psychological treatments. Similarly, 40% of NEMT Clients in New Jersey and 30% of NEMT clients in Nevada attended medical appointments for substance abuse treatment when they used the service. 

The major stakeholders in the healthcare industry – the patients and the providers – are beginning to understand that improving the overall health and wellbeing of a particular population goes beyond clinical care.  

A 2015 study shows that clinical care contributes only about 10 to 20% to healthcare outcomes, while the remaining influential factors involve socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and physical environment. 

As mentioned earlier, lack of transportation has a detrimental effect on a population’s health status and increases the cost of hospitalization. In light of this, the American Hospital Association conducted a study to evaluate the factors contributing to inadequate transportation. These factors include: 

1. Availability of Vehicles: 

A recent study shows that people with access to private transportation are less likely to miss a medical appointment than those who depend on public transportation. Besides, private NEMT organizations are committed to delivering excellent services. Therefore, they ensure that clients have a vehicle available whenever a medical visit is around the corner. 

2. Affordability: 

The prohibitive cost of some NEMT services may discourage people low -income earners from using the service. Fortunately, Medicaid covers non-emergency medical transportation to some extent.  

3. Infrastructural set up in a community: 

Communities with improved transit systems are more likely to experience better healthcare outcomes. Furthermore, a good transportation network and facilities enhance health equity among people living in a community. 

4. Location and distance from healthcare facilities: 

Although top NEMT firms offer long-distance medical transportation, others are ill-equipped to handle long-distance trips. However, a previous study reported a direct relationship between poorer health outcomes and the distance of the medical facility to a patient’s residence. 

The aforementioned factors determine the groundwork for ensuring that the demand for NEMT tallies with the availability of transportation means. Also, policymakers need to ensure that the NEMT demand-supply issue improves in small communities before reaching out to big cities. 

Conclusion 

The role of non-emergency medical transportation in improving healthcare outcomes has been underestimated for so long. However, public health experts have recently assessed the benefits of this service to communities, and its necessity has been proven beyond doubt. Therefore, governments are encouraged to make NEMT more accessible to the masses by providing subsidies and supporting private NEMT firms. 

The healthcare industry learned a few lessons from its encounter with COVID-19. The major lesson being the healthcare industry needs to adapt to challenges that may arise with emergence of novel viruses.  

Asides from pandemics, factors such as chronic diseases impose a huge burden on the healthcare system. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 60% of American adults have chronic disorders. This costs the national economy about $3.8 trillion.  

In light of these issues, non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) can serve as a critical aid in preventing these diseases. Besides, governments can build more healthy societies by solving the problem of transportation to and from medical appointments.

How does the Healthcare Industry Profit from NEMT? 

NEMT services are thought of as being only beneficial to patients. However, the healthcare system also profits from NEMT. More than 3 million Americans miss or delay medical visits annually due to unavailable transport options.  

Similarly, previous research shows that being absent from medical checkups results in avoidable costs and frequent hospital admissions. An annual loss of $150 billion is recorded in the healthcare sector due to missed appointments.  

Physicians, on average, lose about $200 every time a patient fails to attend medical checkups. Notwithstanding, investments in medical transport services can lower these cost burdens significantly. 

It might be hard to isolate the effect of transportation on healthcare outcomes. A recent study from Florida State University indicates that the Florida State government will profit about $11.08 for every dollar put into the medical transport program if one percent of the sponsored medical trips prevented visits to an emergency room.   

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research found that about $3 billion was spent on ambulances for people needing dialysis in the United States. 

It was suggested that increased use of NEMT services reduce the ambulance cost by one-third of the previous value. Another study investigating the importance of medical transport services in rural areas revealed that missed appointments cost between $4.16 and $6.65 for every dollar invested in transport. 

Private medical practices also suffer from the effect of revenue loss in the healthcare system. They often have between 20 and 30 employees on their payroll and may not enjoy the perks reserved for large corporations.  

However, it might appear that these private clinics do not always have issues with missed appointments. Unfortunately, forgone medical trips become a huge problem when they accumulate.  

This implies that private practices may need to reject appointment requests from clients who miss visits since they pose a financial risk. Although NEMT has proven to be an efficient way of reducing missed medical appointments, there is a long journey towards ensuring that people turn up for routine medical checkups when due. 

Conclusion 

It is hard to dispute the advantages of NEMT services for patients. The benefit of NEMT service to the healthcare industry makes it necessary for government leaders and the general public to support the financing and laud the use of medical transport programs for a healthier society.  

The cost-saving impact of medical transport services not only enhances the healthcare industry but also boosts the national economy. 

Every patient planning to embark on a long-distance medical transportation faces several challenges in finding a service provider who will meet their needs.  

Fortunately, you can avoid the potential downside of spending above your budget while prioritizing your safety and comfort by making a few key considerations.  

Below are the top 4 considerations you should make when selecting a long-distance medical transportation company: 

1. Prioritize Safety and Privacy: 

Before choosing a medical transport company, you should ask questions concerning their safety practices and protocols.  

Reputable long-distance medical transportation companies always prioritize safety above all else. They ensure drivers undergo a background check and CPR training.  

One is expected to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record before being employed as a driver at any top medical transport firm. Medical assistance must also be on standby during a long-distance medical trip, especially when the client is elderly.  Aside from ensuring drivers have CPR certifications, medical transport companies train their employees on first-aid measures, thus enhancing their readiness for emergencies.  

Safety and privacy often go hand in hand. Hence, drivers and medical assistants are instructed on adherence to the privacy standards established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

2. Look out for hidden fees 

If you are not prepared, the cost of medical transport services could break the bank- especially if you do not have insurance coverage. In addition, the price of these services varies from one company to the other. Therefore, it is in your best interest to request price lists from various service providers.  

After obtaining the price quotes, you can compare them and factor in the cost of long-medical transportation when drawing up your budget. Getting a price list may also reveal the fact that there may be some charges not explicitly stated.  

Therefore, you should direct more questions to the service provider in the hope of finding if the trip duration and the type of medical transport affect the overall cost. 

3. Ask if they are well-equipped to manage emergencies 

The best medical transportation firms can respond in emergency and non-emergency scenarios. They have a team of professionals that provides top-level care under difficult situations.  

Equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, long-distance ambulances are convenient and comfortable for clients. 

It is difficult to predict if an accident will happen or not. In addition, doubts may arise when traveling with a long-distance ambulance that has sparse safety equipment and lacks the presence of emergency-ready employees.  

Therefore, patients are advised not to use the service providers’ reviews as the only yardstick to judge if they can handle emergencies. 

A good firm that offers long-distance medical transportation services ensures its staff is well-trained in first-aid and basic emergency procedures. They also understand that the clients’ needs come first. Hence, they implement measures for their patient’s comfort, convenience, and safety, even when an emergency arises. 

4. Make sure a trained medical escort will be onboard 

It is a known fact that not every patient needs round-the-clock monitoring when traveling in a long-distance ambulance. However, some patients require extra medical care during their journey.  

For instance, a patient with a life-threatening medical condition like congestive heart failure or cystic fibrosis would need an escort to handle his/her medical needs.   

The best long-distance medical transportation companies guarantee a worry-free medical trip by ensuring they have well-trained staff and medical escorts onboard every trip.

Conclusion 

Like every business, the desires and needs of the patients should determine what a medical transport company should offer. Safety and privacy is the most common desire of every client patronizing service providers specializing in long-distance medical transportation.  

Clients also need to look out for hidden charges, ask about having a medical escort on the trip and how the company plans to manage emergencies. 

In cases where you or a loved one suffers from a non-emergency medical situation and needs quick and reliable transportation to the nearest hospital, the best, cost-effective solution that beats an ambulance ride is using non-emergency medical transport or NEMT. It offers speed and safety moving from one place to another without the costly fees attached to emergency services.

What is Non-emergency Medical Transport?

NEMTs are transportation services offered to patients and healthcare consumers who face extraordinary barriers getting to their medical appointments. Some of the modes of transportation used with NEMTs include ambulances, cars, vans, airplanes, etc.

What are the Benefits of NEMTs?

There are many benefits of using NEMTs to get patients across to a location where they receive medical treatment. Here are some of the most important ones:

It’s Less Expensive than an Ambulance

If you push back medical appointments or miss them entirely because of transportation issues, you’re not alone. According to research, each year, 3.6 million people in the United States do not obtain medical care because of transportation issues. Most times, these people can’t afford them or do not have the means of transportation in their localities.

A good example is being in a wheelchair and trying to get to the hospital in a passenger vehicle. In such a situation, non-emergency medical transport is the way to go. It’s true that prices of NEMTs vary across the country and depend on the type of vehicle. But in most cases, they’re ten times less expensive than ambulance rides.

NEMTs Offer the Same Quality of Transportation

Just because NEMTs offer a cheaper way to transport a patient doesn’t mean that you get less quality or mediocre services. You’ll find that many NEMT service providers have trained personnel of experienced nurses and drivers. Further, these workers come equipped with the latest certifications and are regularly trained to maintain their credentials.

In the case of NEMT air transport, you’ll get escorts that can also provide stretchers, wheelchairs, and other important health-related equipment. Also, NEMT rides are designed according to the client’s requirements, even when medical professionals are required to be in the vehicle.

Patients Have More Independence

Many patients (seniors and older adults inclusive) would love a sense of independence even when disabled in some areas. They don’t want to constantly rely on friends and family to take them to their medical appointments. That’s another reason why NEMTs are better. Their services are designed to efficiently convey you from one location to another with less stress and expenses. You’ll still have some measure of control over how you’re moved and handled.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking to go for a medical trip soon or at a later date, consider hiring a professional non-emergency medical transport service provider. Ensure the service you choose provides a comfortable and affordable way to help you make your next medical appointment without a fuss. NEMT is the first port of call for quality and reasonably priced medical transportation.

Whether a patient is in an emergency or not, such a patient should be cared for and shown a duty of care by those charged to be around them. That includes care during and after medical transportation, irrespective of the patient’s health condition. Transportation providers must take responsibility by following the precautions necessary to take care of every patient being transported across all types of vehicles, including long-distance ambulances.

The trip to long-distance locations will tell on a patient, so the vehicle’s condition and other considerations must be in top shape. Here are some tips to watch out for.

On-board Medical Assistance and Staff

When you want to transport your loved one, ensure there’s medical assistance on board. The ambulance in question must be equipped with all the necessary medical aid, including paramedical staff, basic life support, and emergency medical support. It’s important to make inquiries about how the operation runs because the support system for an emergency service must be in place.

In addition, a certain number of staff should be on board. It makes all the difference when there’s basic medical support from several paramedics to help manage complexities caused by a long time on wheels and other factors. Before hiring any ambulance for long distances, make inquiries about the medical staff on-board.

Watch out for Valid and Verified Transportation

When moving a patient, their health is the first consideration and priority. That’s why it’s advisable to hire transport services that are valid and qualified. Take note of the conditions of the vehicle being offered, the in-cabin status, on-board paramedics, and drivers’ license and experience. This helps imbibe trust in the process and assurance of the services provided. Going through their website and other information about the company, staff, and services also helps.

Experience in Long-Distance Medical Transportation

Is the long-distance ambulance service provider experienced and qualified to offer longer-distance ambulance services? A long-distance medical transportation plan involves putting the patient’s body in a static position to avoid any physical movement due to the distance. Also, it has to be convenient. That’s why the service provider you choose should be experienced and reliable. Patients should be provided an easy way to travel long distances without feeling burdened and less comfortable.

Emergency-ready Team

The company you choose for a long-distance trip for your loved one must be emergency-ready. Prevention is vital to good health, so all the necessary steps to ensure safe and seamless transportation must be in place. Part of that is the medical equipment, which should be in perfect working condition. The medical staff should be well trained in handling emergencies, especially those common with the health status of the patient being transported.

With medical transportation, anything can happen. That’s why the transporter you choose should be equipped to handle emergencies smoothly.

Bottom Line

Are you looking for a safe and comfortable long-distance ambulance for a patient or a loved one? Consider all these safety tips before making your decision. Service providers owe it to patients and their families to every part of the journey goes on seamlessly.

Elderly patients are burdened with several physical and mental challenges. They often have poor eyesight, reduced mobility, and diminished hearing, making driving difficult. Losing the ability to drive may be detrimental to their sense of independence.

However, their inability to drive may trigger feelings of depression and loneliness. Fortunately, all hope is not lost since the elderly can still meet up with their friends and attend medical appointments and social gatherings.

Caregivers and family members need not even make any efforts to drive them to their outings. There are other options elderly persons can access by themselves. The rise of new technologies has made elder transportation more accessible, safer, and less expensive.

Below is a list of transport options available to the elderly:

Personal Elders Transport

Frustration usually kicks in when an older adult cannot drive around town. Relying on others for their transportation may slowly take away their sense of independence. Ridesharing apps are valuable in this situation. With a few taps on phone buttons, a car ride will show up at their curb to take you on a trip. This is a safe and easy option as your elderly loved ones don’t have to wait long at bus stops.

However, Ridesharing apps may not be conducive for use in some situations. The passenger may have certain medical difficulties that require an extra level of care. Or probably, the vehicle is unable to accommodate a wheelchair. However, big ride-sharing companies provide a service that allows riders to link up with vehicles that accommodate a wheelchair.

Public Transportation for Elderly Adults

Public transportation provides a more affordable means of conveying the elderly to the hospital. Unfortunately, the service provided in this case may not be as comfortable or cozy as other options.

Long Distance Elders Transport

As an elderly patient, you are often restricted to travel in a small area. However, non-emergency medical transport makes it possible for a senior adult to embark on a long-distance trip. However, you have to make a few preparations before the long-distance trip. 

Let’s assume an older person who uses a wheelchair is about to travel by air; contacting the airline days or weeks before the trip is the best way to go about the preparation. The airline will provide you with the necessary assistance, and you can choose a seat close to the aisle or bathroom during the trip.

Short-Distance Elders Transport for Medical Appointment

It may be difficult for a family member or caregiver to transport an older adult to the hospital, especially when they have several other engagements. Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) can help transport the elderly to the hospital and back to the residence.

NEMT providers are equipped to handle patients who have more serious medical conditions that require an extra level of care. Even though emergency transportation is guaranteed under Medicare coverage, Medicare still encompasses some form of short-distance elder transport.

Conclusion

Older adults no longer need to worry about constantly inconveniencing their loved ones to help them get around. Fortunately, today, several elder transport options are available to older adults, ensuring that they can retain their independence and sense of wellbeing.

There are quite many medical transport services patients, their families, and other users can count on, such as emergency ambulatory transportation and other medical transportation services. Knowing the correct type of transportation for your needs will help you save your money and arrive safely at your destination and on time.

This article presents some of the common medical transportation available.

Ambulatory Transportation

In the case of emergencies, one of your best bets to get to the hospital on time is ambulance transportation. For example, if you have an accident and can’t go to the hospital yourself or you have a severe lack of mobility, an ambulance can help take you to a hospital for medical attention.

Ambulances rank as one of the most expensive forms of transportation, so many patients are advised to use one during genuine emergencies. Other costs associated with ambulances also mean you’ll have to pay more, especially where it involves life and death situations.

Non-emergency Medical Transportation

Non-emergency medical transportation or NEMT is a transportation service offered to patients who need more care and support at a reasonable cost than emergency ambulance transportation.

In line with that, the service caters to patients in wheelchairs, bed-ridden, bariatric patients, patients with special health or safety concerns, etc. Like ambulatory transports, NEMT’s operate at different service levels and use several drivers depending on a patient’s needs and unique circumstances.

Wheelchair Transportation

Some patients are restricted to a wheelchair or have difficulties walking independently. As a result, they require the extra assistance that a wheelchair affords. Also, patients may be moved from their wheelchair into a vehicle seat, or they may opt to remain comfortable in their seated position. Either way, a vehicle for such purposes must have the appropriate gears, restraints, and hooks that secure the chair in the vehicle. That way, it’s always stable at all times.

Stretchers

Stretches form part of medical transport services and are typically reserved for bed-ridden patients that cannot move into a sitting position. There are many instances where a patient would have to be confined to a stretcher for transportation, including accidents and complicated procedures. In some cases, NEMT’s can take on stretcher patients, but stretchers help get patients out of their residence and into their appointment.

Long Distance NEMT

Some procedures and forms of medical attention can wait. That’s where Long-distance NEMT comes in and may vary based on the company you book a ride with. This type of transportation is often recommended for patients that need to travel more than 50 miles from their starting position.

It’s the perfect medical transport service to engage when you have to go on a trip to a neighboring city or even across states.

Wrapping Up

The health and safety of you or your loved one are not to be toyed with, and the ideal medical transport helps you get the best care. Watch out for service providers that offer a list of comprehensive transport services that cater to your needs right from starting position, health condition, and to your destination.

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