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Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT)

Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) and How it Works

We all need medical attention from time to time. But sometimes, transporting ourselves or loved ones for medical appointments might present some challenges. In some cases, the medical condition isn’t life-threatening, which means the patient can take their time to get therapy.

Non-emergency medical transport is a type of medical transport service suitable for patients who aren’t in immediate need of medical attention but still need professional help getting to a doctor.


Some medical conditions require professional medical transport service, especially if the journey is a long one. That’s the aim of specialized medical transportation facilities, geared with a wide range of equipment and professionals onboard to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

The Nature and Benefits of NEMT

Non-emergency medical transport services occur via ground or air, depending on availability and the amount the patient or their friends and family are willing to pay. When there is no need for immediate medical attention, the journey can take several hours. However, there are short medical journeys that require professional care by both drivers and medical personnel. The drivers of medical transport vehicles train in defensive driving.

These vehicles and air ambulances typically have large room space and several beds, and luxury seats for both patients and loved ones. The beds usually have safety systems for patients who need help staying in bed. There are also facilities for wheelchair patients or those on stretchers or other special equipment.

Predictably, medical transport services will always cost more than boarding a public bus or commercial plane. However, the gains of being transported safely and conveniently, especially through long distances, can’t be overemphasized.

Understandably, some people may not be able to afford to pay for this service out-of-pocket. Many use their medical insurance to pay for medical transport.

Studies show a strong correlation between less effective healthcare and distances to healthcare providers. What this means is, communities near medical facilities ultimately enjoy better health outcomes. Those farther from healthcare providers often struggle with transportation costs and even inadequate or unreliable transportation services. The bottom line is communities with better medical transport infrastructure benefit from overall improved health status and may even pay less.

Non-emergency medical transport services have been around for a long time and are critical to a community’s wellbeing. It is even more critical in this era of covid-19, where boarding public buses or planes have become increasingly difficult. And with Medicaid coverage, the burden of cost drops significantly, despite proving many benefits.