The Benefit of Non-Emergency Medical Transport Services to the Healthcare Industry
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.
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.