Understanding the Issues and Safely While Minimizing Long Distance Medical Transport Cost
Whatever their health issues, patients rightly seek the best medical care available. This attitude is generally a positive thing, since engaged, involved patients experience better outcomes, but it can occasionally produce some confusion.
In some cases, it can be difficult for patients to pick the best options for healthcare related services. A service or procedure coming with a higher price tag can wrongly seem like the clear choice. For example, with the idea being that to spare no expense is to take the best possible care of one’s health.
That this is often not the case can easily be seen in the context of long-distance or state to state patient transfer. Not understanding the true issues, some patients choose transportation costing them far more than other options, but delivers service that is, at best, of equal value.
The reality is that informed patients can make choices that keep Long Distance Medical Transport Cost to a minimum while enjoying a service that is every bit as safe, reliable, and convenient as more expensive alternatives.
Air Ambulance Transport
When hearing they will need to be transferred to a medical facility some distance away, patients immediately think of air ambulances as the only real option. Dedicated to safely moving infirm patients by either helicopter or plane, these services are understandably expensive, with costs of tens of thousands of dollars being common.
In many cases, the medical transport cost of an air ambulance can be kept down, however. Most transports are capable of carrying multiple patients, and those waiting until additional passengers can be found will typically receive discounts. Air ambulance providers also adjust rates depending on demand, so patients with medical conditions allowing them to wait can also save money in this way. In any case, though, this method of transport generally incurs the highest patient transport cost.
Commercial Medical Escort
Another option is making use of specialized medical escort services that put patients on regular commercial flights. Because tickets for these flights are much less expensive than operating a dedicated air ambulance, this option tends to be much more affordable.
The usual caveats regarding commercial air travel apply, though. Tickets must be purchased well ahead of time in order to receive the best available rates, and commercial flight can be strenuous enough that only relatively healthy patients will be capable of making use of this option.
Long-Distance Conventional Ambulance Service
A final option, and one sometimes overlooked, is the use of a conventional, over-the-road ambulance for transport, even for relatively long distances. Despite not being the first thing that comes to mind for many with such needs, this service can easily be the best option.
As might be expected, the Long Distance Medical Transport Cost for this style of service is typically the lowest of all. Although they can be appointed with any type of medical equipment that might be needed, these kinds of ambulances are much less expensive to buy and operate than aircraft, resulting in far lower bills to patients.
As with air ambulance transport, patients can also save by scheduling their trips for times when demand is limited or by sharing a trip with others. Transport by long distance ambulance is also more comfortable and less stressful than traveling by commercial flights, making it a much better option for many patients. It often compares favorably in terms of speed, too, since no time is wasted dealing with commercial airports.
Weighing the Options and Making the Best Choice
Each of these options includes certain advantages and potential downsides. In certain cases, only the unmatchable speed afforded by direct air ambulance transport will suffice for a particular patient, and costs will be a secondary consideration.
In many others, however, patients will have the chance to choose, and should not simply assume the most expensive option will be the best. For many patients, in fact, transport by a less expensive alternative can easily make the most sense, both in terms of meeting medical needs and financial impacts.