Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) has become a critical issue for many in the United States. Those who live on low incomes often cannot afford a car of their own, much less the cost of air travel.
Sadly, that’s led to an estimated 3.6 million Americans who either delay or completely skip needed medical treatment because they simply cannot travel to receive it.
NEMT has made it possible for people to get that needed treatment. Provided by private companies, the cost of NEMT is far less than that of using an air ambulance to travel to distant places.
There are, however, issues to keep in mind when choosing a NEMT service. Consider some of the following factors when making a choice.
It’s important that the person traveling with the patient has extensive education and experience. Flying Angels, for example, only employs registered nurses to travel with patients. Check to ensure that the team working with you has all the experience necessary to handle medical situations that could arise, including education in flight physiology.
The bottom line is it’s important to have a trained medical professional on-hand, even though it’s a non-emergency situation.
Some NEMT companies offer ground services or air services. Some only provide transport locally, while others provide services across the country and even for international trips. It’s important to choose the service that meets your transportation requirements.
Some companies, such as Flying Angels, coordinate every aspect of the trip. That includes ground service, air service and booking the travel arrangements. This means working with airlines, family members and medical professionals to coordinate travel plans. That’s the type of service needed if your travel involves complex arrangements.
NEMT companies have become more numerous in recent years. Some media stories have even provided quick start-up guides for those who wish to simply get a license and drive people to medical appointments. That’s all well and good because such services truly are needed in every community.
However, choosing to use a NEMT is a big decision for most families. For those whose trips include flying, it’s best to search for companies with years of experience. Also, research the team at a company to ensure they have both medical credentials and years of training in the field.
One of the primary advantages of using a NEMT is the cost-saving in comparison to using transportation such as an air ambulance. Look for services that provide upfront estimates on what transportation costs could be to various location, such as Philadelphia-based Flying Angels does with this map.
NEMT companies provide an important, valuable service. Keep these issues in mind when choosing one for medical transportation. It will provide the peace of mind need during what can be stressful and challenging time.
December 18, 2017