Did you know that 16 million patients take ambulatory transportation each year? Some of these are for emergencies, some are not.
Either way, that is as many people as if the population of Denver, Colorado took an ambulance ride around the city – but every person did it 8 times. That would make 16 million rides.
If you have ever considered using non-emergency medical transportation, there are a few things you should consider first. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is the Difference Between Ambulatory Transportation and Non-Emergency Medical Transportation?
For starters, you are going to use these types of transportation for different reasons.
Hopefully, you never have a reason to be in an ambulance. But if you do, then it is best to take ambulatory transportation in times of an emergency when you need to get to a medical place or hospital quickly.
NEMT is meant to be for those that cannot get around on their own whether it be because of a certain condition or age. For instance, if you are in a wheelchair, you may choose to use non-emergency medical transport to get to and from your doctor’s offices, help you to run your errands or go to the laundromat, and maybe visit a friend or two.
There are many ways to go about using these transportation services as well as things you should know about using them before you do.
1. For NEMT, Certain Conditions Must Be Met
In order to take a non-emergency medical transportation service, many transportation services in various states require that you show proof of a certain condition of needing that vehicle transport.
When using this type of transportation, the state may provide their own vehicles or work with a brokerage company to provide the vehicles.
In some cases, you can prove the condition that you have after the fact. However, that’s not always the case. Many states require that you have a reauthorization, which would be a doctor’s note stating that you need these services.
2. Insurance Coverage Can Be Tough
When taking a non-emergency medical transport vehicle, it can be difficult to get the right insurance coverage to ensure you are not out of pocket on the expenses.
Many states with Medicaid and Medicare are beginning to narrow down what types of illnesses or medical conditions are covered under these transports.
If yours is not covered, it’s always best to work with a private transport company to get the right coverage.
3. Consider Doing a RideShare
Luckily for you, transportation for non-emergency medical appointments doesn’t have to break the bank! There are options for you.
Many states and health insurance companies have started to partner with local companies like Uber, Lyft, and taxi services to offer transportation options to you at a lower cost. Sometimes, they partner with the local buses and public transportation to offer discounts as well. If you go onto the apps, sometimes it will even show the discount you have for this type of rideshare.
Some insurance companies will actually have a section on their website that tells you their discount with the RideShare. For instance, some may give you your first ride to a doctor’s visit with a RideShare completely for free! All you have to do is upload proof of the ride and you will be reimbursed.
Be sure to check with your individual insurance company to know what they are offering in terms of RideShare discounts.
If that’s not the case with the state or your insurance company, many medical offices and hospitals will partner with the rideshare transportation apps and local transportation to make sure you get the transportation you need at a reasonable price. Asking your doctor will give you the answers you need about this type of transportation! It’s always best to have a conversation if you are unsure.
4. You Can Take an Ambulance for Non-Emergency Needs
There is always the option to take an ambulance for non-emergency needs. However, this can really break the bank.
An ambulance ride can cost you about $1,000. It doesn’t matter where you are going or how far you are going – the price will remain high.
While this may be a quick and easy option to just call 9-1-1, it is not recommended for several reasons.
One is that it is expensive when you could use another option. Two, you are taking away a valuable ambulance for someone who may have a life-threatening condition and need to be sped to the hospital instead of taking a NEMT vehicle.
5. It’s More Than Just Transport to Doctor’s Offices
Non-emergency medical transportation doesn’t just mean they are taking you to your doctor’s visit or medical appointment!
A NEMT service can actually help you run the errands you need to run as well as visit friends or family.
If these are things you are curious about or want, it’s best to give the service a call to learn more!
Ambulatory Transportation Vs. NEMT
Knowing whether to call an ambulance for ambulatory transportation or non-emergency medical transport service is important for many reasons.
Knowing which to call can help save you money, time, effort, and a headache trying to work out prices and cost with insurance agencies and doctor’s offices down the line.
If you require transport services and it is not a medical emergency, it is best to call a NEMT service! We are here for you. Contact us so we can get you to where you need to go!