Things You Should Know About Non-emergency Medical Transportation

Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is a transportation service provided for those who need transport to and from certain medical appointments. For example, you might need this transport service if you wanted to bring your mom from her nursing home to her scheduled dialysis in a clinic. The coverage and cost of non-emergency medical transport services varies greatly among providers and the level of care needed by the patient. Before getting a non-emergency transportation service, it’s important to learn more about what it is and to be informed about the intricacies of the service.

Insurance Coverage of Non-emergency Medical Transportation

The truth is that insurance will cover this transportation at times. If it meets the criteria of being a medical necessity, insurance or Medicare will cover all or part of the cost of non-emergency medical transportation.

Will it be used for outpatient procedures, medical treatments or post-op checkups?

In that case it’s a medical necessity. It’s necessary that a physician documents the need for non-emergency medical transportation; otherwise there is a chance that they won’t touch the reimbursement. For Medicare, there is a specific form that should be filled out by the doctor. In cases where the patient has to be moved from one hospital or health care facility to another, specifically if the patient has to be transferred for long-term rehabilitation or specialized treatment, part or all of the transport cost is covered. Except for Medicare, some insurance companies will also shoulder the transport cost of visiting the doctor.

Different Types of Non-emergency Medical Transport

There are various reasons why a patient may require professional help with transportation. Some of the reasons are that:

  • A patient who has a wheelchair that can get in a standard car.
  • A patient using complex or large medical equipment like a ventilator.
  • A patient who needs to be continuously monitored while traveling.

There are different kinds of transportation vehicles and it’s important that you get the right one since the patient’s safety and health is at risk. It also matters if budget is a concern. Sometimes, patients are paying more than what they really need. To give you an idea, there are a variety of vehicles that can be used for non-emergency medical transportation. The differences among these vehicles are the medical equipment included and the qualifications of the staff.

You may need one of five main types of vehicle:

1) Wheelchair van – Perfect for wheelchair-bound patients who require an escort or aid when walking but no other medical care is needed.

2) Basic Life Support – Needed by patients who need more aid, like regular monitoring and administration of oxygen.

3) Advanced Life Support – For patients who require more intensive or serious medical assistance like EKG monitoring. They are often accompanied by an EMT, paramedic and a variety of specialized medical equipment.

4) Critical Care – For patients that should be administered by ventilator or pump. A paramedic who is trained in critical care is on board.

5) Bariatric – Furnished with a broader Bariatric cot so it can carry patients who weigh more than 300 pounds and need a wider stretcher.

If you need non-emergency medical transportation, you have options. It’s up to you to decide the best and most cost-effective option.