There are many reasons why a doctor’s office might choose to use non-emergency medical transportation services. The main reason is that the provider will offer transport for a smaller group of patients who need to be transported to a hospital emergency room. However, there are several other reasons that might also be employed.
Sometimes a patient doesn’t really need emergency care. Patients need regular checkups, vaccinations, and follow-up care. For this, most physicians and hospitals have their own emergency staff. However, most doctors and clinics are smaller with limited space.
Some of the smaller, private ambulance providers have more options than those who don’t. These options might include in-house storage for pharmaceuticals, wheelchairs, and walkers. The transport providers may even provide a facility for changing dressings or anesthesia. A more minimal care environment means less work for the physician or staff in some cases.
When choosing a provider for non-emergency medical transportation, a potential patient needs to do their homework. Talk to the provider for a day or two. Ask questions about their facilities and prices. Request the same information from several different providers. Compare and contrast pricing.
Determine if the facility offers services for pre-arranged times. Many patients prefer to travel at specific times to avoid crowds. Some don’t like to change transportation plans as often as they should.
Make sure the transport provider has a good return policy. This may be a deciding factor when a patient has questions or concerns about medical transport or its quality. If something happens to the transport vehicle or staff, the service may be terminated. In addition, you don’t want to deal with a service that doesn’t have an emergency response team.
The next step in choosing a non-emergency medical transportation service is to determine what the facility is responsible for. What is the responsibility for if an ambulance is not fully functioning? Can the patient be transferred to the hospital on their own?
Are the facilities equipped to meet the needs of each patient? Consider the elderly or disabled patients who may need wheelchair lifts. If it is not affordable, ask the provider about any adaptations they may make.
Do the facilities have care facilities? The hospital needs to make sure the transport is comfortable and safe. It is a liability to have a car that doesn’t function as well as it could. Therefore, these facilities are important.
What is transport needs? Will transportation include the operation of a wheelchair or walker? The home care provider should be able to determine the proper support and design for the patient. For this reason, it is important to know the capability of the vehicle.
If a patient wants to call a professional medical transport service for their trip, they should do their homework to ensure the best rates and coverage. Instead of driving themselves, many of the medical transport providers charge hourly fees for transporting patients. Whether a family doctor is calling or a personal shopper, they need to find the right medical transport company for their individual situation.
Finding a non-emergency medical transportation service is an important decision. Even though the option may be costly, it is one that every family needs to consider.