Last Updated on July 1, 2021 by Randy Cherry
What Exactly is Long Distance NEMT?
The long distance NEMT or non-emergency medical transportation is designed to help patients reach their desired medical center without having to wait long. Until now, there was instant transportation or ambulance services available for patients with emergency needs, but the non-emergency care has often been overlooked.
However, this long distance NEMT service helps families in their stressful time and transporting them to any of their preferred medical centers irrespective of the distance. In addition to transportation, there will also be medical staff to take care of patients while they are riding to the medical clinic. This will help them to stay comfortable.
Let’s face it, for many of you looking for long distance medical transportation it’s the first time dealing with this form of transportation. You probably didn’t know it existed until someone recommended that you look at long distance medical transportation to move your family member or relative. It is usually a difficult and stressful time for families. This article should help you get the process started. Do your research. Pay particular attention to the services provided. All transports companies are NOT created equal.
Reputation & Credentials
The industry for non-emergency medical transportation is still fledgling, particularly in regards to long distance transports. There are many companies just coming into and washing out of this industry. So it helps to know whether or not a company is both reputable and can verify its credibility. Any respectable company will be transparent with its customer reviews and their credentials on their main website as well as social media.
When looking into a company for a long distance non-emergency medical transport, it is crucial to know what kind of vehicles the company uses and layout of said vehicles. Are the vehicles well maintained? Is the layout of the inside of the vehicle conducive to the safety and comfort of the patient? What extra amenities, if any, are they offering for the patient in their vehicles? Is the vehicle a small van, large van, ambulance style vehicle, motor coach?
It is very important to know what kind of people are handling both driving and patient care when evaluating a company for a long distance non-emergency medical transport. This includes the company policies for standards of practice and safety for roadway travel. Just as well, it is very important to consider what kind of medical personnel the company employs for patient care. For example, the difference between an EMT and Paramedic is the difference between 120-150 hours (EMT) of training and 1,200-1,800 hours (Paramedic)of training respectively. Another major difference between the two is their scope of practice: an EMT, which is the first and most basic level of Emergency Medical Training, with the exception of life-saving medicine stored in auto-injectors (EpiPens), is not allowed to provide treatments that require breaking the skin. The EMT is trained to control hemorrhages, bandages, splint injuries, take vital signs, administer oxygen and perform basic life support care. A paramedic is trained and certified to handle such things as starting IV lines, administering medications, and providing advanced airway management for patients. Paramedics have studied Anatomy & Physiology, Pharmacology, and other courses. They are certified to provide Advanced Life Support as well as basic life support. There are some fundamental differences between an RN and an LPN or CNA. A CNA is a Certified Nurse Assistant. CNA’s help patients with basic needs under the supervision of a RN or LPN. They are trained to assist patients with daily needs such as bathing, toileting and such. An LPN is generally under the supervision of an RN. Though trained in administering medications, an LPN’s duties generally do not include IV medications or caring for IV catheters and intraurethral catheters. Who would you rather have taking care of your family member for a 4-48 hour transport?
In this industry, only the best companies employ a team of professionals that have the experience to accommodate situations of all kinds. From ground transportation, to commercial medical escorts, and private air ambulances; any company worth considering will have all the angles of transport options covered and be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each transport method. Some companies will provide a high level of service from the first contact all the way through to the follow-up after the transport while others will provide very little service at all.
Fees & Pricing
Let’s be real; you’re safety and happiness are important factors in this decision, but so is the cost. The last thing anyone wants is surprise fees for a long distance medical transport, as these can add up quick and come seemingly out of nowhere. Always check with a company about any credit card fees, Oxygen fees, Paramedic fees, and any other misc fees or costs of service so that you know exactly how much they will actually charge in the end. Does the transport provider require to pay for all or part of the trip up front or do you pay fro the trip upon transport arrival? What is the cancellation policy? If you pay for the trip up front and have to cancel or change the date is he provider going to provide a refund?
Credit to Stanley Robles and Clara Brooks