Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Randy Cherry
When you need medical assistance, you must understand the difference between calling for an ambulance and a non-emergency transport. Calling 911 will result in an ambulance arriving, while a non-emergency vehicle will provide transport in a situation that is not urgent. This type of patient transfer is planned well in advance. The need for an ambulance is almost always sudden and unexpected.
When you call 911 in an emergency, you can be picked by ambulance or even a medical flight, depending on where you are and what has happened. The main goal is saving your life or that of someone else. Emergency crews will attempt to reach you as soon as they can to reduce the risks of further injury, complications or death.
Non-emergency medical transportation typically requires advance booking because it does not have the equipment for emergency assistance or sirens to act as a warning to other drivers. In addition, an ambulance does not require any pre-approval. You call for help, and it arrives. Non-emergency medical escort companies require advanced planning and a pre-authorized payment before picking up a patient.
Ambulance Service Requirements
An ambulance is required when you or someone else needs medical attention immediately and there is a risk of death. This can be after a car accident, a fall, a stroke, a heart attack or any other situation that is a threat to life.
Non-Emergency Transportation Requirements
This type of transport is typically planned ahead of time and is not used during an emergency. Some examples include the following:
• Physical therapy, dialysis or a doctor’s appointment
• No available free rides from family members or friends at the time of need
• Limited mobility in a wheelchair or bed that requires specialized transportation
• The need to travel a long distance for medical treatment or to see a specialist for diagnosis
There are many reasons why people of all ages and medical need would require non-emergency medical transport. You do not have to be completely immobilized to use the service. You can be mostly ambulatory and still qualify for a ride.
The Cost of an Ambulance Ride
In general, an ambulance ride with basic life support costs a minimum of $600 and often much more. The cost is based on the distance the ambulance has to travel and the equipment that is required to sustain a person’s life during that time. In dire circumstances, advanced life support on an ambulance starts at $1,000 and can increase significantly from that point, again depending on what is needed and how far the ambulance must go. In many cases, insurance will cover some of the costs of riding in an ambulance.
Emergency medical services are run by the local government, which means their costs can vary considerably between locations. This is why no two systems are exactly the same. A rule to go by is the size of the city. Bigger cities tend to have more expensive ambulance rides. In places like Miami and Los Angeles, an ambulance can cost $1,000 or more even in basic life support circumstances. In other regions, ambulance rides are handled through the fire department with smaller towns using tax dollars to fund their emergency services.
The Cost of Non-Emergency Medical Transport
If you need non-emergency transport to a doctor’s appointment or a physical therapy session, you do not have to worry about paying very high fees to get there. By planning ahead and scheduling your ride, you may pay as little as $30 to get to your destination. This can sometimes be less expensive than a cab, and it is more comfortable as well. You also do not have to depend on family members who may not have the time to help you on a given day.
Medical Transport Services is always available to assist you with non-emergency needs in your location. The company provides local and long-distance trips for your convenience. All drivers are trained to be sensitive to the needs of senior citizens and in defensive driving techniques for safety. The service has the equipment and experience to serve patients from every walk of life. Call 1-800-687-0607 today to receive a free quote.