In today’s day and age, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services are necessary for most multi-location healthcare systems. NEMT is a transportation service for medical patients who cannot make it to their follow up or regularly scheduled appointments. If a hospital does not offer any kind of NEMT service, this prohibits several elderly and physically impaired patients from ever coming to that hospital. In turn, this keeps the hospital from making money from these patients. That is why it is in the best interest of every multi-location healthcare system to purchase and provide needy patients with the proper NEMT services.
For every multi-location healthcare system, there is always the most popular option for NEMT services. Most hospitals that offer NEMT services do so via transportation brokers who find the necessary travel for the hospital. These transportation brokers use specialized software to find transport services and book individual rides for customers after verifying that they comply with the hospital’s funding rules. Often times the patient will not have to pay the fee for this transportation because it is covered by Medicaid and many other local programs. If the patient does not take advantage of these various programs, they will have to cover the cost of transportation out of pocket.
Another less frequently used but potential NEMT option for some healthcare systems is to use the services of Uber or Lyft. There are several benefits and drawbacks to these unique transportation services. For one, they are often much cheaper than traditional NEMT services. This is largely because no broker is involved with finding the ride. Because no broker is involved, the only transportation cost is the cost of the ride itself. One reason this system has not been used more commonly is because both Uber and Lyft do not have many handicap accessible vehicles on the road. Since most patients who require NEMT services are disabled or elderly, this problem is hard to overcome. However, some hospitals are looking to push forward anyways in hopes that both Uber and Lyft will provide more handicap accessible vehicles in the future.
One final solution for every hospital’s NEMT services is to simply use its own employees andcost-effective drive its patients to their appointments. This is usually the most cost effective way for a hospital to provide NEMT services. Even though the cost of implementing this system is very low, there is a reason most hospitals do not use it. Since hospitals would need to plan its employees routes for the day in advance, patients who find out about their appointment the day of or even just a few hours before would have a very hard time getting to their appointment on time. It would be very hard to keep track of every patient who needed a ride, when each appointment was, and which patient required more urgent care. For this reason, many hospitals look to an outside business for its NEMT services.
Contact Encore Service group at (734) 794-3614 to learn more about patient transportation services throughout the Midwest.