After a patient receives a healthcare procedure, they are often required to come back for a follow up appointment. For many elderly or disabled patients, this creates a very difficult situation. Although these patients desire to go to their follow up appointments, they cannot drive themselves. Of course, some patients are lucky enough to have family members or friends to drive them, but many do not have anybody to provide them transportation. This creates a very difficult situation for these patients. This is exactly why transportation is crucial to follow up healthcare.
Every hospital, either small or large, should pay attention to transportation for their follow up procedures. Many hospitals choose to hire a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) service to help with the needs of their elderly and disabled patients. Though hiring an NEMT service may cost more money on the front end, it often times increases the revenue of the hospital. This occurs because if a hospital provides NEMT services for its patients, elderly and disabled patients, who could not get to the hospital otherwise, can now use the hospital for his/her healthcare needs. This gives the hospital a new revenue stream that would be completely unavailable if the hospital did not offer NEMT services.
Of course, it is possible for a hospital to just allow its patients to find their own transportation, but many hospitals are moving away from this and towards NEMT services. As the use of NEMT services increases, more elderly and disabled patients are choosing their primary hospital-based largely on the quality and cost of the hospital’s NEMT services. This competition between hospitals has created a boom in the NEMT service field. This is good not only for the NEMT service companies but also for patients. If patients were tasked with finding their own transportation to and from the hospital for non-emergency procedures, it would certainly be a headache. First of all, it is not easy for patients to find their own NEMT services. Many NEMT service companies do not offer services to solo patients. Second, even if they could secure NEMT services, they would be very expensive. When a hospital reaches an agreement with a NEMT service however, they promise to cut the cost of transportation in return for the hospital’s guaranteed to use them as their single provider. This drives down the cost that the hospital passes on to its patients.
In conclusion, transportation is vital to follow up with healthcare for both patients and hospitals. Patients who are elderly or otherwise unable to get themselves to their non-emergency medical appointments rely on NEMT services to get them there. Hospitals also benefit from NEMT services because without them, they lose business from patients. As hospitals continue to search for ways to increase their revenue, providing cheap and efficient NEMT services will only become more crucial to their normal operations.