Selecting a Medical Transport Service
What Criteria Should You Consider When Selecting a Medical Transport Service?
There are many different companies that are out there which provide non-emergency medical transport services. The individual circumstances that you and your loved ones are facing will help to determine the right medical transport service for your needs. To understand the right criteria is important to fully understand the services that a medical transport service provide.
- Non-emergency medical transport services do not include ambulance, EMT vehicles, or other emergency services, even if they are pre-scheduled beforehand. Instead, they include trips that individuals need for pre-scheduled operations and other procedures, routine visits to doctors, therapeutic sessions with physical and occupational therapists, medical massages and other non-invasive treatments, visits to nursing homes and other medical services, and visits to pharmacies.
- Most often the individuals who need medical transport are unable to travel on their own due to their age or medical situation and need the assistance of third party transport services to assist them. While many people will rely on their family members to provide these transportation services, it may not be in the best interest of the family or the individual, particularly if they risk reinjuring their body or exposing themselves to new injuries, often due to inclement weather conditions or problems accessing cars or other vehicles. As such, one of the most important factors to look into when selecting a medical transport unit is the type of vehicle used. Specialized vehicles can allow patients to more easily access the vehicles if they use wheelchairs or other medical devices. Often these medical transport vehicles will reduce the height of their vehicle to ground level to help to avoid having to ascend the entranceway. Further, some of these medical transports will have specially designed vehicles for specific medical issues such as built-in oxygen tanks for those suffering from severe respiratory issues. If you have a specific medical issue and non-general illness be sure to look for the vehicles used by your medical transport unit to make sure that your concerns are met.
- Another consideration that should be made when choosing a medical transport company is the medical training that the transportation staff receives. Some medical issues are so significant that you may need to have medical staff on board of the transport to help to immediately address a medical issue in transit. If this situation applies to you then be sure to check the level of care and training that the medical transport staff receives and to what degree they are allowed to treat you in transit so that you avoid an issue on your way to a hospital or doctor facility.
- The reputation and reliability of the medical transport service should also be a big part of the equation of selecting a medical transport company. You do not want to be left with a service that is unreliable and which may not be able to pick you up in a timely fashion due to a limited staff and scope. Consider the resources that the medical transport service has available, read reviews of the company and investigate their reputation in the community. Consider using the service on a trial basis and keep track of your experience with each agency so that you can more easily compare the different services. It may be a good idea to use multiple services so that you can have a backup if one service is unable to handle your requests for that day. If you are in need of long distance transport then you may want to make a list of different medical transport services that offer short distance and long distance services.
- You should also consider the size of the medical transport units and where they are willing to pick you up and how many people they transport. Many medical transport services will stop and pick up multiple passengers and these services can become long in duration to get you from your home to a doctor appointment. Consider the needs for where you have to go. This may be ok when you are traveling to a community center or other nursing facility but may not be sufficient for a doctor appointment. However, larger medical transport services may be more affordable options and run more frequently than other private services. Some medical transports are willing to travel significant distances while others only visit local areas. Others yet will only visit large hospital centers and not private doctors which can impact which doctors you will be able to utilize.
- The cost of a medical transport service will also go into the equation of which medical transport service that you select. See what each service charges, if they do charge (some services are offered by not-for-profit entities free of charge), and see which medical transport services are covered by your insurance. There can be a wide discrepancy in the cost charged for these medical transport services so be sure to complete your due diligence before you try out a new service.
Finally, consider the different amenities that a medical transport unit may have. Some have DVD players, built-in televisions, stereos with head jacks, and charging stations. This can provide a needed respite from what can be a harrowing trip. Some medical transport vehicles have built-in bathrooms which can help to avoid messy or uncomfortable situations. The presence of these amenities can greatly improve the medical transportation trips that you can take and may lead to you looking forward to your appointments rather than putting them off.
Selecting a medical transport service can be challenging and may require extensive research, depending on your individual situation. Be sure to consider the aforementioned factors and consider making a list of the different services available to your area along with how each one fits your needs. Even among an individual person, there may be a wide range of different medical transport services that can work for one medical visit but not another. Consider using a variety of services and keeping track of the various service while doing so.