We talk to clients every day who are just discovering the possibilities of medical transportation for the first time. Many people find themselves needing to arrange transportation for a parent or grandparent, but aren’t aware of some of the basics about the service. They essentially don’t know where to start. How much is it? What’s it all about? Why do people need it? What are the options? Will insurance take care of it? What about Medicare or Medicaid?
The following is a list of the most common reasons why patients and families need our service. The list is by no means exhaustive. We pride ourselves on finding unique solutions and helping our clients however possible.
1. Doctor’s appointments
In our experience, trips to the doctor are the most popular destination for medical transport. Past clients have asked us if that's the sole reason why we provide transportation. Yes, many use some form of medical transport to visit a physician (especially if they are a part of a medically frail population or if they're heading for an outpatient procedure), but there are plenty of other reasons for transport as well including...
When a patient is undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney failure, they have to visit a clinic on a regular basis. Typically, hemodialysis treatment procedures take about four hours and are done three times per week. Transportation both by ambulance and by wheelchair van is very common in this population.
3. Visiting family
Visiting family for parties, religious celebrations or family functions is another popular reason for transport. Christmas Eve is actually the busiest day of the year for medical transportation. For family visits, sometimes the drivers leave and come back, sometimes they wait in the vehicle, and sometimes they even go inside to join the family. That all depends on the client's preference.
4. Long distance travel
Moving long distance or traveling to a clinic far away is another common reason. Some people can’t fly or take a train due to medical conditions. Long distance trips can range from the next state over to across the country.
5. Routine trips
Shopping, laundry, hair appointments, errands, etc. are all reasons for medical transport. Some people choose to arrange ongoing weekly transportation for routine activities, while others book on an as-needed basis.
6. Post surgery checkups
When a patient needs supervision at a hospital in the days, weeks, and months after surgery, families often turn to medical transport providers. This is especially true when the surgical recovery process involves repeated follow-up visits.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Medicare is very strict about the criteria in which it will cover medical transportation.
- Appointments can be made the same day --- but it's best to book at least 24 to 48 hours in advance.
- Pricing will vary based on level of care, distance of trip, time of year, and special requirements.