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What is Non-Emergency Medical Transport, and How Can It Benefit Patients?

As we get older, it isn’t easy to get around. Remember when it was easy to hop in the car and drive to see your doctor? For many of us, the ease of this type of travel fades away over time. Getting out of the house now may require a different approach. Modern transportation is making it easier once again. Non-emergency medical transport(NEMT) services are critical and provide significant benefits to patients daily.

Defining a Non-Emergency Medical Transport Service

What does it mean to use a non-emergency medical transport service? You may also identify one of these service providers stating they are in the NEMT business. A non-emergency medical transport service is a provider to help you get medical attention when necessary and not an emergency. It sounds simple because it is.

A non-emergency medical transport service will help pick you up from your home, another location, or even a nursing home. The provider will bring you to a medical facility, wherever you need to go. Remember that these providers are not the same as an ambulance. They are transports, but not when in an emergency. If you have an emergency, the recommendation is you still call 9-1-1 for an ambulance and professional with qualifications to assist.

Understanding How a NEMT Service Provider Works

An individual may have a doctor’s appointment for an annual physical but have no way to get to that appointment by themselves. You may have no vehicle. If you own a car, you may not be able to drive yourself. It could also be you have no family member to give you a ride. Tasks that were simple such as walking up and down a flight of stairs, may prove troublesome. The possibilities are endless, with many variables in play. It may also be that you do not feel up to driving that particular day. These are reasons you may want to hire a NEMT service provider.

The way the process works is you reach out to a provider or use software such as an app on your phone, connecting you to service offerings. Once you reach the central hub, they will locate a non-emergency medical transport to pick you up. The assignment goes to that transport available. The driver will then promptly arrive at your location. They will take the instructions given to them for the job, rely on software for efficient directions to get you to your destination.

Who Are the NEMT Brokers?

You may hear about non-emergency medical transport brokers. Who are these brokers? What role do they play? Think of NEMT brokers as the central hub helping tie together all the service providers. When you run a non-emergency medical transport business, you need clients to drive from one point to the next. However, you may not have the right software to obtain the jobs, staff to schedule them, etc. You may have vehicles and employees to execute the assignments given.

Non-emergency medical transport brokers are the central hub, controlling all the trips, assigning jobs to service providers like yourself. If a patient needs help getting to an appointment, they request and match them up with a driver to contact them where they need to be. It is also critical these brokers ensure NEMT providers have a license and that the patients receiving the service have eligibility.

Many NEMT brokers rely on software to handle all their quarterback duties. The software will help them manage the vehicles at their disposal the schedules, allow the drivers to get point-to-point quickly, track where the cars are, and more. Driving everything through a technology platform like Tobi makes life easy for a broker or NEMT provider going it alone.

The Growth of the NEMT Market

The non-emergency medical transport service market continues to expand. According to Zion Market Research, by 2026, the healthcare transportation industry will reach $31.51 billion globally. The growth results from the fact that we have a growing population of seniors in the United States and abroad.

Starting in the year 2030, Americans over 65 will make up roughly 21% of the population. It is up from where it stands today at 15%. The increase is due to the baby boomers getting older. Things will accelerate over time as well. By 2060, 25% of Americans will be 65 and older, with the number of folks 85 and older tripling.

Add up all these variables, and it is easy to see non-emergency medical transport needs are increasing. The growth of the market is imminent, and software can help you capitalize.

Medicaid Coverage for NEMT Service

The growth of NEMT services includes recognition by the healthcare system overall. As part of state Medicaid plans, individuals have coverage known as non-emergency medical transportation. It will cover the ride for an eligible individual to get to a doctor’s office, a hospital, or other medical office providers.

The cover will include NEMT wheelchair vans, which meet the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations for accessibility. With approval by your state’s Medicaid program, a professional with proper training can pick you up with this specialty equipment to transport you to your destination.

Patients Benefit from NEMT Services

Non-emergency medical transportation service providers do great things for patients. It is all about being proactive with one’s health.

Someone living in a wheelchair needs to see the doctor regularly. Routine physicals and check-ups can help identify health degradation. You may lack a car, have trouble walking. Your physical abilities may require you to be on a stretcher for travel. If that is a necessity, non-emergency medical transport services help meet the need.

Non-emergency medical transport service providers allow patients with disabilities to get medical care necessary with professional drivers carrying qualifications. As a much cheaper alternative to emergency transportation such as an ambulance, non-emergency medical transportation is a growing market helping more patients every day.