Transportation provided to shuttle seniors between facilities, residential group homes, private residences, hospitals and medical appointments is extremely common. All transportation providers are Licensed Livery; meaning transportation can be provided for virtually any reason.
Medicare DOES NOT pay for transportation other than emergency ambulance service. This is the most common misconception today concerning Medicare benefits. Non-emergent transportation can be used for a trip to the Emergency Room via a wheelchair or stretcher if a paramedic is not required. Paying “out of pocket” may be your only option if your insurance company or Medicare determines that you didn’t medically require an ambulance.
Patients using transportation companies must be:
- well oriented
- able to understand they are being transported
Drivers for transportation companies are NOT paramedics, and therefore, cannot provide any medical services. Specialized transportation services include:
- additional aids to assist patients with entering and exiting the vehicle
The Non-Emergency Medical transportation industry is not officially licensed. However, they are regulated by the State and are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance. A decal is affixed to the passenger side rear window to show the current year of compliance. Check to determine if the transportation company’s drivers are CPR and First Aid certified.
It is helpful if you have the details of the transport worked out before you call. Contact the insurance company first to determine costs. The most common sense facts will be necessary:
- Who will be transported?
- A Caregiver or other support person is welcome to go along.
- What special needs do they have?
- Does a wheelchair or gurney need to be accommodated.
- Where are they leaving from and going to?
- Make sure you ask if they will wait at the appoint for you.
- When is the requested timeframe and date?
- Be clear if there is a chance this might change.
- How will the bill be paid?
- If by Insurance – have your policy information available.
- Social workers will handle scheduling at most hospitals and care/rehab facilities.
- Tell me about the licenses and insurance your company carries.
- How long has the business been in operation?
- How are the vehicles maintained?
- How long has the driver you are sending to us been on the job?
- Please provide references.