What is Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)?

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services 

A study from the National Institute of Health found that people with disabilities are more likely to use medical and health services than those without disabilities. In fact, people with disabilities can spend an average of 5 to 6 times more on health services to keep up with their medical needs than those without disabilities. But the barriers aren’t limited to the health services themselves. Whether a disabled individual is unable to drive to their medical appointments or they encounter an inaccessible doctor’s office, multiple barriers can keep disabled people from accessing medical services. This is where non-emergency medical transportation plays a pivotal role in ensuring individuals with disabilities can access appropriate medical care.  

What is Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)? 

As the name suggests, non-emergency medical transport, also referred to as NEMT, is a medical transportation service used in non-emergency situations. For example, an NEMT service could be used by a person with a chronic illness who has routine doctor appointments or by a person with a physical disability who regularly sees a physical therapist. NEMT can be used for short-term or long-term purposes, and, in some cases, may be available through an individual’s local health care provider. Anyone can use NEMT, however, certain populations like people with disabilities or people who rely on Medicaid may be able to receive NEMT services at no cost. Coverage for NEMT varies by state and individual circumstance, so you’ll want to review local and state guidelines to determine whether an individual qualifies for low or no cost NEMT.   

Differences Between Non-Emergency Medical Transportation and Emergency Medical Transportation? 

Non- emergency medical transportation and emergency medical transportation are not synonymous. Non-emergency medical transportation is used for non-emergent medical purposes, like a routine doctor’s appointment. Emergency medical transportation is used for a crisis or accident. If a person is experiencing a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, they should use an emergency transportation service, like an ambulance. 

Types of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation 

Non-emergency medical transportation can be provided through public transportation, van, or taxi. Types of NEMT available will depend on an individual’s needs and their location. Not all locations will provide the same services, however, regardless of location, accessible transportation services should be available to those with disabilities so they can get to and from medical appointments. Non-emergency medical transportation should not be used for non-medical purposes. If someone needs transportation to and from work or to the local grocery store, they’ll need to rely on something other than NEMT, like public transportation or a rideshare service. 

Benefits of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation 

There are many benefits to non-emergency medical transportation services. While these services can benefit many members of the public, they are especially critical to those with disabilities for the following reasons: 

1. Ease of Access for Disabled Individuals 

Some disabled people may not be able to get behind the wheel or may feel unsafe driving due to certain medical conditions. For those with both medical and transportation needs, non-emergency medical transport provides an opportunity for individuals to ensure their medical needs are met while also providing safe transportation to and from medical appointments. 

2. Positive Health Outcomes 

Disabled people often face more health challenges than those without disabilities. Without non-emergency medical transportation, it can become challenging for these individuals to manage their health and wellbeing. Non-emergency medical transportation allows individuals with disabilities to see their healthcare providers as needed, leading to more positive health outcomes overall. 

3.Independence and Empowerment of Disabled People  

NEMT services help disabled people find or maintain their independence. With a reliable medical transport service, people with disabilities can feel a greater sense of empowerment and independence in taking control of their medical needs.  

If you’re looking to start a business that helps disabled people in your community, consider providing an NEMT Service. Many entrepreneurs find starting an NEMT business is a rewarding way to make a living and provide a critical service in their communities. Recently a start-up NEMT, MJ Reliable Transportation, visited BraunAbility to tour our facilities and learn more about where the vans in their fleet are made.  

To learn more about accessible vehicles for NEMT or other business needs, contact a mobility dealer today.

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