Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transport

In 2015 the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released a report on the importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) and why the need for it is growing. According to the report, around 3.6 million Americans miss or delay scheduled medical care appointments because they do not have appropriate transportation.

The Changing Medical Care Scene

Advances in medical treatment means that an increasing number of those who would earlier have been treated as inpatients are now able to return home and come back for care only as required. The need for NEMT is not only for those recovering from sickness, surgery or injury. Those with chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cardiac conditions, pulmonary disease, diabetes and so on need medical services on a regular and frequent basis. In a 2009 study, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that over 75% of the adult population of America that is over the age of 55 has at least one chronic condition that needs regular medical supervision and care. The 66% of the 20 million adults with chronic kidney disease who need dialysis on a regular basis rely on others for transport to go to their appointments. For many these people, the stress of travel for medical consultation or treatment is a major issue that could have a negative impact on their health. Because of this, the benefits of the shift from inpatient to outpatient care are often diluted.

NEMT is not a luxury. It is an essential component of modern medical care and must be viewed as such. NEMT is a specialization that is an important to a patient’s health as treatment by a doctor specializing in the condition being treated.

Comfort, Convenience and Safety

If you have a friend or family member who has mobility problems and who needs to travel for medical care or rehabilitation, it is tempting to try and transport them yourself. It is a gesture of the affection and regard you have for them. However, the question to be asked is – is it the right way to do it? Mobility issues mean special transportation needs, both in terms of the type of vehicle to be used and the special care that needs to be taken when carrying them. Your friend or loved one may not complain about the pain and discomfort that traveling in a normal car causes. You may not be aware of the risks to the person’s health. That is why using a specialized NEMT service is the best thing to do. There is no need to feel that you are letting your friend or loved one down by not taking them where they need to go in your own car. You are using NEMT because you care and that is what you need to explain to them. Of course, you can travel with them in the NEMT vehicle. The comfort, convenience and safety of NEMT will make life easier for you and the one you are helping out.