Savvy Consumers Propel Medical Tourism

We can’t imagine a patient or their family scheduling long distance medical transportation with us and not knowing in advance the complete cost and what it includes. Well finally, patients are requiring the same transparency from their doctors and hospitals, and when they cannot get it, many choose to move on to places who will provide the information. Long gone are the days when patients would rely on Medicare and other third party payers, having no concern with what the charges were. With fewer and fewer services being covered, people are sliding over to the drivers seat and taking control of the wheel when it comes to their healthcare costs.

Consumer-driven healthcare is on the rise more than ever before. While most of the leading hospitals in the United States have been serving International patients for decades, domestic medical travel is booming. With the increase in healthcare costs, patients who are cost conscious are finding that there is a wide price disparity that they can take advantage of if they are willing to do the research, and pack their bags for travel. 
Even employers and insurers are jumping on the bandwagon. Some are entering into negotiated arrangements with well known facilities such as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore giving their employees an option to travel outside of their home area for procedures and treatments at these world famous medical centers.

For the individual consumer, we are finding that many are electing to travel a great distance to specialty surgery centers and clinics to get comparable service and treatment, at a fraction of the cost. With so many medical services/procedures not being covered by Medicare and third party payers patients are looking for transparent information and reasonable rates before they pull out their checkbooks to pay a hospital or provider.

Managed Medical Transport has been a trailblazer in the medical tourism industry, helping to connect patients throughout the United States to their destinations of preference. Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients leave their communities to travel across the United States seeking excellence in specialty medical care. Sometimes, the reason for travel is to seek better medical options, and other times, it is to receive comparable care at a much reduced price. Specialty treatment centers as well as hospital systems that offer a broad range of care from cancer treatment to preventative specialties are booming across the country. These specialty centers are often the result of research, clinical care and academics coming together as one powerful solution worth traveling to. For those patients who are unable to utilize commercial transportation or ride in the family car to reach these facilities, we provide an easy accessible solution. Easy, because there is no precertification for our service. As long as the patients condition does not require medical care that is outside of the scope of what we provide, it’s as easy as picking up the phone and presenting us with the information that we need for transport. For cross country non-emergency patient transport using medically trained personnel, call us toll free, at 1-888-668-4911 or email us at admin@mmtamerica.com

Managed Medical Transport Turns 27 Years Old!

From our very first call 27 years ago to the ones coming in today, we are continually humbled as people place their most precious treasures, their family members, in our care. As the number of years in business stack up, it becomes easier to gain the confidence of prospective customers who understand that we must be doing something right to have managed the hurdles, pot holes, and economic roller coasters of our time. Increasing operating costs and the never ending stream of those entering (and then quickly exiting) this industry hoping to get rich quick, have been some of the obstacles confronting us. Yet, through it all, we continue to thrive.

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Celebrating our 27th year-and always remembering the back story

The year was 1997. Princess Diana died in a car crash, Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, Microsoft became the world’s most valuable company at $261 billion dollars, and Managed Medical Transport (MMT) transported its first patient from Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN to a residence about 9 miles away. The patient paid $55 for that ride, forfeiting the alternative $850 ambulance transport that was offered to him first by hospital social workers. We were two paramedics on a non-emergency van with our business lines forwarded to the bulky cell phone in my purse, the newest technology of the day. Our biggest expense was vehicle insurance, and full time day care for two children, both under 4 years old.

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The Medicare office says this is not medically necessary transportation and will not cover costs, however, my relative does not have anyone to care for him at the current location. Can you help?

Medicare will not cover long distance non-emergency medical transport. They view this type of move as a move of convenience. Even though it is imperative that your brother be close to you…the only family who can care for him, Medicare sees that you are bypassing hundreds of “appropriate facilities” along the way and considers your move as a “move of convenience”, not an emergency. In addition to that, if a patient can safely travel by any other means than an emergency ambulance, Medicare does not view the transport as a medically necessary emergency transfer. Hiring an ambulance to make the transfer will not result in Medicare considering the transport unless something is being performed in the back of that ambulance that could not be performed in a lesser equipped vehicle. If a patient is transported in an emergency ambulance for a justifiable reason, the ambulance must transport to the closest appropriate medical facility for Medicare to consider reimbursement.

Can I pay in installments or will I receive a balance after the trip?

To book a transport and reserve a date, we require a 50% deposit that is fully refundable as long as we are given a 72 hour notice prior to the scheduled pickup time. The 50% balance is due on the business day before the transport. MMT does not bill out or finance transportation. We do, however, take most major credit cards, and allow you to split up the payments on as many as you choose.

What information do I need to provide in order to receive a quote?

All that we need is the city and state (or zip codes) of the two locations. We also need a contact name, phone number, and email address. If you request a quote through our website, you may specify that you prefer that we respond via email or phone. Additional information about the patient is extremely helpful, although it will not affect the quoted price whatsoever.

How do you calculate the cost of a transport?

Transports across state lines and across the country are calculated per transport. We do not charge a base rate plus mileage. Usually, the further you travel, the less the cost becomes per mile. When figuring a quote for you, many factors are used to determine your price including current fuel rates and tolls within a specific region, and payroll.

Local transports within our home base operating area(under 65 miles/appointments, etc…) usually have flat rates that we charge so our repeat clients know in advance what the cost will be.

Why are your vehicles better than vehicles of other medical transport companies?

Our medical transport vans are the result of a few trial runs with different vehicles over the years. We began with Chrysler Town and Country Minivans. They were the smoothest because of their passenger vehicle suspension, but there was very little room to move around in them. One year, we tried the Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter vans that we have seen used by other companies. They were, by far, the most uncomfortable. We handed them back within a year! The Sprinters are “workhorses” and ideal for delivery trucks, package transport, auto part companies, etc. But the stiff, noisy, industrial-type ride is worse than an ambulance; it is not appropriate for a patient on a stretcher if the goal is comfort.

The Ford Transit vans that we use now use are the culmination of everything we have learned since our inception in 1997. We purchase them from the factory, completely stripped. Then, they are built to our exact specifications which have been established based on continuous feedback from patients, family members, and our crews that travel in them daily. The other benefit is that there are few cities across America that don’t have a Ford dealership. This is huge, because even the brand new vans could send a computer signal that shows it needs to be checked out. We have a long working relationship with Ford and in most towns, the dealerships will address any issues immediately if they come up.