5 unusual requests from our customers and our responses to each.
1. We would like my dad to have all of the Andy Griffith Show episodes to watch from 1968, season 8.
Our response: Any special snacks to go along with that? (Thank you Amazon.com)
2. There won’t be anyone else riding along with my mom, just Tiger. Oh, Tiger? That ‘s mama’s cat, but she rides in a carrier.
Our response: What kind of kitty treats does Tiger like?
3. Special diet? No, not really, but my sister loves Godiva chocolates. Hasn’t had them since she’s been in that nursing home.
Our response: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? We’ll have them waiting on her.
4. My mom must have a glass of wine with her meals, even on the road. They accommodated her at the rehab center, what about you?
Our response: Open container laws in many states prohibit us from serving alcohol, even to a 97 year old patient with her meals. However, we
make frequent stops along the way and when we do, wine will be served.
5. You know, if my dad could hear music from the Big Band Era, the 21 hour transport would be so much easier for him.
Our response: We will make him his own CD and have it waiting on him. Any specific requests?
For the same reason that you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to kill a fly, you wouldn’t call on an ambulance to transport long distances. But there are many more reasons. First, an ambulance is a mobile emergency room. They are well designed and equipped to be the liasion between the world and the specialized care you may need in a hurry at a hospital. An ambulance isn’t designed for comfort. Its designed for efficiency, storage and speed. And the cost to operate them is outrageous.
Transportation to a doctors appointment, to a facility across the country or to relocate someone several hundreds of miles away needs to be in a comfortable setting that is also affordable. MMT presents patients with that comfort, without giving up the trained staff that knows how to correctly transfer a fractured hip, talk to an Alzheimers patient, or handle a wide range of non urgent needs on the road. Everything we do, is designed around non-emergency patients. The design and comfort of the vehicles, the insurance that we carry to cross state lines and the extra comforts on board like sattelite radio, DVD screens and enhanced stretcher padding.
Our insurance will not cover our vans once they cross the U.S. Border, including anywhere in Canada or Mexico.
Although we provide patient transport everywhere else in the United States, we have a minimum of 500 miles. If your needs involve a transport just under that minimum, sometimes its a good idea just to get a quote from us anyway. Often, people find when doing their research,that paying our minimum, is still the best option.
There is one exception to our 500 mile minimum. We still operate our original local transport division in our corporate headquarters of Atlanta/Athens, Georgia where we first began in 1997. In that area only, we provide local wheelchair and stretcher transport to and from medical appointments, hospital discharges, etc. with no minimum mileage requirements.
Yes. However, the more notice that you can give us, the better the chance is of making that happen on the specific date and time that you need.
Medicaid will pay for some forms of patient transportation, in some situations, for some people, some of the time. First, you must qualify through your local Medicaid office. Once you qualify, they will advise you what the parameters are for medical transport coverage. Never, in any case or situation that we have seen to date, will Medicaid approve any part of a long distance, non-emergency transport.
We are waiting to hear if a facility we have been looking at has a bed available. Once they give us the go ahead, we will only be able to hold it for 48 hours. How much notice do you need?
We can usually make just about anything happen with a 2 to 3 day notice. Sometimes, we are booked for more than a week out, and sometimes we can work a transport in with a few hours notice. The best thing to do is to call us once you have a pretty good idea of when you want to make the transport happen. We will check availability then, and schedule your transport if you’d like.
Yes. We change diapers, accommodate feeding tubes, continue oxygen, empty foley catheter bags, maintain eating schedules and help insure that the patient stays on their medication schedule. For patients with restrictive diets (pureed, soft, diabetic,etc..) we help insure that those restrictions are followed as well.
We are _definitely able _to continue oxygen during transport. Oxygen is considered a prescription drug, so one needs a doctor’s order to initiate it. If the patient is already receiving it, or has orders to use it as needed (PRN), we are able to provide it during transport.
MMT specializes in long distance (and local within a specified area) non-emergency transportation. We will never arrange transportation for a patient whose needs, we feel, fall beyond our scope of care. Most patients who have been discharged from a hospital, or cleared by their physician to be transported are stable enough to travel with MMT.
Those who are too unstable, often fall into the air ambulance category requiring a flight nurse/Paramedic or a flight physician and need constant medical intervention.
Yes. MMT was the first dedicated non-emergency service, beginning 14 years ago, to insist that our vehicles have medically trained personnel. No license required it, so there are services who use “drivers” only and save a lot of payroll in doing so! Our drivers, are also EMT’s, Paramedics. They aren’t functioning in the capacity of Paramedic/EMT because they arent equipped with emergency equipment, RX drug boxes and other invasive equipment in these non emergency vans. However, because of their field experience and their EMS and patient care history, they know how to properly care for basic needs of patients during transport.
This is a different environment then a hospital or home care scene. These are the individuals who can recognize if something isn’t right with the patient. They can lift, turn and transfer them, accomodate feeding them and changing them while in the back of a vehicle on a stretcher.
And those are the reasons that we recruit EMT’s and Paramedics for our patients.