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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.