4 Options For Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

This article is intended to provide a brief overview of the primary options for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation and the quality of service that patients consider most important to enhance their overall healthcare. Let’s take a look at the options:

1 – Ambulance Transportation

Ambulance transportation is usually reserved for emergency medical situations. However, ambulance transportation can be used in non-emergency medical conditions where the patient’s health is concerned. The transport is deemed medically necessary to provide support for the patient. These transports are typically from hospital to hospital, hospital to home, nursing home, or hospital to outpatient services. The circumstances for the necessity of these transports vary widely, dependent upon the individual patient’s medical condition.

Due to the high cost of ambulance transportation, it must meet specific guidelines to be considered medically necessary to be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most health insurance policies. Before using an ambulance service for non-emergency medical transportation, you should check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered for the service. Otherwise, you may be liable to pay the ambulance company hundreds of dollars out of your pocket.

2 – Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Companies

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) companies were established to fill a unique void in medical care by enabling patients who cannot drive or do not have access to transportation to get to their appointments. These companies provide lower-cost services than ambulance companies and a safer, cleaner, more comfortable ride than private taxi services or public transportation.

NEMT companies are also trained and equipped to accommodate special needs for physically disabled persons, including wheelchairs, walkers, and service animals. Our NEMT drivers are familiar with the locations and physical layouts of all the major medical facilities in our area. Thus we are uniquely qualified to go the extra mile to assist passengers with door-through-door service to and from the vehicle.

What is meant by the door through door service? If a client was mobility challenged or anxious about where to check-in for a first-time appointment, our drivers could assist the client into the building, including holding doors open and assistance with elevators or stairs if requested.

A reputable, customer-focused NEMT company employs highly skilled drivers with these credentials:

  • Defensive Driver’s Training Course
  • HIPAA Regulation Training
  • Assisting Persons with Disabilities Training
  • Emergency Situation, Procedures, and Bloodborne Pathogens Training
  • Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Training 

Most NEMT companies receive their work from large transportation brokerage firms that distribute it to qualified NEMT providers. NEMT companies must adhere to high standards, certifications, inspections, and training to be considered a preferred transportation provider. NEMT companies utilize sophisticated dispatching software and scheduling programs that allow them to provide reliable, on-time service.

NEMT services can be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and many health insurance programs with prior authorization.

3 – Private Taxi Transportation

Most patients who require non-emergency medical transportation are in specific distress due to their particular medical condition. These patients deserve clean, safe, comfortable rides from individuals who are professional, polite, compassionate, and possess the experience and understanding of their situation.

Most private taxi drivers have little or no training in treating or accommodating persons with medical conditions or physical disabilities. Their primary concern is to get the passenger to their destination as quickly as possible to make money. It is rare to see a private taxi driver exit his vehicle, much less offer assistance through the front door to the facility check-in area. This attitude is often an unpleasant, unreliable experience that can cause more stress on the patient.

Under most circumstances, private taxi companies do not bill Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance providers. Therefore, the patient must pay the transportation fee upon delivery and handle the reimbursement request.

4 – Public Transit

Public transportation for persons with medical conditions, behavioral problems, or physical disabilities can be an inconvenient, inefficient, and stressful mode of transportation. The patient has to find a way to the bus terminal and wait for the bus to arrive, often in inclement weather. The patient is dropped off at the bus terminal closest to their destination but rarely within safe walking distance. Seniors and persons with disabilities are especially susceptible to falls, and boarding a bus can be a daunting and hazardous task.

As with private taxi drivers, few public bus drivers have adequate training on adequately accommodating the needs of persons in poor health or with disabilities. In fact, due to the fixed-route nature of public transportation, the bus driver’s final destination is unknown. They have no way of knowing if the passenger has a health issue unless they show physical symptoms. Therefore, the driver does not indicate that the patient might require special care and attention. And even if they did, the driver is under no obligation to assist the patient in any way.

Few public transit providers bill Medicaid and Medicare due to the low reimbursement rate and the ability to meet the complex regulations. While public transportation may be the most affordable option for persons without health insurance, the experience can exacerbate their condition, hinder their recovery, or endanger their health.


When determining your needs for non-emergency medical transportation, we recommend you consider the points we’ve mentioned in this article. There are many other factors to think about that we didn’t cover here. So depending on your circumstances, you should consult with your health insurance provider, your healthcare provider, and your family to determine which method will provide you with the services you need.

About Holt Transport

Wheelchair, Ambulatory, Gurney Alternative Door-To-Door Transportation

We are the go-to transportation provider for healthcare organizations, doctor’s offices, schools, public transportation services, and medical facilities across Michigan, trusted by major NEMT management companies nationwide. Our commitment to providing top-notch transportation services for mobility-challenged individuals has led us to expand our fleet past 40 vehicles and drivers since our start in 2010.Our team is trained to ensure safe transportation for clients in wheelchairs, and we strive to accommodate any transportation need for single or multiple passengers, including those with service animals.

All our wheelchair vans feature 22″ bariatric wheelchairs when required. We recently added the Broda Synthesis WC19 Transport Chair – a powerful, revolutionary device that has revolutionized non-emergency medical transport for gurney alternative transport. We take pride in the state-of-the-art technology systems we use to dispatch our vehicles and plan our routes, reducing wait times and ensuring reliable service. Additionally, our commercial insurance, MDOT certification, and state inspection guarantee we maintain our exemplary service. Our vehicles are all newer models, smoke-free, and well-maintained to offer maximum comfort during transit.

Choose Holt Transport for safe, professional, and efficient transportation services, every time! Contact us at info@holttransport.com or call (989)860-1004, Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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