Non-emergency medical transportation is generally defined as providing transportation for non-emergency medical services for individuals who are ill, elderly, or have a handicap or disability that limits their personal mobility and independence. A second definition:
-Non-emergency medical transportation is transportation for patients who require special medical attention while in transit from one location to another. (See www.coloradomedicalhome.org)
Furthermore, non-emergency medical transportation is a public company providing private services to clients.
Types Of Services
Non-emergency medical transportation services fall into one of three types:
-Transportation of elderly or sick person to and from medical appointments.
-Transportation of patients to home following recovery from a surgical procedure. As technology advances, outpatient procedures are increasing, and hospital admissions are changing relative to provided services.
-Transportation provided to those with physical limitations such as needing a wheelchair or confined to a stretcher.
Federal and State Government Role In Non-emergency Medical Transportation
Earlier this year the US Federal General Accounting Office released a concise report concerning governmental role in non-emergency medical transportation. The report recommended the Secretary of Transportation to oversee the creation of a strategic plan, that addresses coordinating both Medicaid and Veterans Affairs policy related to non-emergency transportation services. Meantime, the report also cited five of six federal agencies do not track expenses related to NEMT services. Health and Human Services provided an estimate of annual NEMT expenses, largely related to Medicaid outlay of $1.3 billion. The report noted 42 programs across six federal agencies with half that number overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS.
The Affordable Care Act and Non-emergency Medical Transportation
As Medicaid is the primary Federal provider of funds for NEMT services, it does not authorize specific NEMT program service providers per se. The Affordable Care Act has turned much of the insurance coverage needs to the states for creating their own mandates relative to Medicaid recipients. The American Association of Retired Persons, AARP, has more information concerning this development.