NEMT 101: Key terms in non-emergency medical transportation

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) companies provide transportation services for patients to, from and between medical facilities. These services accommodate more than what traditional public transportation and care providers may be capable of handling.

Whether a patient is in long-term, acute or chronic care, NEMT services can assist with transportation needs.

NEMT services by healthcare type

  • Long-term – Long-term healthcare is the ongoing treatment and care of individuals who are not able to care for themselves. An example of long-term healthcare would be individuals living in nursing homes, assisted living centers, independent living centers and adult day care facilities. Many of the residents of senior living centers need consistent transportation to and from medical appointments. Transportation can be a daunting task for senior living centers. NEMT companies provide safe and timely transportation with additional resources — wheelchair and stretcher-accessible vehicles — than many long-term health facilities require.
  • Acute – Acute healthcare is the treatment for an episode of immediate and severe illness or disability. This form of healthcare revolves around in-patient care in a medical facility. NEMT services are often called to provide same-day or on-demand requests. These tend to revolve around the transfer of patients between care providers. A patient may receive diagnosis at one facility, but need a transfer to another for in-patient stay or treatment. Furthermore, NEMT companies can provide wheelchair and stretcher capable vehicles to assist patients with such needs.
  • Chronic care – Chronic care involves the continual care, treatments and ongoing adjustments for a patient with a long-term injury or illness. An NEMT service provides consistently scheduled transportation to and from the residence and treatment facility for individuals and families. NEMTs can provide transportation assistance where friends and family may have difficulty.

NEMT features

NEMTs have several features and benefits to assist in the secure and timely transportation of those in need. While wide ranging, these features focus on making transportation safe, prompt and reliable.

  • Curb-to-curb/door-to-door service – Curb-to-curb service is the assistance of transferring a patient from the curb of the residence to the vehicle and from the vehicle to the curb of the medical office. Express Medical Transporters (EMT) practices door-to-door transportation; the assistance of transferring a patient from the front door of the residence, to the vehicle and from the vehicle to the door of the medical office.
  • Field service representative (FSRs) – Field service representatives—an EMT title—are the drivers who care for passengers when en route to and from a medical facility. FSRs are trained in the transferring—assisting a person with limited function from one location to another—of patients in and out of the vehicle. FSRs go through ADA training to help with disability awareness, assisting passengers with disabilities, service delivery requirements and civil rights compliance. FSRs complete an adult/child CPR course, Passenger Service and Safety Training, sensitivity courses, a defensive driving course and background checks. To see all of the training requirements our FSRs’ complete, click here.
  • Wheelchair/stretcher-capable vehicles – NEMT vehicles are fully insured and comply with federal, state, local and ADA safety standards. The fleet usually includes wheelchair-lift-equipped vehicles and stretcher vans to transport patients with as little difficulty and as much comfort as possible.
  • GPS-equipped vehicles – NEMT vehicles are equipped with GPS technology to track where drivers are at all times. This helps manage risk by keep everyone on schedule and ensure a safe, timely and reliable ride.

Non-emergency medical transportation companies provide transportation solutions for organizations who provide long-term, acute and chronic care. With many benefits aims at patient care, an NEMT service will simplify an organization’s medical transportation needs.

There are many benefits to gain from using an NEMT company. To learn more about additional services along with what to consider when choosing a provider, be sure to read our Complete Guide to NEMT Services. Learn how to evaluate and what to expect from an NEMT provider.

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A complete guide to NEMT services: compassion, costs and qualifications

In this guide, we arm you with the tools and knowledge to effectively evaluate NEMT providers, services and costs.

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