According to a study completed by Community Transportation Association, some 3.6 million people in the United States miss a doctor’s appointment or put off going to a doctor simply because they do not have any way to have there. Of the 3.6 million, 950,000 are children. Many of these individuals are low-income and lack an operating vehicle. While larger areas have affordable public transportation, not everyone lives in these areas. However, for individuals with low-income, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) options are available.

Because low-income patients fall through the gaps, the NEMT benefits fill those gaps. In some instances, ambulances are utilized to greatly help patients get to where they require, especially if they’re from a nursing home. However, subsidies in certain areas allow patients to take taxis, vans, or car services to access their appointments.

Spending a Little to Save a Lot

Studies indicate that by providing non-emergency medical transportation for routine appointments, Medicaid and Medicare can in fact save money. Obviously, there’s an investment RouteGenie required for the machine to work. Regardless of the increased cost, it’s been shown that the investment is returned. These studies show that providing this service saves typically $367 per person.

Routine non-emergency medical transportation is approximately fifteen times cheaper than if that same patient took an ambulance to the emergency room for treatment. Typically, the NEMT services only account for 10 percent of the full total Medicaid patient base. The expenses total only 1 percent of the department’s expenditures.

Additional studies conducted by Florida State University determined that even when only one percent of funded NEMT trips ended with the person going to a doctor’s office as opposed to the emergency room, the state would see a return of 1108 percent. This is approximately a return of $11.08 for every single dollar spent by state agencies.

Keeping In Line With the Affordable Care Act

Providing non-emergency medical transportation is key to staying in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. The ACA requires that Medicaid coverage can be acquired for all low-income American citizens. It’s an important area of the US having a highly effective and efficient health care system.

In recent changes to Medicaid, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services made providing consistent use of medicinal treatments a mandatory benefit. This change is an endeavor to provide effective management for the escalating costs related to hospital costs. It can be an important aspect to ensure overall health care extends to those who require it most.

It is essential to provide non-emergency medical transportation to those who require it most to keep American citizens healthy. Thanks to new laws and regulations, the NEMT benefits serve because the lifeblood of Medicaid. Additionally, it reduces the financial burden of the state and federal government by avoiding ambulance transportation and emergency room visits that could have been avoided if there had been an alternate way of transport.

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