June 3, 2015

Exploring Ways to Pay for state to State Patient Transport

by brcwyngthm in Blog
As America’s baby boomer population continues to age, there is an ever-growing number of scenarios in which it is necessary to move an aged person with unique health concerns from point A to point B. There are often many situations where state to state disabled transport is necessary, even though the patient may not be elderly. The patient is generally incapable of transporting him or herself. Airlines will not accept people who have medical needs that are beyond what they’re able to accommodate in conjunction with their normal passengers. State to State Patient Transport is currently a hot commodity in the transportation industry, one family members are usually grateful to discover. However, paying for such specialized transport is the challenge most families find difficult to address. Some potential funding options include:
  • Patient funding – This is a viable option in circumstances when the patient himself has financial resources available. Even in situations where the patient is no longer judged competent, it is possible for a family member with power of attorney or guardianship to access the patient’s funds to pay for his transportation. Sometimes the transportation is to another facility for treatment, sometimes it is to a long-term care facility, and sometimes it is simply to be closer to family members who can oversee the patient’s care and daily needs.

  • Medicare – There are some circumstances where Medicare will pay for all or part of a patient’s transportation. Medicare is a federal entitlement program, and has specific rules about what it is and is not allowed to cover. Generally speaking, Medicare is usually happy to cover medically necessary state to state medical transport. However, they become much pickier when state lines are crossed and rarely, if ever, are willing to cover any kind of non-medically necessary transport. Medicaid will not cover interstate elderly transport unless residency for the patient in the new state is already established and the transport is deemed medically necessary.

  • Family pool – People think that their family will always be there for them. That’s the idea, anyway, behind getting everyone together and dividing responsibilities. Often, if one part of a family is willing to provide the elderly family member’s care, the others are happy to pitch in the necessary money to provide for their specialized transportation.

  • Asset sales – If it is unlikely the person in need of transport will ever return to his point of origin, and if there is a responsible family member who has been named as guardian or durable power of attorney, then the sale of the patient’s assets is a reasonable means of raising the funds necessary to pay for his medically specialized transportation.

  • Charitable solicitations – America is a nation of generous souls. Nowhere is this evidenced better than on websites such as GoFundMe, which is set up so that a person or family member can detail their particular need and then advertise that need via social media in hopes of raising all or part of the money needed to pay for patient expenses. One need that dovetails perfectly with the GoFundMe paradigm is long distance patient transport or State to State Patient Transport. GoFundMe is a website for personal fundraising that has already raised over a billion dollars for individuals’ specialized needs.

  • Combination funding – Rarely is the amount of money needed to transport a disabled person a great distance raised from a single source. Many times, it is necessary to take what Medicare is willing to provide and combine it with what family members can afford to spend for the patient’s needs. If a GoFundMe campaign has been enacted, it often can be boosted to be more productive with the addition of a notice in the local paper, fliers on bulletin boards, Facebook announcements, etc. In order for people to contribute, they must first become aware of the need!

The transportation of elderly persons with specialized healthcare needs, as well as younger people with the same, is a competitive and specialized segment of the transportation industry. Long distance travel in a large and comfortable vehicle that provides skilled nursing, entertainment and room for family members and necessary equipment does not come inexpensively. The need for such specialized transportation and its funding is one that is only expected to grow in the coming years.