If you live in New York and are on Medicaid (like our CDPAP patients), then you are entitled to medical transportation services when you need to go to your appointments. Medical transportation services exist to provide transportation to medical events for people who might need specialized care in transit.
If you need assistance to your medical appointments, then you deserve to know your options. So we put together this comprehensive guide on medical transportation companies, how they work, what they offer, and which ones are the best in New York.
What Is a Medical Transportation Company?
A medical transportation company is one that provides non-emergency medical transportation or home health care transit services. These companies provide vehicular services for patients in stretchers, wheelchairs, and those who need any other kind of specialized medical assistance while in transit.
Types of Medical Transportation Companies
There are several different types of medical transportation companies that differ in terms of what kinds of services that they offer.
– Ambulatory – Ambulatory companies primarily provide emergency medical transportation to hospitals and other health care facilities. For example, if you are in a car accident and injured, an ambulance will most likely take you to a critical care center. Ambulatory companies are typically the most expensive of the options.
– Non-emergency – Non-emergency transportation companies are for patients who need extra non-emergency transportation needs. For example, non-emergency companies offer vehicles for patients that use mobility devices, patients who are bed-ridden, or patients with other special health or safety concerns.
– Stretcher – Stretcher medical transportation is for bed-ridden patients that cannot be moved in a sitting position. These specialized vehicles can either be a form of emergency or non-emergency transportation.
– Door-to-door – These kinds of transportation companies are for patients who might need assistance getting from their home to the transportation vehicle. Healthcare workers will enter the home and assist the patient to enter the vehicle and assist them when they exit the vehicle.
– Curb-to-curb – Curb-to-curb medical transportation companies pick up their patients at the curb of their residence and drop them off at the curb of their appointment. Curb-to-curb transportation is for non-emergencies and is much less hands-on than other kinds of medical transportation.
– Long-distance – Long-distance medical transportation involves traveling over 50 miles from a starting location. Long-distance transportation may need to be used for transportation to another city or state.
What to Look for in a Medical Transportation Company
When researching for a suitable medical transportation company, make sure to consider the following features.
Safety is the primary feature that you should look for. A company that is safe in its procedures will bring peace of mind. Ask the company about what kinds of safety procedures they have and what kinds of emergencies and safety maneuvers that staff is trained for. Top-tier medical transportation companies know the importance of safety so they emphasize it well.
Other important safety features to inquire about include transportation equipment, background checks on staff and caretakers, and whether the company adheres to standards laid down in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Staff Training and Education
Staff training and education are also important because they determine the quality and kind of care that you will get. Inquire as to whether the staff is CPR trained and certified or if they have their first aid license. All drivers should also hold a valid driver’s license and be trained in administering emergency medical techniques and care.
In general, you should opt for a company that owns its own fleet of vehicles. If you go to a company’s website, then you can see what kinds of vehicles they have and how they are outfitted.
Medical transportation companies should have up-to-date fleets that incorporate the latest in transportation efficiency and assistive technology. Inquire as to whether fleets are tracked in real-time and what kind of dispatch coordination companies use to make sure that drivers are always informed about road conditions.
You should also ask medical transportation companies what kinds of extra amenities they offer. Luxury transportation usually costs extra, but some transportation fleets come outfitted with WiFi capabilities, memory foam seating cushions, charging ports and outlets, TVs, music systems, etc. You can book a premium service if you have a long-distance trip to make the traveling more comfortable and relaxing.
Make sure that you take the time to look up reviews and testimonials on the company from actual customers. Most companies nowadays have a BBB page or a Trustpilot page where you can get neutral unbiased reviews on the company’s service.
Look for key features like punctuality, the friendliness of the staff, comfort of vehicles/equipment, and any records of driving incidents or safety issues. We also recommend choosing a company that has been around for at least a few years as those companies usually have good reputations.
Make sure that the company that you are looking at also has the necessary equipment for your needs. Fleets should be outfitted for especially transportation vehicles and inquire about the make and model of any special equipment you might need.
If you can get a copy of the service contract, do so. A service contract should be simple, straightforward, and able to be read without any expert knowledge or help. Avoid any company that provides contracts or information that is difficult to parse or read.
Top 5 Medical Transportation Companies in NY
Here are our picks for the top 5 medical transportation companies in New York.
Hunter EMS has been providing medical transportations services in the Bayshore and surrounding New York areas for nearly 35 years and has helped thousands of people get the transportation that they need. Hunter EMS’s fleet of over 20 vehicles and serves the 5 boroughs of NYC as well as Suffolk and Nassau Counties. The team is active 247, 365 days a week so you can call and access their services literally anytime that you need them.
Hunter EMS is a vendor of both BLS and ALS ambulance servicers and has positioned itself in the advancement of EMS software and communications technology applications to make operations run more smoothly. All staff are highly trained in specialized transportation techniques and have background checks performed to make sure they are of good character and do not have any criminal record. Hunter EMS also guarantees that all its drivers are alcohol, smoke, and drug-free. They are widely known for their professionalism and kind interaction with patients.
Hunter EMS accepts most major insurance carriers and is also a Medicare partner. If you have Medicaid, then you must have a Prior Authorization Number to schedule transportation.
SeniorCare EMS is a medical transportation company serving the Bronx that was founded in 2005 and has been serving the area for over 15 years. SeniorCare has gone from a small operation with a fleet of 3 ambulances to serving all 5 boroughs of NYC with over 1,000 employees and over 150 ambulances and response vehicles. SeniorCare EMS has devoted itself to the motto of “Clinical Excellence and Outstanding Customer Service.”
SeniorCare EMS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and specializes in inter-facility critical care transfers and routine non-emergency medical transportation. Their dispatch center is staffed at all hours of the day and is equipped with advanced computer dispatch systems that can simply call tracking and routing for patients. Dispatchers are trained to arrange calls by the level of severity and they use high-precision GPS systems to keep track of their fleets in real-time and to direct them around traffic obstacles.
SeniorCare’s staff is highly trained in basic first aid and CPR and is also trained in several types of routine and specialized medical transport. SeniorCare accepts most forms of major insurance and also is a Medicare partner provider.
Midwood Ambulance Service has been serving the tri-state area for over 15 years and has become well-recognized in the community for its high-quality care and have received local recognition for their high degree of quality service. Midwood Ambulance Services are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year so you can always get their service when you need them. Midwood currently services the 5 boroughs of NYC including Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.
Midwood offers patient transports, advanced life support, event standby services, and long-distance transfers. The team is trained in the latest medical transportation techniques and are all licensed in first aid. They also are submitted to background checks and regular drug testing. Midwood also provides standby services for large events and gatherings in addition to individual medical transportation.
Midwood Ambulance Services accepts most forms of major insurance and is also a Medicare partner. The company currently employs almost 100 employees and is one of the most well-known ambulance companies in the city and local region. Midwood Ambulance also offers highly specialized transportations services.
Empress Ambulance Services has been recognized as one of the premier ambulance and medical transportation companies in the entire state and has been serving the region since 1985. Empress Ambulance Service is based out of Yonkers and provides 911 emergency response to the neighboring communities through estChester county. The business partners with several hospitals and medical facilities throughout the location .
Empres has worked hard to develop its fleet of advanced transportation vehicles and team of trained professional caregivers. Each employee is trained and certified in first aid administration and goes through a background check and drug screening. All staff hold relevant certifications and the company operates within the legal framework as required by New York state law.
Empress EMS offers advanced and basic life support transports (ALS and BLS) as well as paramedic fly car services. Empress also offers standby EMS services for large events and education and training. All employees go through a series of field rotations so they can learn on the job and experience training.
Empress accepts most major insurance plans and is also a partner through Medicare and Medicaid. They also have an online portal iof you need to make any bill payments.
Rapid Response Medical Transportation traces its beginning back to 2008 in New Jersey. Since then, the company has gone from a small operation to a large team of highly motivated professionals who are dedicated to providing excellent care. Rapid Response thoroughly vets all of its staff to make sure they hold the licenses and certifications then need and to ensure that they are drug free and do not have a criminal background. SErvices that they offer include wheelchair van transportation, stretcher transportation, and in-home transportations services for patients that need extra assistance reaching the vehicle.
Rapid Response also offers oxygen providing services, bariatric wheelchair transportation, basic life support ambulance services and assessment and monitoring capabilities. Their mission statement is to revolutionize the way medical transportation is conducted. Rapid Response Medical Transportation has trained a high-quality staff and accepts most forms of major insurance. They are also a Medicare provider. They have an excellent customer reputation and most testimonials praise the friendliness and quality of care of the staff. Many people also claim that the billing process is not difficult to complete.
If you need medical transportation services in New York, it is important that you understand your options. Medical transportation companies offer a variety of services so you need to find one that is specifically tailored to your needs, whether that is wheelchair accessibility, stretcher transportation, or some other kind of specialized transportation. Medical transportation companies should be focused on providing the safest journey and providing the best and highest quality care. We picked these providers based on what we consider to be the best criteria for judging medical transportation companies.
So if you need medical transportation, make sure that you understand what your options are and how to get them. Anyone of these 5 companies would make a great choice to receive your transportation from.