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Interfacility and non-emergent medical transport are often misunderstood. We often answer the question: “…do you show up if we call 911?” The answer is, most of the time no. That is called pre-hospital transport and while we do provide those services to nursing and assisted living facilities, MedTrust primarily serves hospitals. If you or a loved one must be moved from one hospital to another to receive a higher level of care or services, a company like MedTrust would be called. In short, we are the “Medicine between the Buildings.”
Care can be delivered on an emergent or non-emergent basis and at a level ranging from BLS/ALS to SCT/Critical Care. We also discharge patients on behalf of the hospital to rehabilitation, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities and to their residence. In most cases, the patients being transported are assumed to be clinically stable. However, sometimes, these patients are fighting multiple health issues including, but not limited to: Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Hypertension/Hypotension, Dementia, AFIB, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), diabetes and more.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What information do I need when I call for a transport?
Social Security Number*
Date of Birth
Pick up Address (Apartment Number if applies) or Facility Name
Where the Patient is going? (Address or Facility Name and Doctor’s Names / Suite Number)
For what reason?
What type of Insurance the Patient has?
*Insurance Carriers and Medicare require the Patient’s Social Security Number and Policy Number(s) for identification and to process the claim.
How will MedTrust determine what type of transport I need?
The type of transportation is based on an industry term: “medically necessary” which is further defined below. Our dispatcher may ask:
Can the patient walk?
Is the patient in a wheelchair?
Is the patient bed bound?
Can the patient maintain a sitting position for an extended period of time?
Does the patient need assistance to stand or pivot?
If the patient can walk or is in a wheelchair, transportation other than an ambulance should be utilized. If the patient is bed bound, cannot sit for an extended period or needs assistance to transfer, an ambulance is utilized. In all emergencies, an ambulance is utilized.
Should I call MedTrust in an emergency?
No. Call 9-1-1 immediately in case of an emergency. There is no guarantee that MedTrust has an emergency vehicle in your area and any areas in which MedTrust does provide such emergency coverage, ALL calls will still be handled by your local municipality emergency system and forwarded by them to our dispatch.
What is the difference between advanced and basic life support transport?
Basic Life Support
Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances provide transport to patients who do not require extra support or cardiac monitoring. A BLS ambulance is staffed by two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who have training in basic emergency medical care such as basic airway management, use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) and basic drug administration. Examples of BLS transports include:
- Hospital discharges
- Psychiatric discharges
- Basic Life Support emergencies such as lower extremity fractures
- Interfacility transfers
- Transport to dialysis
- Doctors’ offices
Advanced Life Support
Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances transport patients who need a higher level of care during transport beyond those services provided by a BLS ambulance. The unit is staffed by two paramedics who have over 1,000 hours of education and training and are qualified to render advanced life support to patients such as advanced airway management, drug administration and cardiac monitoring under the direction of a hospital. ALS can be thought of as providing service equivalent to a local 911 agency/fire department ambulance. Patients who typically require ALS transport include:
- Medical/surgical patients with a continuous IV
- Patients on a cardiac monitor
- Patients with potential airway compromise
- Any patient deemed to have a potential complication during transport when reported by the sending facility
- Life threatening medical emergencies (For example: respiratory distress, stroke, seizure, or chest pains)
How far in advance should I schedule transport?
Our dispatch is available 24/7 to schedule appointments. The more notice we are given, the better the chances are that you will get the exact time you request.
What non-emergency scheduled transports will Medicare pay for?
Transport for a patient who has an appointment to be seen for an ongoing medical problem (e.g., wound care, dialysis, and radiation) is known as a “medical transfer.” A non-emergency medical transport can also occur when a patient requires transport back to his/her residence at the end of a hospitalization. Medical Necessity for all non-emergency transports is required by Medicare, Medicaid and all insurance carriers.
What does 'medically necessary' mean for ambulance transport?
Medicare states non-emergency ambulance transports are considered medically necessary when the patient’s medical condition is such that the use of any other method of transportation (e.g., taxi, private car, wheelchair coach) would be medically contraindicated (e.g., would endanger the patient’s medical condition).
If I am a Dialysis patient can you provide ongoing ambulance or other transportation?
If you meet the medical necessity for an ambulance, MedTrust can transport you for dialysis and as long as Medicare, Medicaid or your insurance carrier gives approval. With Medicaid, this approval is recognized by a Prior Authorization Number. At MedTrust, we understand the needs of dialysis patients, and transport many dialysis patients each week. This is our specialty and we take great pride in providing the best service available to dialysis patients.
How much do your services cost?
Pricing is determined after factoring in a number of variables, such as emergency or non-emergency, ALS or BLS, services required (such as oxygen, IV’s, etc.), as well as distance traveled, etc. Please call us to receive a quote.
What does Medicare pay?
If Medicare covers your ambulance trip, it will pay 80% of the Medicare-approved amount after you have met the yearly Part B deductible. You will be responsible for the remaining 20%.
Will I have to provide other documentation such as identification or an insurance card?
MedTrust must know who the patient is and we require identification such as a driver’s license, social security card or an insurance card to help identify the patient and process the claim.
What if I don't have coverage?
Please call and talk to one of our billing specialists to discuss payment options as we will try to work with you.
How do I obtain a copy of my medical records?
To comply with applicable laws, requests for medical records must be made in writing. In certain cases documentation and signature authorization are needed.
How do I know if Medicare did or did not pay for my ambulance coverage?
You will get a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) from the company that processes claims for Medicare.
The notice will tell you why Medicare didn’t pay for your ambulance trip. For instance, if you chose to go to a facility farther than the closest one, you may get this statement on your notice: “Payment for ambulance transportation is allowed only to the closest appropriate facility that can provide the care you need.”
Or, if you used an ambulance to move from one facility to another one closer to home, your notice may state:
“Transportation to a facility to be closer to your home or family isn’t covered.” These are only examples of statements you may see on your MSN Statements, which vary depending on your situation. If you have questions about what Medicare paid, call the phone number on your MSN or 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
What is a medical power of attorney?
According to MedlinePlus, a medical power of attorney gives specific instructions, prepared in advance, that are intended to direct medical care for an individual if he or she becomes unable to do so in the future.
*MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
What is a do-not-resuscitate order?
According to MedlinePlus, a do not resuscitate order or DNR, is a medical order written by a doctor. It instructs health care providers not to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if breathing stops or if the heart stops beating. A DNR order allows you to choose before an emergency occurs whether you want CPR. It is a decision only about CPR. It does not affect other treatments, such as pain medicine, medicines, or nutrition. The doctor writes the order only after talking about it with the patient (if possible), the proxy, or family.