Dialysis Treatment and Transportation
The lack of transportation is a barrier to health care access. Many dialysis patients depend on public transportation or contracted non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services in order to get to the dialysis facility. Missing even one dialysis treatment can cause severe complications and jeopardize a patient’s health. Because dialysis is a chronic outpatient treatment, many patients are responsible for their own transportation. More than half a million people in the U.S. live with end-stage renal disease and require renal replacement therapy. Approximately 90% of these patients travel to a dialysis center three times a week for treatment.
Dialysis is a treatment that mimics the functions of the kidney. Many patients who need dialysis have appointments that can last several hours and as often as three or four times a week. The frequency and duration of these appointments can make it difficult to rely on a loved one for transportation, and it can be dangerous for patients to drive.
In some cases, dialysis recipients may be able to connect with free or low-cost transportation by way of organizations such as The Red Cross and The American Kidney Fund. The American Kidney Fund offers needs-based financial grants that help pay for transportation, health insurance premiums and prescriptions, and certain Red Cross chapters provide non-emergency transportation to medical appointments. In addition to low-cost options, individuals can schedule transportation through licensed NEMT companies like SendaRide that provide private transport to medical appointments.
SendaRide is a non-emergency medical transportation service that allows patients and hospitals to schedule appointments one day at a time, in advance or recurring appointments. By allowing on-going appointments to be made, patients can enjoy their time away from a Dialysis Center and live life stress-free. This also means that patients no longer need to seek appointment arrangements through caregivers in order to receive life-saving treatments.
With award-winning, state-of-the-art technology, SendaRide’s platform provides all riders with transparency of their trip reservations. Using our simple, user-friendly app, riders can schedule their rides and stay up to date on their transportation reservations. From the moment the reservation is made, riders receive alerts of when their trip has been assigned to a driver and when a driver is on the way. For ease of mind, riders are provided with the driver’s name, vehicle type and license plate number. In addition to our easy-to-use app, our friendly and knowledgeable live Customer Service team adds another layer of rider support and are one call or click away to assist in real-time.
Do you need assistance with Dialysis Transportation?
Experts agree that it can be dangerous to drive to dialysis, especially if patients are new to treatment and are unsure of individual side effects. The following are some of the major reasons that patients should wisely choose to use transportation services like SendaRide for dialysis treatments rather than driving themselves.
Lethargy – Dialysis can be physically draining depending on personal side effects.
Medication Side Effects – Dialysis can cause low blood pressure, which may lead to dizziness.
Physical Restrictions – Dialysis can cause various physical symptoms, including cramping, weakness, and low blood pressure.
Emotional Suffering – Dialysis comes with psychological effects, for example feelings of stress and sadness.
Fluid Burden – One of the risks of dialysis is fluid overload, which can cause swelling and shortness of breath.
Distance to the Treatment Center – If the treatment center is far from where a patient lives, it will be tiring and demanding to drive multiple times a week.
Please consider arranging for an alternative transportation method for safety. Self-transportation expenses may accrue if patients pay for gas, food and parking.
Medical Transportation Solutions Provide Practicality
Medicare may not cover the transportation needs to medical appointments. An extra fee may be involved if the dialysis center provides transportation, and because Medicare benefits do not apply, the patient will likely be responsible for payment; however, some dialysis treatment centers offer this service at no additional charge. To learn more, speak to the administrative office of your dialysis clinic.
In rural areas, dialysis patients may be able to secure transportation through county services. Many areas have specified care services available for seniors who cannot access transportation for medical appointments, and these are often available at no charge. Residency restrictions may apply, so contact a local administrative office to inquire about available options.
Many charitable and religious groups will also offer ride sharing services to those in need. In most situations, patients will not need to be a member of a specific religious group or affiliated with a particular belief system to take advantage of these services, but certain restrictions may apply. If there are questions, contact some houses of faith and ask questions about medical transportation services. Even if these organizations do not offer such services, they may be able to provide resources to an organization that does.
Finally, local transportation services may be an option if a patient is currently under care from a home health provider. These providers are usually private businesses that offer help with everyday tasks, including light housework and meal preparation. If a patient already receives services from such a provider, they may also be eligible to receive transportation to and from medical appointments. In these situations, distance and location restrictions may apply as well as time limitations for appointments.
Transportation Services Play a Vital Role
Patients understand the high importance of making it to their regular dialysis appointments and feel the consequences of not making it. Transportation can be a barrier for some individuals who need to receive regular dialysis treatments, especially as they age. Many seniors find that they are not able to drive themselves, so they rely on caregivers such as family, friends, public transportation, and ride sharing to get where they need to go. To ensure better healthcare outcomes it is critically important for dialysis patients to have access to an on-demand NEMT, e.g., SendaRide, so that they can be picked up and dropped off according to their individual schedules.
SendaRide has always viewed our non-emergency transportation service as a partnership with riders and an extension of the providers and MCOs, rather than as a stand-alone service. When understood this way it becomes evident why we have adapted as a technology company. Our technology ensures we engage with our riders in a meaningful way, specifically with complex and underserved populations. For example, we provide our riders with a mobile app allowing them to book and self-manage their rides. This empowerment allows them to be involved in their care and not disassociated with it. Empowerment of the rider supports their ability to age in place and retain their independence. While we have a digital-first approach to communication with riders, we also recognize their needs can be vastly different. For this reason, we will always meet the rider where they are while providing live customer service agents.
Benefits of SendaRide
- Convenience – With dialysis transportation, patients do not have to worry about how they will get to and from the dialysis center. Riders or their caregivers can schedule their own rides, so patients always arrive on time.
- Reliability – One-third of the people polled in a study said they had cut their dialysis sessions short because they did not want to be late for their rides. With a reliable non-emergent medical transportation service like SendaRide, patients can take as long as each session requires.
- Comfort – NEMT transportation vehicles come with comfortable environment allowing patients to relax after a grueling treatment.
- Safety –SendaRide’s Care Partners (drivers) are trained to make sure passengers are safe. For ease of mind, riders are provided with the driver’s name, vehicle type and license plate number. In addition to our easy-to-use app, our friendly and knowledgeable live Customer Service team adds another layer of rider support and are one call or click away to assist in real-time.
- Supportive Community – Connect with other patients who use the same dialysis transportation service. It is a fantastic way to be part of a community and get support through a tiring process like dialysis.
- Health Monitoring – Some dialysis transportation services have the ability to monitor and support patients during transportation to and from appointments. This is important because it may help to detect and prevent complications that may arise in transit.
- Peace of Mind – Having reliable transportation can ease worries about asking a loved one for a ride. At SendaRide, we prioritize rider experience with our culture of “Every Experience Matters”, consistently maintaining our 4.95 out of a possible 5-star rating from our riders and clients. We pride ourselves on our riders knowing they will get to treatment on time, safely and to the correct facility.
- Easier for all involved – It is not uncommon for a caregiver to take time off work or even give up their job to provide consistent transportation for another family member to their dialysis appointments. With a reliable transportation service, patients can receive high-quality care and dialysis required without disrupting relying on their caregivers. This also encourages a sense of freedom and independence.
Getting to Dialysis Appointments
For people who are not in an emergency, but still require specialized assistance and equipment that most transportation options cannot offer, SendaRide is the solution. Statistics show that 25% of patients miss a medical appointment due to transportation problems.
SendaRide is a dependable source of NEMT and can relieve stress. One of the biggest benefits of NEMT services is the protection that it offers. Going through dialysis treatments can leave a person weak and vulnerable. When a person is in this state, it is not safe for them to travel using traditional means, much less drive themselves. However, with SendaRide’s services, our Care Partners (drivers) are required to assist patients from door-to-door. By assisting patient’s door-to-door, we have built in a layer of safety for patients that are too lethargic, sick or experiencing negative side effects.
A dependable mode of transportation to and from appointments each time. SendaRide can schedule services to meet most any need but also allows users to schedule their own rides. book on-demand rides as well as the ability to view rides in real-time. SendaRide is capable of setting up transportation services several times each week to accommodate dialysis appointment scheduling demands. By doing so, a person with numerous appointments will no longer have to worry about finding transportation every time they need treatment.
Financial Assistance for NEMT Expenses
These come from a variety of sources and include Medicaid-approved care in all States, and in some places State kidney programs, the American Kidney Fund, Area Agencies on Aging, the American Red Cross, and the National Kidney Foundation.
Keeping medical appointments proves particularly important in ensuring good health for patients with chronic issues, such as renal disease, that requires kidney dialysis. In fact, on the cost-benefit analysis of non-emergency medical transportation completed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, an estimated 3.6 million patients in the U.S. put off treatment or missed appointments entirely due to a lack of transportation.v Fortunately, NEMT services such as SendaRide fill the gap by providing wheelchair-accessible rides to medical appointments for dialysis patients.
SendaRide is here to make transportation as stress-free as possible. Patients are often at their most vulnerable immediately after a dialysis session, and our team is committed to making sure you feel secure every step of the way. We will ensure patients do not wait after treatment and can leave the dialysis center as soon as possible. Our drivers and experts know how to help with special medical needs should any emergency arise in transit. We work hard to ensure that your trip is comfortable and stress-free.
For more information about SendaRide, contact us today!
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