Why we don't use Vans
Not comfortable for long distance transports; Ok for short distances of less than 150 miles.
- No one cares for patient while driver/emt is sleeping.
- No bathroom on board.
- No medical resuscitation equipment should patient deteriorate.
- “Stretcher-bed” is not comfortable for long distances.
Medical Transport Questions
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive in the transportation center is ”How comfortable is the ride?” Many patients or clients who do not like to fly or cannot fly, must travel by ambulance or an extended van. An ambulance, a limo, van, SUV, and a RV don't provide the same comfortable ride as a medically equipped Motor Coach.
Coaches are made to provide comfort for long distance trips and are not like an ambulance or van, which are built for short distances. Coaches have independent front suspension that gives a more stable ride with air bags that cushion the bumps. At twice the weight of an RV and four times the weight of an ambulance, the motor coach smoothes out the roughness of the road. Ambulances are SUV’s built on a truck chassis with no air suspension system and thus have a "hard” ride.
The medical coach is specially designed for the client traveling long distances. Clients can sit up in bed and watch the scenery out of a large bay window vs. looking out the back of an ambulance or van lying on a stretcher. The on-board private bathroom is more comfortable and more accessible than getting out of an ambulance or van to use a public restroom. Other important amenities on a long cross-country trip are a TV with the option to watch movies on a DVD player. A microwave and refrigerator makes for hot and cold drinks, fresh foods, and snacks. An added benefit is to have a relative ride along with you, which is not possible in back of an ambulance. Most extended vans do not have room for a comfortable recliner seat. Our transportation coordinators describe the MED Coach as just like being at home but you are in a “home on wheels”. So, how’s the ride? “The smoothest we can make it”.
MED Coaches are much simpler than flying. Air Ambulance transportation costs twice as much as a MED Coach. When traveling on a commercial airliner there may be hassles with crowds, challenges with extra luggage, stress of deadlines to catch a flight, stress of going through security, cancelled flights, or waiting for hours inside the aircraft. Plus you may experience difficulty getting into a small and narrow seat.
There is no chance of lying flat and little chance to sleep on a crowded flight. On a MED Coach you travel in privacy and there are no embarrassing moments with catheters, tubes, wires, oxygen masks etc. You travel when you want to travel. You sleep on a comfortable Airflow mattress on top of a memory foam mattress. In short we remove the stress. It’s like traveling while sitting in your lounge chair in your living room, looking out a large window and watching the landscape pass by while drinking tea. In a MED Coach you ride in luxury, first class, and are treated with the highest quality of service.
- We care
- Excellent service
- Excellent reputation
- 3 Medical transportation services
We have been transporting patients for more than 30 years and take pride in the outstanding quality of our service. We own and maintain all of our coaches and they are medically retrofitted to meet the needs of our clients. The coaches are outfitted with hospital-type beds with medically designed constant airflow mattresses. The Airflow mattress along with customized air-cushioned ride of the coach together provides our clients with a comfortable, enjoyable experience. Our team of highly skilled and experienced nurses, the professional drivers, the caring coordinators and our medical director all come together to make Med Transport Center the best in the business.
The MED Coach is 25 feet in length and 11 feet high. A six-foot tall person can easily stand up and walk around.
Yes. Some patients require soft foods and have special dietary needs (dietetic, low salt etc.) and some even require Chocolate!!!
Just let us know before the trip so we can have it on board. The coach has a kitchen with a full size refrigerator, some are 4 doors with a freezer, a microwave, etc. We provide drinks, snacks and soft foods like pudding and applesauce.
Yes. In most cases you can bring your pet providing it is on a leash or in a cage. Our policy states that our operations manager must approve all pet transportation.
Our 25 foot MED Coach can take 2 soft side luggage pieces.
Our policy states that all luggage may be inspected and must be approved by the operations manager.
A most enjoyable experience -- under the circumstance. “We really had a great time with the team, the drivers and nurse. We laughed and joked most of the way. My mom did not want to get off the coach." And of course we provide movies, books, magazines and card games; making the time pass quickly.
Yes. We come right to your home or medical facility.
No. A personal nurse and two drivers are with the patient throughout the entire transport. Although it's not necessary for a patient to be accompanied by a relative or friend, many times it is very comforting for both the patient and family to know that a familiar face will also be traveling.
Medical transportation goes more smoothly if we can avoid the morning and evening busy traffic hours. Therefore, picking you up either before 7AM or before 4PM. We work with the sending and receiving facilities to accommodate your needs and theirs.
Yes. Our nurse will call and update the family periodically with the patient’s condition and the travel progress. All drivers and nurses have cell phones and update our transportation coordinators throughout the duration of all trips. The Med Transport Center also has the ability to follow the coach's location and travel progress using our GPS tracking system. A board certified, emergency physician, Ken Kreye MD, is available 24 hours per day for any medical questions or concerns that may arise.
The Med Transport Center has a staff of transportation coordinators who monitor and track the progress of all on-going transports via satellite GPS. The Director of Operations, Jim O’Donnell oversees the drivers and coaches.
Dr. Kreye, the medical director, works in the Med Transport Center and oversees all the patient transports and consults with the nurses taking care of the patient.
We accept payment by credit card or bank wire transfer. All arrangements are made prior to departure. In almost all cases Medicare and Medicaid does not pay for these services, as they are considered “not medically necessary”. One must prove that our medical transportation services are or were required, and why the patient could not be treated at a closer medical center. Please call us for details.
The rates can vary significantly by company. Some factors for pricing include: total mileage, the medical crew, amenities and type of service.
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A typical air ambulance transport from California to North Carolina costs around $31,000! While a typical long distance medical transport by ground from California to North Carolina costs around $13,000.
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Financing is now available, for details you must call our transportation coordinators at (800) 311-3412.
Almost any non emergency patient regardless of their condition can be transferred. By definition a non emergency patient is one that has stable vital signs (BP, heart rate, temperature and respirations) and does not require or expected to require in-transport (in-flight / in-route) medical intervention. Contagious patients are evaluated by the medical director on a case-by-case basis.
Yes. The patient or family must provide the medications for the patient throughout the trip.
Our nurses have several years experience and are trained to recognize changes in a patient’s condition. Her only responsibility is to take care of the patient. If a patient’s condition changes the nurse calls and consults our medical director, Dr. Ken Kreye, day or night. Oxygen and suctioning equipment is available if needed. In an emergency we call 911 to meet us or go directly to the closest emergency department.
Yes. 30 years of experience has taught us that experienced nurses with years of hospital experience in ICU / ER’s etc. are best at recognizing and responding to changes in the medical condition of the patient. They are more experienced with treating the elderly patient, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, psychiatric patients and are preferred by our patients.
We try to prepare for every possible problem that could arise. A common problem that arises is Sundowner’s Syndrome. Patients with Sundowner's Syndrome get confused and agitated as the sun goes down. This is common for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They become restless, anxious, confused, agitated, and have trouble sleeping. They may even become combative.
How do we treat it? With soft lighting, constant reassurance that they are safe and reminding them where they are and where they are going. Other common problems we encounter include urinary tract and bladder infections, dehydration, non-functioning N/G and PEG tubes, blocked Foley catheter, nausea and vomiting, plugged trach tube, falling blood pressure, congestive heart failure, shortness of breath and many more. It is nice to know you have an experienced nurse at your side at all times and an emergency physician to consult with 24/7.
We do not accept or file insurance claims but one can always file with your insurance carrier yourself. We strongly advise you include a letter from your sending and receiving physician documenting why the transport is or was “medically necessary”.
For flights of 250 miles to 600 miles, we recommend a turbo prop pressurized aircraft. It is sufficient and cost effective, if time is not critical. This can be a bumpy flight as one flies through clouds at lower altitudes. The most commonly used aircraft is a Cessna 421, which is pressurized, and this makes it safer for patients who are critical and or need to be on oxygen.
Flights of 300 to 1000 miles: It is preferable to use a prop-jet or jet prop aircraft such as a King Air for speeds of 300 mph or more. This would be a three to four hour flight.
Flights of 500 to 3000 miles: Flying at 450 to 550 mph, jets are the best choice with the higher altitudes allowing one to fly over the turbulent weather while offering the smoothest and quietest flight. Lear jets are most commonly used as well as the Cessna Jets.