Do you want to hire a medical transportation van for business or personal use? If YES, here are 20 helpful tips for renting a medical transport van. For people who have one form of disability or the other, or people who are not able to move around by themselves due to one reason or the other, transportation to and from appointments or other occasional travel needs, can be problematic without a medical transport van.
In an emergency, an ill or injured person will typically utilize ambulance services from a local hospital. But when they aren’t in an emergency, they may struggle to access medical care, social activities, human services, and more. This is why medical transportation services are gaining traction in the United States, and even other countries of the world.
If you have a physically impaired family member, one of the greatest investments you can make is to get yourself a medical transportation van. If you cannot afford one of such, the next best thing for you to do is to rent one. You can equally choose to rent a medical transportation van first before you make the decision of buying it for your family use.
While an in-store consultation and test drive are a great start when you want to buy a van, but there is no substitute for experiencing a medical transportation van for a longer period of time to know how it performs in the day-to-day life of your family.
Many dealerships also have rent-to-own programs that will apply your rental fees to the purchase price of your wheelchair van. But before you go about renting that medical transportation van, there are things you need to look out for so that you can get the best van for your loved ones transportation needs.
20 Helpful Tips for Renting Medical Transportation Vans
1. Check for Full Insurance
One of the most important things you have to note when renting a medical transport van is insurance. Unlike standard rental car companies, handicap van rentals are not self-insured. You will need to call your insurance provider and ask for your limits to ensure you are able to rent a handicap van. Without full-coverage, you may be denied a wheelchair van rental service.
2. Know their Schedule
There is no use turning up to rent a van and not being able to, so you should first know how the business is run before you show up. Some dealer locations may only have one or two handicap van rentals and all appointments are made on a first-come, first served basis. If you know you will need a wheelchair accessible vehicle for a specific time, be sure to reserve it early on.
3. Know if They Are Offering Any Deals
Some dealers may offer handicap van rental specials depending on the time of year. Ask about any promotions that may be running when you look at wheelchair van rentals. This will help cut down your rental costs.
4. Know the Dimension of the Van you Need
As with all adaptive equipment, you will want to make sure that your handicap vehicle rental will accommodate you and your wheelchair comfortably. Ask your driver for door height and width before renting. These are very important questions to ask.
5. Check Seating Capacity
Next, you need to know how many people can fit into the van at the same time. Accessible minivans are only equipped to carry five to six passengers. If you know you’ll be traveling with more people, ask your dealer about a full-size wheelchair vehicle with a lift.
Again, wheelchair vans are rented for more reasons than vacation travel. Transportation for bigger chairs or multiple people may facilitate the need for different vans for different situations. Depending on your rental location, you have the option to rent either a full-size van or a minivan.
6. Ask About Rent-to-Own Programs
If you are scoping out the van so you can buy it, you need to know if the company offers any programs that can help you out, like a rent to own. Your dealer may have a program that will take your rental payment and put it toward the purchase of a vehicle later on.
7. Ask About Aftermarket Driving Equipment
Some handicap van rentals will offer hand controls to allow wheelchair users to drive themselves. Ask about any aftermarket driving equipment at the time of rental. This is important if you are strong enough to drive yourself.
8. Note the Mileage Included in Your Wheelchair Van Rental Period
Daily, weekly and monthly rental periods may have varying mileage limits. Be sure you know how far you will be traveling per day to avoid overage fees. You need to keep your costs down as much as possible.
9. Check Delivery
It pays to do your homework ahead of time when renting a medical transport van. Rental services understand that you need the vehicle to get where you need to go. Sometimes, that may even include the rental service. Most will even bring your rental to the airport to pick you up.
If you are traveling and need to rent a wheelchair van, find a wheelchair vehicle rental service and call them ahead of time. It may be the most convenient part of your trip.
10. Check their Reference
It is imperative to select a company that brings peace of mind. Ask about emergency procedures, hiring practices and references. A reputable company should have no problem with giving references. The best medical transportation companies pride themselves on the safety procedures they have in place.
Medical transport drivers are supposed to be CPR certified, hold a valid driver’s license, have a clean driving record, are trained in first aide procedures and adhere to the privacy standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Medical professionals know accidents can happen at any time. Be sure to find out how quickly the company can accommodate an emergency request. What kind of services do they provide? Will there be a nurse, EMT or paramedic on board?
12. Service Offering
The best non-emergency medical transportation companies are equipped with a team of professionals that can accommodate situations of all kinds. These companies deliver superior service and offer more than one escort option.
The transportation staff that will travel with your loved one must have received medical training to be able to address any issues that may arise during transit. While not all patients will require emergency medical staff while on board, if you think your loved one may need medical assistance during travel, make sure to find out if the transportation company can help with that.
13. Ensure You will Get Door-to-door Service
Door-to-door service is the best way to make a lasting impression. The logistics of coordinating medical transportation for your client can be complex. You don’t want to miss any details of your patient’s journey. Door-to-door services include sedan ambulatory transportation, wheelchair transport services, basic life support ambulance and advanced life support ambulance.
14. Short Long Distance Transportation
Be sure to find out if the transportation company is within your service area. The best transportation companies will be upfront about the areas they service. Long distance medical transportation occurs when traveling abroad or for transporting a patient to the best facility.
Look for a medical transportation company that provides a medical team to escort the patient from the hospital or clinic to an airport, and accompany them during a layover. If your patient is healthy enough to travel by air, you should ask about flight escorts. This mode of transportation is ideal for those who are cognitive but need medical supervision.
15. Vehicle Maintenance
Another important factor to take into consideration is the care and maintenance of the fleet of vehicles. Ask about the make and model of the vehicles and the appropriate inspection or smog check as applicable per state.
16. Find Out The “X-Factor”
What makes the transportation company stand out from the competition? In addition to transportation, clients can request a medical interpreter to accompany a patient during the ride. These interpreters are qualified in industry-specific terminology, are professionally trained and are native speakers. All of these qualities ensure your client receives the best medical transportation services and care.
17. Choose an accredited company only
One of the easiest ways to shortlist your options is to strike out those medical transport companies that are not accredited with the relevant regulatory bodies, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Going by accreditation when searching for medical transport will give you a fair idea of the standard of services offered by a provider, as reputed certifications are hard to obtain for medical escort services.
18. Check the fleet and the specific vehicle you’ll be assigned
Medical transport companies use different types of vehicles for short-distance trips to local medical centers or pharmacies and for long-distance intercity or interstate travel. Depending on your specific needs, check if the provider you’ve chosen has the right vehicles for a safe and comfortable ride.
Visit the facility and find out if the vehicle assigned for your use is the right make and is serviced, well- maintained, clean and safe for travel.
19. Check what amenities are available on board
Luxury medical escort companies may cost more but they are equipped with best-in-class amenities for an elevated transit experience. These range from high-quality memory foam mattresses, built-in bathrooms, Wi-Fi, electronics charging points, flat-screen televisions, music systems and DVD players. If these are important to you, book a premium service that will take the dread out of a long-distance trip to your doctor.
You can also find out in advance if the company provides wheelchairs, stretchers or any other specific equipment your loved one will need during their journey to the medical facility. Pick a provider that has the required experience, equipment and training to ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for your loved one.
20. Understand the contract before signing it
A service contract that’s too difficult or lengthy or complex for you to understand is an indication that you’d be better off looking for options. Look for a provider that offers a straightforward and simple contract that you can comprehend without professional assistance and is willing to offer you the assistance you need.
When Should You Rent a Medical Transportation Van?
These are situations where you will need to rent a medical transportation van;
1. Entertaining a Guest with a Physical Disability
When your guest comes to visit and you want to show them around town, you can rent a medical transport vehicle. Without the need to rely on public transportation, you can travel together in your community.
2. Taking Relatives Out of an Extended-Care Facility
For family members with low mobility or some paralysis, a daily handicap van rental would make visits easier when going out for lunch or to meet with other friends in town.
3. Temporary Disability
If you had an accident that has left you temporarily in need of mobility aids, a wheelchair van rental would be ideal to maintain your independence as you continue to heal.
4. Occasional Appointments
If you have a permanent physical disability but don’t have the means to purchase your own vehicle, wheelchair van rentals will allow you to maintain your obligations without a monthly vehicle payment.
Selecting the right long- or short-distance medical transportation service to transport your loved one safely for a medical visit or other engagements requires research, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time. I am sure these tips above will help you make the right choice.