An 85-year-old woman died after a non-emergency medical transport van was involved in a minor collision, according to the Indio, California Police Department. It is unknown at this time whether the woman was properly strapped into her seat, or what, if any, precautions the Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) company took to safely transport her. Because the NEMT company was transporting the woman for hire the company is held to the highest standard of care for her safety and well being.
Increasingly NEMT companies, unless being required to by broker-agreement or statute, are not training their employees to safely transport patients, which is resulting in catastrophic injuries and deaths. Additionally, NEMT companies have to combat driver fatigue, where the drivers and other employees have delayed, and often mistaken, decision making abilities.
Because this was a minor collision, and it appears no other passenger, driver, or employee was injured, the woman’s death raises serious questions as to how the NEMT transported their patient.