The cost of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is just one of the challenges you face when traveling for medical needs. You also need to consider the cost of lodging, since overnight stays are often required for medical travel.
In this article, we’ll briefly highlight some options available for critically ill children and adults. In most cases, you need a referral from your hospital representative or social worker. Of course, every situation is unique, but this should give you a starting point with a few options for accessible lodging to explore as you move forward with your treatment or clinical opportunities.
Healthcare Hospitality Network
The Healthcare Hospitality Network links more than 200 nonprofit organizations to support the effort to provide lodging to patients and their caregivers for critical medical travel. If you need accommodation, you can locate a house near the medical center where you’ll be receiving treatment. They currently have lodging options in 35 states in the US.
Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) is one of the most well-known lodging solutions for critically ill children (21 years of age and younger). Their goal is to support and improve the well-being and health of children and their families. They currently have more than 675 programs but offer more than just lodging support. The RMHC supports the family with educational programs and support services for the critically ill child, siblings, and family.
The American Cancer Society launched Hope Lodge to support cancer patients (18 years of age and older) and their caregivers in 33 cities across the US. These lodges offer a home-like environment that’s nurturing and supportive, with the resources and educational materials you need to learn more about what you’re fighting. The goal of Hope Lodge is to offer the hope you need as you focus on your recovery.
Joe’s House was launched in 2003 when a cancer patient’s wife faced challenges finding lodging. Now, the nonprofit’s website offers a list of lodging resources for Best Western, Choice Hotels, Drury Hotels, Extended Stay America, InterContinental Hotels Group, Red Roof Ins, and Wyndham Hotel. They streamline reservations, offer details about transportation options, and list the discounted rates.
Hotel Keys of Hope program
The Hotel Keys of Hope program is a partnership between Extended Stay American and the American Cancer Society. If you’re a cancer patient, you may be eligible to receive a free or discounted stay at an Extended Stay location.
The CARES Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers grants for those affected by Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). They cover up to 50% of out-of-pocket costs for lodging when you see a medical specialist approved by the foundation.
What About Other Options?
There’s a range of options that may support your need for medical travel assistance. We’ve listed some of the more well-known and widespread programs across the US. Still, you’ll also find grants and other local funding solutions via your local and destination medical coordinator or social worker. FindHelp.Org and 211.org are good general resources with nationwide options for a variety of social services.
Your destination medical center may have a list of local lodging options with special/discounted rates. They may also have a hotel liaison who can advise you on where to look for viable housing options. You could even explore the OpenHomes option through Airbnb—a place you can call home when you’re in critical need.
When the Cost of Traveling for Medical Treatment becomes a Burden
Angel Flight West provides free non-emergency medical transportation in the western U.S for people who cannot afford the cost. We know the cost of air travel can be prohibitive, which means needed treatment is often put off or never received. Our goal is to give you full access to the care you need at no cost to you.
Since our founding in 1983, Angel Flight West has provided nearly 100,000 flights for thousands of people. Our private volunteer pilots fly their own or rented aircraft and donate the flight costs to Angel Flight West. When a small aircraft is impractical, we partner with major air carriers, including Alaska Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Contour Airlines, JSX, and Hawaiian Airlines. We also have volunteer drivers called Earth Angels who assist with the ground portion of our donated trips.
If the cost of traveling for medical treatment has become a burden for you, we encourage you to find out more about our services, request a flight now if you have a scheduled medical appointment that you need to travel more than 100 miles to, or contact our office at [email protected] or (310) 390-2958. We look forward to serving you.