The National Patient Travel Center has served 108,489 patients since July 1, 1972

The National Patient Travel Center provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medically-related transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical transportation network.

The purpose of the National Patient Travel Center is to ensure that no financially-needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance medical transportation.


The National Patient Travel Center has many resources at its disposal to assist patients.

Patient Number: 1-800-296-1217

National Patient Travel HELPLINE More than 14,000 calls were received by this HELPLINE last year. After an initial screening of patient need and determination of a suitable means of travel, callers are referred to the most appropriate charitable medical transportation program that can best meet their needs. This is a referral service and there is no cost for the information. This HELPLINE is available 24/7. A growing list of national medical and disease organizations utilize this HELPLINE to assist their constituency with charitable medical transportation information and referral.

Airline Tickets for Patients/Escorts The National Patient Travel Center is the only single source in the nation for full information on all available charitable or deep-discount airline ticket programs for patients and patient escorts. Referral for patients to the best program to meet their needs is accomplished through the National Patient Travel HELPLINE. An increasing number of these programs are being administered in the Center on behalf of various airlines. Ambulatory patient travel in excess of 1,000 miles necessitates the use of airline resources. Special circumstances can make use of these programs for even shorter distances advisable. NPTC personnel are highly experienced in these diverse and often changing airline patient ticket programs. Initial contact for referral should be through the National Patient Travel HELPLINE.

Volunteer Pilot Organizations Volunteer pilots are available to patients and an escort needing transportation for medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment. Patients must be ambulatory, which means they must be able to walk, enter and exit the plane with little or no assistance, and require no medical care (i.e., doctor or nurse) en route. There must be a financial or compelling need for the flight. Volunteer pilot organizations can only assist when the destination is within 1,000 miles.

Long Distance Ground Transportation This program provides non-emergency long-distance ground transportation for financially strapped ambulatory patients traveling for treatment. Transportation provided by commercial means (Greyhound, Amtrak, etc.) as well as the provision of gas cards. Typical trip does not exceed 250 miles (one-way).

All of NPTC programs are operated in a very cost-effective manner with approximately 96% of all expenditures being for program purposes.