What is a business that provides non-emergency medical transportation? Doctor visits, rehab, clinical testing, follow-up tests, and other pre-scheduled healthcare appointments are all made easier with NEMT services.
The demand for safe and dependable public transportation for those with healthcare logistics companies and impairments, particularly in rural areas, is growing at a rapid pace. Read on if you’re considering creating a NEMT company.
The NEMT industry’s current state
“Transportation concerns should not prevent anyone from getting to or from a doctor’s visit,” says Imran Cronk, a staff writer for STAT, a major health sciences and medicine news website.
“However, for an estimated 3.6 million Americans, they do just that.” Some of these people do not own vehicles or have limited access to public transportation. “Some people can’t afford taxis or Ubers,” Cronk explains.
In the NEMT services industry, there is a developing market opportunity. The number of aged and disabled patients is steadily rising. Furthermore, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance policies now cover additional preventative and follow-up therapies. In most regions, public transportation fleets do not have many wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
According to Josh Komenda, CEO of VEYO, there is a substantial community of people who require non-emergency medical transportation, particularly in rural locations for medically weak or elderly people. Many people lack a driver’s license or transportation. They are geographically isolated, or they are physically, mentally, or developmentally unable to use standard public transportation.
Between 2015 and 2018, 32 states reported more than 59,000,000 total Medicaid NEMT trips for behavioral health, dialysis, preventative care, and specialized care.
Due to refusal of care, delays in care, and missed appointments, our health-care system incurs an additional $150 billion in costs.
According to a recent report by The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, over 3.6 million patients refuse or postpone required medical care each year due to a lack of transportation.
Legal arrangements of medical transportation companies
Your non-emergency medical transportation company’s legal structure has far-reaching implications, both in terms of partnering with payment providers and tax obligations.
NEMT firms can be single proprietorships, partnerships, or limited liability companies (LLCs). If you need further assistance deciding on a legal structure, an attorney can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
While changing your legal structure is doable, it is not optimal. Consider the potential for the organization’s evolution and your growth expectations while writing your NEMT business strategy. Your meticulous attention to detail will inspire confidence in potential investors and aid in securing funding for the greatest possible start. Use a business plan template to ensure that you’ve thought through every facet of your firm, in addition to legal framework considerations.
NEMT licensure, certification, and insurance requirements
In terms of technology innovation and government regulation, the non-emergency medical transportation sector is still in its infancy as a formal specialty.
While the NEMT business as a whole has no formal guidelines, each state has its own set of operational norms and laws that all enterprises must follow.
Elements of NEMT certification
NEMT operators do not currently have to meet the same educational and training criteria as their ambulance transportation colleagues. Your employees should still be taught in basic medical emergency medical care, such as CPR, defibrillator use, vitals evaluation, and other life-saving measures.
Certification courses will almost definitely become common as the market develops and the demand for NEMT professionals grows.
Element of NEMT licensing
Another important aspect of the non-emergency medical transportation market is vehicle licensing.
Check your requirements with your local bureau of motor vehicles, and make sure you understand any Medicaid transportation regulations, if you provide it, such as:
- The number of points on a driver’s record
- A health certificate for the driver
- A liability insurance coverage for a vehicle
- A criminal history check
- Proof of negative drug testing at random
- Aspects of auto and liability insurance
Because driving patients carries inherent risks—traffic accidents or health-related occurrences while en route to medical facilities—having proper insurance is another important part of beginning a NEMT company. While there are no national standards for insurance policy elements and cash quantities, you should consult with your provider to ensure you’re properly insured.
Coverage is usually calculated using a two-part formula: coverage for the individual driver and coverage for the firm as a whole. Make sure you understand the risks and liabilities so your firm doesn’t go bankrupt due to underinsurance.
Wheelchair-accessible trucks and equipment that are ADA-compliant
If you want to start a transportation company, you’ll need the suitable vehicle. You’re most likely searching for a minivan, full-size van, or bus that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Components of ADA compliance
If your company fits any of the following criteria, your cars must be ADA compliant:
- Employers with 15 or more employees; enterprises that benefit the public; and all state and local government entities are all covered.
- The following are some ADA requirements:
- Door opening height: 56″-lift door height
- 30″ x 40″ clear platform handicap lift
Wheelchair attachments: Each leg can bear 2,500 pounds of strain.
4-point tie downs with lap and shoulder belts are used as the seat belt mechanism.
Interior lighting is provided by a one-foot candle.
Think about the medical equipment you’ll need for your passengers, such as wheelchairs, gurneys, oxygen tanks, and dialysis machines. These items will have an impact on the size and layout of the vehicle you’ll require, as well as your overall startup expenditures.
Vans that are ADA-compliant
There are a few economical wheelchair accessible van manufacturers and models that are ADA-compliant right off the assembly line or after an accessibility upgrade.
Wheelchair transport on the Ford Transit This handicap wheelchair van is equipped with
Right out of the box, it’s ADA-compliant. It’s a full-sized wheelchair van with lots of headroom and a variety of floor plans to choose from.
Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van: This wheelchair van is an ADA-compliant rear-entry wheelchair van that is also one of the cheapest mobility vehicles available.
Legend Side Entry Handicap Van Conversion: A motorised ramp operated by remote control or door side control provides spacious side-entry accessibility.
You must be able to meet the needs of your consumers on the front end, which includes offering outstanding service with flexibility and consistency. This will necessitate strategic hiring and a commitment to continued training, especially as the business matures.
To boost your profitability, you’ll need to look at strategies to control costs on the back end.
Consider the following from the start:
- The services you provide and the most efficient methods of providing them
- Choosing the best people to collaborate with and for you
- Payment alternatives that are appropriate for your demography
- Your dynamic marketing strategy—or, more specifically, how you’ll attract clients
- Choosing service options and billing
Whatever specific services you intend to provide, make sure you categorize them and properly communicate them. You want your clients to know exactly what they’re getting, and you want billing to be as simple as possible.
Your service’s price
Several things will influence how much you charge for your services:
- Place of residence
- Economic circumstances
- Customers’ age and health status
- The company’s capacity to supply services at a low cost
Pricing strategies including multi-service package rates, referral discount schemes, and frequent customer awards can help you attract more customers.
Recruiting for office positions
Aside from capable drivers, staffing a NEMT business will necessitate a combination of talented employees with experience in customer service, accounting and finance, schedule management, and leadership.
As with other businesses, your employees will most likely have to fill many roles at initially. You might not be able to hire your entire desired team right away. However, even in the early stages, a solid training program for onboarding new staff will be critical.
Choosing payment methods
Medicaid will most likely be the principal payer. Ensure that your employees are familiar with Medicaid’s precise processes and billing guidelines. This will include yearly program adjustments and continuing training.
Building ties with insurance companies will very certainly be crucial. Each insurer will most likely follow their own set of operating norms, which will be a challenge at first but should grow easier as time goes on.
Developing a marketing plan
Once all of the components of the NEMT startup are in place, it’s time to reach out to potential consumers, their families, and caregivers.
A well-targeted, multichannel marketing plan is money well spent. The strategic marketing plan should include a combination of traditional and digital advertising strategies to guarantee that the message reaches people both online and offline. Setting up a marketing ROI tracking approach will help you figure out which channels are worth investing more money in.
Aside from paid promotion, the NEMT firm can boost ROI by pursuing numerous unpaid—and sometimes earned—marketing options.