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Guide: Understanding How Technology Shapes NEMT Industry

The NEMT industry has become a powerhouse when it comes to growth and stability. Understanding the technology that shapes the NEMT sector can give you a firmer grasp of how a great NEMT software solution can help to improve your company. Let’s go over the benefits that come from embracing this technology in the NEMT industry, along with what you can expect to get out of utilizing it for your business.

Need of Technology for NEMT Industry

You don’t even have to be familiar with the NEMT industry to see how technology has changed transportation for the better. Remember the old days of paper maps or printing up directions for a family road trip? There would always be a problem with the paper version. Sometimes it would be because the directions were confusing, and sometimes, it would be because something changed, such as construction, accidents, or road closures. Modern technology helps to take the surprise out of any trip. You can be notified in advance that there’s a problem with your route and rerouted quickly without letting the issue destroy your timeliness. The technology available today for NEMT services takes all of the guesswork out of time-sensitive transportation that makes it better for your clients. It also makes it better for your company. NEMT solutions offer various vital features that save your company time and money while keeping your schedule as complete as possible to improve profitability while cutting out waste.  

Key Features of NEMT Solutions 

While not all NEMT solution software is created equally, you should be looking at a minimum of these four features to help your NEMT business keep up with your competitors and continue to grow. These features include ride digitization, GPS-enabled tracking, HIPPA compliance, and comprehensive trip management.

Ride Digitization 

Ride digitization works hand in hand with GPS-enable tracking. Eventually, all NEMT rides will become digitalized where nothing is left on paper but servers and in the cloud. Ride digitization works wonders for patients in improving the quality of service they receive on every aspect of their trip, starting with scheduling and ending with billing. It also has the benefit of creating transparency for all aspects of your NEMT business. This transparency means that it’ll help you to eliminate the possibility of fraud, waste, and abuse that can occur when close monitoring isn’t involved. It can also act as a quality control monitor as it will keep track of crucial ride quality metrics for all of your drivers. You’ll have all of the information regarding each driver personally at your fingertips, such as rider feedback, driving performance, and more. When it comes to rewarding great drivers and eliminating problem ones, you don’t have to look any further for the fairest way possible to handle it. As firing problem drivers can sometimes be tricky, this NEMT software solution can help you provide hard data on why the firing was based on their performance and not discrimination. 

GPS-Enabled Tracking

The advent of GPS has changed the world and travel for everyone, but for the NEMT industry, it has been an even more significant game-changer. Employing a NEMT solution that features real-time GPS can create a more efficient system when it comes to routing drivers for pickups. Drivers can rely on the GPS to help them find where they need to be, especially if they are picking up from neighborhoods that they aren’t familiar with, and let your dispatch keep an eye on their route to ensure that they can arrive on time for your clients. This feature can also be great for your clientele. As technology comes down in price and becomes even more user-friendly, more seniors are using it. Allowing patients to see their ride coming for them in real-time can help to put them at ease for making it on time to their healthcare provider. Often, the procedures and appointments they are setting NEMT rides up for are stressful enough on them, so helping to reduce their stress about getting to where they need to be can be beneficial. In addition, it can be a great way to separate yourself out from the crowd. 

HIPPA Compliant 

As you know, being a NEMT business compared to regular private transportation means that you need to stay compliant when it comes to HIPPA regulations. The medical information that you collect on your patients to transport them safely and securely to their healthcare appointments has to be stored securely when accessed and stored digitally. A NEMT solution offers an easy way to keep track of this data in one secure platform. This software allows you to create, edit, and utilize the information safely without compromising the sensitive information. 

Comprehensive Trip Management

Putting NEMT software into place for your business means that you’ll have comprehensive trip management that goes beyond just real-time GPS tracking. You’ll be able to manage your entire NEMT business using software that was engineered specifically for the NEMT industry all in one place. The software will offer trip management capabilities, including routing and scheduling while monitoring and tracking your fleet with real-time data. Not only does this data help you in the moment, such as rerouting trips for canceled appointments without wasting your driver’s time, but it can also be used for the big picture to identify areas where you could be doing better. The beautiful thing about NEMT software is that it’s scalable for your business, meaning that it can be just as beneficial for a small start-up NEMT business as it is for a more significant business. 

Key Takeaways

When it comes to the NEMT industry, technology has changed the game for the better. In many industries, there is the fear of technology in that it will replace staff and make a company seem inhuman to the public, but that’s not the case with the NEMT industry. You don’t have to worry about losing the human touch as your staff relies on this technology solution as it only helps them do their jobs better and more efficiently. Patients will still get the same excellent customer service your company is known for while seeing an improvement thanks to the software. Do you have questions about how our NEMT software will work for your company? Are you interested in getting started? Contact our staff today to learn more. We can walk you through our user-friendly interface and help you get the most out of your NEMT business.

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How Does NEMT Software Operate?

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is critical in assisting individuals in getting to medical appointments and relatable activities. The goal of any non-emergency medical transportation service provider is to be prompt, diligent and help improve the quality of life for their clients and the community as a whole. Technology continues to boost NEMT software. It brings with it new efficiencies to help the brokers and transport professionals work more effectively and efficiently.

Why the Need for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation?

Lack of transportation options is a barrier to healthcare access. The population in the United States continues to get older. By the year 2060, 25% of all Americans will be over the age of 65. The number of Americans over the age of 85 will triple in that time. As they get older, these are individuals who will find it harder to drive a car, get up and downstairs, and get to doctor’s appointments timely. Preventative care with a doctor is critical to identify health issues early and address them before becoming a crisis.

Non-emergency medical transportation exists to help folks be prompt in getting their appointments done, talking to their doctor about their health, and getting the care they need. When you cannot go see your doctor due to not having a car or a disability, it could lead to more medical issues down the line.

Not every trip to the doctor requires a 9-1-1 call. It could just be that you do not have a car. It is for these reasons that non-emergency medical transportation providers exist and thrive in the aging population.

The Technology Twist to Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

You may be or have already put a decision on becoming a non-emergency medical transport service provider. Jumping into this market means you need to understand the business as a whole. The industry goes far beyond just getting a vehicle and picking up, dropping off patients from one appointment to the next. Technology is leading the charge as this industry evolves with the times.

It was not long ago that non-emergency medical transportation companies did everything by phone. Someone would call to get an appointment, and they get on the schedule. The car would show up, drive them to the appointment, and move on.

Things are different now, though, and it is far easier to do all this and manage a growing fleet via software rather than manual processes. Using data, GPS technology, and scheduling solutions allows you to increase your ability to change the game for patients.

Benefits of NEMT Software

There are considerable benefits to moving to NEMT software solutions for patients, dispatchers, as well as care facilities. Understanding where the benefits come into play for each of the core parties to non-emergency medical transportation gives you the complete picture of the solution.

Patient benefits start with ease of scheduling, promptness, and communication. If you are a patient trying to make an appointment for a non-emergency medical transport, you may not have the foresight to call and schedule weeks in advance. With smartphones and software solutions, you could use software to request a vehicle on-demand. You can see what is available to you, make the request, and get a communication response instantly. There may be no need for you ever to pick up the phone. Patients can use the software to enter their medical insurance information, contact details, and more.

Dispatchers love NEMT software as it allows them to be effective and precise in what they do. If a dispatcher gets a request for transport to a doctor’s appointment, the software gives them the schedule right in front of them. On top of that, they can see where all the vehicles in the fleet are at this time. If one vehicle is running behind, they will know that thanks to the software, they can quickly pivot to send another vehicle for that next pick up. It allows for improvements to promptness and diligence, letting the software help you execute the task.

Care facilities get a lot of information from non-emergency medical transport software to help them with their patients. Transport providers can give insights to care facilities if the patient will be late due to an issue with the fleet. On top of that, care facilities can also subscribe to the software to help refer patients to the service. The care facility may even use the software to help set up the appointment for the patient.

It is all about making things easy, transparent, and efficient across the board.

NEMT and the Need for Software

The industry for non-emergency medical transportation continues to grow. As the population gets older, more will need medical transportation to get to doctor’s appointments timely. By the year 2026, according to Zion Market Research, the healthcare transportation industry will grow by $10 billion to become a $31 billion industry. Non-emergency medical transportation is the fastest-growing segment of that, with a growth rate of over 4% during that time.

With integration into the healthcare system, Medicaid insurance covering transports, the need is rising, and demands increase. Your business needs to be ready to handle the demand.

NEMT software takes all the management of the business and puts it into the automation funnel. It takes in requests for transport, does automatic scheduling, allows patients to manage reservations, and more. Drivers get automation when it comes to maps and routes with traffic information in real-time. Billing and reports with relation to the invoices are also one-to-one.

As a non-emergency medical transport service provider, you need technology and software to help you grow with the demands. Managing schedules, your fleet, increasing flexibility, and communication are all critical components.

Software solutions like Tobi continue to make it easier to execute your mission and provide the best possible service to clients with each ride.

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What Are the Different Modes of Medical Transportation?

Age and circumstances catch up to everyone over time. We get older. It becomes harder to drive a car, get up and downstairs. Events could leave us with injuries, regardless of our age. Some injuries may require emergency medical attention, while others may push us to get assistance for follow-up medical attention. No matter what your need is, medical transportation exists to help. There are many different modes of medical transportation. Understanding what each is and when is the right time to act is critical.

The Existence

Medical transportation exists for many reasons. Helping eliminate the trouble of driving on your own is a significant benefit. You may be in an accident where emergency care is necessary. It could also be that you have a doctor’s appointment, yet you cannot drive to your destination. In either instance, this transportation will eliminate the need for you to drive anywhere.

It could be you need a mode of emergency transport or non-emergency medical transportation(NEMT). Either way, its eliminates the risk and hassle of driving on your own.

Safety and convenience are what you get when using a medical transportation service provider. No matter your age, there may be times when you cannot make it to a hospital or another medical facility on your own. You driving a car, walking, or using any other mode of transportation may be too dangerous.

It could be that you need medical attention even while en route to the center. NEMT service providers help to keep you safe. These services provide you a convenient option to get necessary medical attention.

Should You Use Medical Transportation?

A lot of users may be hesitant to use medical transportation. You may think you can tough it out and get to that appointment. Never be too stubborn to the point where you purposefully do not use medical transportation! Anyone who needs medical care and cannot safely get to their appointment, hospital, or wherever you need to go should use medical transportation.

Emergency medical transportation is critical and can be life-saving. Professionals with qualifications can give you medical care on your way to the hospital, keeping you comfortable, eliminating pain, and addressing health concerns as the ambulance drives.

NEMT is also critical and can keep you safe. If you are in a wheelchair and cannot drive a vehicle, the NEMT service provider will get you to your appointment on time. Never skip an appointment or delay your arrival at a medical center because you do not want to use medical transportation; that is why it exists!

The two types of medical transportation services include NEMT and emergency medical transportation. You want education on when to use each service offering. The more you know, the better the decision you can make. It all comes down to the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency situation.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

The first type of medical transportation service is non-emergency medical transportation(NEMT) . A NEMT service is one you use when you need assistance getting to an appointment, but it is not an emergency.

The type of appointment you use a NEMT service for would be an annual physical check-up. A follow-up appointment is another fine example. A qualifying individual is someone who cannot drive a car on their own. The person may not even own a vehicle. You could also be someone in a wheelchair. In these instances, a provider will come to pick you up on schedule, bring you to your appointment, then bring you back to where you live.

Options as part of NEMT vary based on your needs. You could get a courier service, with a vehicle picking you up and bringing you to your appointment. Ambulatory ride in a sedan is also available. These are medical vehicles, not with the same advancement as a traditional ambulance, that will help keep you in a controlled setting on your way to your appointment.

If you have an injury or disability, medical transportation can help you get into a wheelchair or stretcher for travel to your medical provider. There may be times when you need to get on a plane, and in these instances, flight escorts are available. The options are endless and can assist you in whatever your travel needs may be.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Emergency medical transportation is different as it is critical in-the-moment transit to get you to a hospital or similar medical facility fast. It is the type of transportation service provider you connect with when calling 9-1-1. The two varieties you get as part of emergency medical transportation include a Basic Life Support Ambulance or an Advanced Life Support Ambulance.

A Basic Life Support Ambulance can assist you with emergency medical care en route to a hospital when you have primary injuries. When you do not need critical and intense care to remain alive while going to the hospital, this is the provider you will connect with. Your 9-1-1 provider and on-scene medical professionals will make the determination of the care level necessary.

Advanced Life Support Ambulance vehicles help to address critical care requirements in a flash. You may need medical attention immediately, with intensive care necessary to keep you living while on the way to the hospital. The equipment and medical professionals in these vehicles help to make that a reality.

Medical transportation providers look for ways to make things easy for patients every day. When in a crisis, emergency medical services is there to give you immediate medical attention during transport. For those unable to get to routine doctor’s appointments, NEMT exists.

Often insurance will cover both of these services; it is best to check your policy to understand coverages. In the end, understanding both types of transportation options and when to use each can help you make the right decision when the moment arises.

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What is Non-Emergency Medical Transport, and How Can It Benefit Patients?

As we get older, it isn’t easy to get around. Remember when it was easy to hop in the car and drive to see your doctor? For many of us, the ease of this type of travel fades away over time. Getting out of the house now may require a different approach. Modern transportation is making it easier once again. Non-emergency medical transport(NEMT) services are critical and provide significant benefits to patients daily.

Defining a Non-Emergency Medical Transport Service

What does it mean to use a non-emergency medical transport service? You may also identify one of these service providers stating they are in the NEMT business. A non-emergency medical transport service is a provider to help you get medical attention when necessary and not an emergency. It sounds simple because it is.

A non-emergency medical transport service will help pick you up from your home, another location, or even a nursing home. The provider will bring you to a medical facility, wherever you need to go. Remember that these providers are not the same as an ambulance. They are transports, but not when in an emergency. If you have an emergency, the recommendation is you still call 9-1-1 for an ambulance and professional with qualifications to assist.

Understanding How a NEMT Service Provider Works

An individual may have a doctor’s appointment for an annual physical but have no way to get to that appointment by themselves. You may have no vehicle. If you own a car, you may not be able to drive yourself. It could also be you have no family member to give you a ride. Tasks that were simple such as walking up and down a flight of stairs, may prove troublesome. The possibilities are endless, with many variables in play. It may also be that you do not feel up to driving that particular day. These are reasons you may want to hire a NEMT service provider.

The way the process works is you reach out to a provider or use software such as an app on your phone, connecting you to service offerings. Once you reach the central hub, they will locate a non-emergency medical transport to pick you up. The assignment goes to that transport available. The driver will then promptly arrive at your location. They will take the instructions given to them for the job, rely on software for efficient directions to get you to your destination.

Who Are the NEMT Brokers?

You may hear about non-emergency medical transport brokers. Who are these brokers? What role do they play? Think of NEMT brokers as the central hub helping tie together all the service providers. When you run a non-emergency medical transport business, you need clients to drive from one point to the next. However, you may not have the right software to obtain the jobs, staff to schedule them, etc. You may have vehicles and employees to execute the assignments given.

Non-emergency medical transport brokers are the central hub, controlling all the trips, assigning jobs to service providers like yourself. If a patient needs help getting to an appointment, they request and match them up with a driver to contact them where they need to be. It is also critical these brokers ensure NEMT providers have a license and that the patients receiving the service have eligibility.

Many NEMT brokers rely on software to handle all their quarterback duties. The software will help them manage the vehicles at their disposal the schedules, allow the drivers to get point-to-point quickly, track where the cars are, and more. Driving everything through a technology platform like Tobi makes life easy for a broker or NEMT provider going it alone.

The Growth of the NEMT Market

The non-emergency medical transport service market continues to expand. According to Zion Market Research, by 2026, the healthcare transportation industry will reach $31.51 billion globally. The growth results from the fact that we have a growing population of seniors in the United States and abroad.

Starting in the year 2030, Americans over 65 will make up roughly 21% of the population. It is up from where it stands today at 15%. The increase is due to the baby boomers getting older. Things will accelerate over time as well. By 2060, 25% of Americans will be 65 and older, with the number of folks 85 and older tripling.

Add up all these variables, and it is easy to see non-emergency medical transport needs are increasing. The growth of the market is imminent, and software can help you capitalize.

Medicaid Coverage for NEMT Service

The growth of NEMT services includes recognition by the healthcare system overall. As part of state Medicaid plans, individuals have coverage known as non-emergency medical transportation. It will cover the ride for an eligible individual to get to a doctor’s office, a hospital, or other medical office providers.

The cover will include NEMT wheelchair vans, which meet the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations for accessibility. With approval by your state’s Medicaid program, a professional with proper training can pick you up with this specialty equipment to transport you to your destination.

Patients Benefit from NEMT Services

Non-emergency medical transportation service providers do great things for patients. It is all about being proactive with one’s health.

Someone living in a wheelchair needs to see the doctor regularly. Routine physicals and check-ups can help identify health degradation. You may lack a car, have trouble walking. Your physical abilities may require you to be on a stretcher for travel. If that is a necessity, non-emergency medical transport services help meet the need.

Non-emergency medical transport service providers allow patients with disabilities to get medical care necessary with professional drivers carrying qualifications. As a much cheaper alternative to emergency transportation such as an ambulance, non-emergency medical transportation is a growing market helping more patients every day.

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How to Improve Your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business?

A non-emergency medical transportation business needs to get better every day. Improvement is incremental, with a focus on step gains over time. You must work to help users get to and from medical appointments.

When transporting patients, you want to be efficient, be personal, and make things better every day. The premise of a NEMT service provider is to get you where you need to be when you do not have a means of getting there yourself. Let us take a closer look at how you can improve your NEMT business model.

Push Forward with Technology

One way for a non-emergency medical transportation provider to improve with every transport is to push forward with technology. It was not long ago that all non-emergency medical transportation businesses would come in via phone call. You would call a provider to book the trip. They would then pick you up and take you to your appointment. When running a business, there are better ways to do things.

Software and the public cloud are leading the charge with new options. Folks now all have smartphones in their hands, with the ability to hop on applications. On-demand requests allow someone to request a non-emergency medical transportation service on the spot. That service can then get a notification, pick up the individual, and have software tell them the fastest way.

Services like Tobi are driving this type of practice forward, and it is all with technology at the forefront.

Focus on Being Prompt and Diligent as a Business

If you want to win in the non-emergency medical transportation industry, you need to be prompt. You will not get a call back if you pick up an individual late or get them to their appointment later than they expect.

When you say you are going to pick up an individual, you better be there on time. Being respectful of the time of your customer is critical.

Diligence is also essential. It would be best if you showed you care about what you are doing. Offering a level of care includes the little things such as helping your customer get into the vehicle, talking to them about their day. Dressing the part and being professional also assist in this approach.

Promptness and diligence go a long way to helping you achieve success in the non-emergency medical transportation space.

Behavioral Training Can Help Differentiate

We can all learn to be better with social skills daily. As a non-emergency medical transportation provider, you are a customer-facing organization.

You are sending drivers out to pick up individuals, then transporting them to the destination. These customers will all have different social traits, tendencies, behaviors. Your employees need to know how to work with the various behavioral characteristics they come across. Training in this space can prove helpful.

Versatility is critical in the soft-skill space. When your employees show they have soft skills, it will help them connect with customers. It could be as simple as helping them get through a difficult day or prepare for an appointment they are nervous about. Behavioral training can help your employees get ready for whatever comes their way.

Building Business Partnerships for Growth

It is challenging to grow your business alone. It would help if you had partners along the way that can help you achieve. The non-emergency medical transportation industry presents the need to broker business relationships. It includes relationships in the technology space, vehicle space, and more.

Technology partnerships are critical so that you can stay a step ahead of the competition. Differentiating factors such as software deals can help you offer clients a unique experience. Software such as Tobi can help customers reach you on-demand.

To help you being prompt in your response, customize your offerings, and reach patients to their destination timely. Brokering partnerships with technology providers can give you the edge to set yourself apart from the competition.

You need partnerships with other businesses, such as in the automobile space. If you do not have vehicles, how do you intend to transport people from one location to the next? Setting up partnerships with the makers of these vehicles can go a long way.

Broker relationships with medical providers are also critical. A patient may have a doctor they need to visit. If they ask the doctor for help in getting to the appointment, and the doctor already has a relationship with your non-emergency medical transportation, you may win that business.

You win business because you have the relationship set up already. It is all about making that initial customer connection and then letting your business sell itself.

Vehicle Maintenance Can Avoid Repairs and Downtime

The last piece of the puzzle for improving your non-emergency medical transportation is to take your vehicle maintenance schedule seriously. It could be easy to assume that users will see you again tomorrow if your vehicles ran great today. It is the wrong way to think about things!

It would help if you got all your vehicles on a regular maintenance schedule. Replacement of oil, checking of brakes, rotation of tires are all mission-critical practices that need execution. Getting your cars on a maintenance schedule can help you avoid the need for costly repairs and any extensive downtime.

Working with a local repair shop can allow your fleet to get the attention it needs. Ignorance of your fleet can lead to extensive repair bills. The last thing you want is to break down the way to getting your customer to their appointment.

Running a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business requires incredible attention to detail. You have a lot of levers to pull to improve your business. You need to focus on technology and take advantage of offerings like Tobi and other software providers.

It would be best if you got your vehicles on a regular maintenance schedule. Putting attention to behavioral training for employees will lead to better client relationships. In the end, make your NEMT business better today than it was yesterday; always look for ways to improve!