How to Get Medical Transportation Contracts
According to Zion Market Research, the global Medical Transport Service market is on the rise, with industry experts projecting it to reach $126 billion by 2028. The Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) sector is gaining recognition and importance in the United States because healthcare organizations increasingly turn to these services.
As demand for medical transportation services continues to increase, many companies are vying for contracts with healthcare providers and other organizations. However, securing these contracts can be challenging, especially for new businesses. This blog aims to guide NEMT fleet operators and business owners looking to succeed in this growing industry.
Challenges for NEMT Fleet Operators
One of the biggest challenges NEMT service providers face is the need for standard regulations in the industry. Without governmental standards, NEMT businesses often need help establishing a clear operational framework, which can impact their ability to secure medical transportation contracts.
Factors such as inefficient processes and a lack of credibility can also contribute to the difficulty in obtaining contracts.
To overcome these challenges and expand the client base, fleet operators must refine business processes to build customer trust. Some simple strategies can help achieve this goal.
#1 Conduct Market Research Before Pursuing Contracts
Before reaching out to future business opportunities, it is crucial to understand the basics of the market new businesses are trying to penetrate.
- Analyze the demand for medical transportation in the chosen region.
- Check the types of contracts available.
By researching the types of services in high demand, such as wheelchair transportation or NEMT, and identifying potential clients such as hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers, NEMT service providers can gain insight into their transportation needs. Operators can use this information to tailor their approach and increase their chances of securing contracts.
#2 Focus on a Specific Niche and Understand Its Importance
Businesses can stand out in a competitive market like NEMT by focusing on a specific niche. A niche might include providing specialized transportation for patients with diabetes or other chronic illnesses. While this approach may be more challenging in areas with low demand for NEMT services, it can be more effective than breaking into a broader market.
#3 Build Relationships with Major Medical Institutions
Medical institutions often turn to outside NEMT providers as they lack the resources to run their transportation services. And forming partnerships with major medical institutions can be highly beneficial. However, to do so, NEMT service providers must be able to match the standards they demand.
Building a mutually beneficial relationship with these institutions requires effort and establishing trust. These opportunities may not be advertised publicly and require direct negotiation with local hospitals.
#4 Obtain Certification and Licensing for Increased Credibility
NEMT businesses must comply with various local and state regulations. It is imperative to ensure that the company follows all relevant rules and holds all necessary certifications and licenses.
Besides legal compliance, businesses need to have their certifications and licenses in order because of the way the NEMT industry works.
Brokers work directly with Medicaid and state managed healthcare services to aggregate NEMT ride bookings and pass these on to vetted fleet operators. This is how NEMT providers get the bulk of their business in the NEMT industry.
Without proper certification and licensing, businesses cannot legally provide NEMT services and are unlikely to receive bookings from brokers.
#5 Develop a Compelling Proposal
Once potential clients have been identified and fleet operators fully understand their transportation needs, it is time to create a proposal. The proposal should detail the services offered, pricing, and credentials of the NEMT business.
It is important to emphasize how the fleet operators plan to meet the client’s needs. Including certifications and licenses held by the business and references from previous clients can add credibility to the proposal and increase its chances of being accepted.
#6 Diversifying Services and Clients
Expanding the range of services or clients of a NEMT company can attract more potential opportunities. By catering to the needs of small clinics or retirement homes, companies can provide more value and convenience to their customers.
Partnering with local NEMT brokers can help secure new contracts, as they frequently have access to a pool of clients needing transportation services. However, some providers may be wary of working with many brokers due to higher brokerage fees and the effort required to coordinate with different contact points.
#7 Engage Clients Regularly
Maintaining good customer relationships is crucial for the success of NEMT businesses, as it helps retain clients for an extended period. Following up with clients regularly and understanding their needs can increase revenue and additional contracts.
Effective communication is vital, as word-of-mouth can be highly influential in this industry. If satisfied clients recommend the services of the NEMT company to others, the company is more likely to get new contracts and business from new clients.
#8 Leverage NEMT Software
By utilizing NEMT software, fleet operators can significantly improve their compliance with local and state regulations. The software maintains detailed documentation and reports, which ensures that all necessary certifications and licenses are up to date and that the business complies with state and federal mandates.
Meeting compliance standards is often the first step in making businesses more attractive to larger clients who demand strict adherence to regulations. If fleet operators can become eligible for contracts with medical institutions, it can result in a steady stream of business and increased revenue.
Plus, NEMT software streamlines operations and improves efficiency. By automating scheduling, route mapping, dispatching, and billing, NEMT software can save time and resources while reducing the risk of errors.
Securing medical transportation contracts can be challenging, especially for new NEMT businesses. However, with the right approach and a strategic approach in looking for new business, NEMT fleet operators and business owners can increase their chances of success in this growing industry.
Conducting market research, leveraging NEMT software, and connecting with local opportunities can build credibility, trust, and efficiency over time. By establishing a solid foundation, NEMT businesses can grow their client base and secure a steady revenue stream.