5 Challenges of Non-emergency Medical Transportation and Tips on Overcoming Them

According to a recent study, 40% of Americans faced various transportation barriers during the height of the pandemic. As a result, many are delayed in seeking medical care. It just shows how vital non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is to healthcare services.

Nonetheless, NEMT goes beyond basic transportation services. It has its challenges to overcome, including legal compliances, optimizing operations, and accommodating specific patients’ needs. As non-emergency medical transportation businessowners, you need the right tools and strategy to provide the best services to your customers.

Knowing the common challenges in the NEMT industry can help you prepare for overcoming them. So read on to find out how you can strengthen and improve your operations.

1.   Compliances and requirements

Although NEMT has no formal guidelines, each state has its own non-emergency medical transportation requirements and rules that companies must follow. Moreover, service providers are expected to report deficiencies proactively to state officials.

For example, certain states require certifications and licenses for your staff. After all, driving patients has its inherent risks. You need trained drivers who can handle basic medical emergencies and care. Failure to comply might result in penalties and liabilities.

Hence, the real challenge is monitoring your compliance adherence. You need to keep a record of all the contract requirements and appropriate regulations to operate without issues. Luckily, you can use software to help you manage your records and audits. It can automate tasks such as data collection, vehicle tracking, and driver evaluation to ensure that everything adheres to your state’s guidelines.

2.   Late arrivals or no-shows

A common concern among NEMT beneficiaries is customer service. According to FierceHealthare’s non-emergency medical transportation statistics, most complaints are related to late arrivals or no-shows. Some would even have to call for a NEMT the day before their actual medical appointment.

Most NEMT programs allow customers to have freedom of choice on their service provider. However, some states waived this choice due to cost-efficiencies. This makes it harder for NEMT businesses to foster better and lasting relationships with their customers.

To overcome this hurdle, consider creating a booking portal to provide self-service options for your customers. It will serve as a one-stop platform where they can avail of your services, track the status of their booking, and interact with your drivers.

3.   System responsiveness

The current NEMT programs work well with regularly scheduled and recurring services. But when it comes to time-sensitive transportations, some service providers fail to respond as quickly as their customers expect. It often ends up with late pickups, lack of available drivers, and overscheduling.

Prevent this from happening by automating your fleet management and scheduling. Various software solutions can help you with the task. There are programs designed specifically for NEMT services. So you have to conduct thorough research and invest in the right NEMT service.

For example, look for software that can automate your scheduling system to ensure there is no overbooking. Likewise, it should give you an overview of your fleet’s status so you know the availability and locations of your drivers or vehicles. Some software can even automate dispatch so that drivers can get to their destination as quickly as possible.

You may check out Tobi Cloud if you are looking for smart NEMT software to manage your dispatching and scheduling needs.

4.   Visibility and transparency

Most of the inefficiencies in NEMT operations can be traced back to its lack of visibility and transparency. Unfortunately, many NEMT providers are still stuck with using paper-based systems for record-keeping and managing operations. This makes it harder for them to keep track of their drivers and vehicles, billings, reimbursements, and customers.

One of the advantages of NEMT software is that it leverages various data to give you a comprehensive overview of your operations. It offers features such as fleet and GPS tracking, customer management, and automated billings. Having a single platform to manage your operations makes all your data easily accessible and available to you. It allows you to analyze your business’ performance and determine areas of improvement.

5.   Fraud and abuse

As part of healthcare, the NEMT industry is also a prime target for fraudsters and other criminals. It can come in the form of false calls, cyberattacks, and abuse of the system. In some cases, beneficiaries collude with your staff to sign off on non-existent rides in return for kickbacks on falsely paid claims and non-emergency medical transportation rates.

Protect your business by boosting transparency and data collection within your operations. Invest in the appropriate tools to combat frauds and other cyberattacks. For example, cyber security tools can help you monitor and evaluate activities within your digital systems. This will notify you of any suspicious access and incidents during your operations. NEMT solutions can also provide you with GPS tracking to check your drivers’ performance and activities while dispatched.

Overcoming the barriers

Patients have diverse needs depending on their conditions and status in life. Some need different types of doctors; some need time-sensitive treatments. Meanwhile, others need transportation services to help them get to their medical appointment in time.

Hence, NEMT plays a critical role in patient welfare. It would help if you guaranteed you could accommodate their specific demands and needs. To do that, you must first overcome the challenges that your business might face.

Go ahead and explore what tools you can use to optimize your processes. Consider trying out NEMT solutions like Tobi Cloud to find out more.

5 Ways to Take Your NEMT Business to the Next Level

You’ve gone through all the motions and now have your very own NEMT business. Congratulations on making it this far with your new endeavor. It’s not time to rest on your laurels, though. Instead, it’s time to consider the five ways that you can take your NEMT business to the next level and continue growing. 

Ensure ADA Compliance

One of the vital areas of your NEMT business relies on your vehicles. If you didn’t check to ensure that your cars are in ADA compliance before setting up your business, it’s time for you to evaluate them. Going through this step means that you care for the most comfortable transportation possible for your clients. ADA compliance may seem like something to skimp on, but your passengers will notice when your vehicles are just barely at the standards set. Going above and beyond will help get your company noticed above your competitors. Passengers will want to book with the company they feel takes their needs in mind when setting up vehicles for transport. 

Manage Your Expenses

Starting your business was expensive, and keeping it running always means managing your expenses. The expenses to ensure that you have enough money to put into the business, pay your employees while still profitable. A great way to keep your NEMT business growing is to evaluate where you are spending your money. It’s possible that there are ways for you to reduce your unnecessary spending while investing money into areas that will help your business be more successful. For instance, when you started your business, you may have handled some of the aspects on your own with DIY efforts, such as creating your website and marketing strategy. It may be time to evaluate your initial steps and invest in professional services reworking your initial efforts to give them polish they may lack.   

Rise Above Your Competition

Once you’ve established yourself, it’s time to look at ways that you can outperform your competition. There’s nothing wrong with checking out your competition and seeing what they offer. Look at their website to evaluate what you think they are doing right and what could be improved. What do their reviews say about their business compared to yours? Then, take what you’ve learned and implemented it into your operations. It may be hard to overcome your bias when trying to see what your business may be lacking. Once you’re honest with yourself, the sky is the limit when it comes to improvements.

Work With NEMT Brokers 

When you’re working on your own, you only have the clients that know about your business. Working with NEMT brokers can help you in growing your business. A broker has contacts with various medical companies, care homes, and other sources of clients that can help you fill your schedule and keep your drivers busy. Partnering with a NEMT broker can boost your business with minimal effort on your part. 

Use the Best NEMT Software 

The NEMT software you use for your business will dictate how well your business is performing. You want NEMT software that will give you an edge over the competition. You should invest in software that will help you streamline your dispatch efforts. You need software that can help you to improve your service by analyzing the data and allows for the most reliable service possible. The best software will let you manage your fleet, dispatch, and clients while providing you with the best reporting and analytics possible. Investing in the best NEMT software will improve your profits in the long run, even if you’re spending more initially.  Looking to improve your NEMT business by investing in our NEMT software solution to help grow your business? We’re ready to discuss how our software can make a difference in your business today.

The Evolution of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation -NEMT

One of the best ways to see where your business is going is by learning about the past. So let’s explore the evolution of non-emergency medical transportation and how it’s evolved into the necessary service that it is today. One common barrier to healthcare that has existed for many years is traveling to see a provider. That’s where NEMT comes into play.

NEMT History

While a person doesn’t have to be on Medicaid to take advantage of a NEMT service, the history of the NEMT industry is wrapped up with Medicaid. Medicaid, a part of the Social Security Act, was created to help protect individuals that traditionally wouldn’t be able to afford the best medical care. Medicaid is the health coverage available to seniors over the age of 65 and low-income individuals.

In 1965, Medicaid was authorized where states would be responsible for ensuring that their vulnerable populations that required care would have access to transportation to get it. Hence, the beginning of the NEMT industry in its infancy. 

A landmark court case, Smith vs. Vowell District Court Case, occurred in 1974. This particular case revolved around a patient with cerebral palsy. He was unable to use a private taxi service to go to his medically necessary rehabilitation appointments. Mr. Edward Smith’s class-action lawsuit against Texas stated that he could not afford the taxi service and wasn’t physically able to take a taxi even if he could afford it. The judge ruled in his favor and created a precedent for the state. To provide the right kind of transportation to and from medically necessary appointments. After NEMT services were recognized in this landmark case, there still wasn’t a set way for non-emergency medical transportation companies to run.

First NEMT Brokerage System

It wasn’t until 1997 when a NEMT brokerage system was created in Georgia. This NEMT broker, LogistiCare, helped reduce the state’s Medicaid account costs while helping more residents gain more accessible access to NEMT services. That was only the beginning as more and more states started to have brokerage companies created and more providers opened up businesses. The need for non-emergency medical transportation has not gone away as time has passed. On the contrary, as our population ages, life expectancy rises, and more individuals are on Medicaid, the need for these services has increased.  

Working of NEMT Software

When it comes to technology, innovations have not passed the non-emergency medical transportation industry by as these companies are taking full advantage of it. As the brokerage system in 1997 helped create a more formal process for the ride requesting process for clients, technology has been keeping up. The same technology that rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, use for private transportation services is also being put into good use for NEMT businesses. 

Impact of Technology on NEMT

Phone calls were the way that the majority of clients were able to have their transportation appointments made for them when they had medical appointments and treatments to get to in the past. Call centers were put into place by brokerages where the patient would have to call in with their information, and the operator would then set up an appointment for the driver. Today, much is still the same, but technology has created a more user-friendly way for setting up the same ride appointments.

Tech-savvy individuals can use apps and computer programs to schedule their rides. Not only does technology make scheduling NEMT services easier on clients, but it’s also a huge benefit for companies. It’s a great way to create transparency for services, billing, patient privacy, and keeping track of the company’s overall data. This help us to find even better ways to serve their clients. In fact, this technology is continually changing and looking for ways to evolve to better serve the clients and the businesses that use them.

Endless Opportunities With NEMT Solution

Automating the process of a NEMT business through a NEMT software solution has created the optimum grounds for growth. One of the keys to growing any business is improving the service offered to customers. Your clients will always notice when things are getting better as it helps to make their life easier. There are endless opportunities for improvement when it comes to implementing a NEMT solution. For example, you can better schedule and track trips to optimize your driver’s time. Improve the amount of time that patients are waiting on their rides to and from their medically necessary trip.

NEMT solutions also help to eliminate any issues that can come from billing. For example, by automating your scheduling, keeping exact track of mileage thanks to GPS tracking and other features. It’s easy to know exactly what to bill to Medicare, self-pay clients, and other insurance companies. NEMT solutions will check for errors with billing, help eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse, and improve payment turnaround time. 

Future of NEMT

The future of the non-emergency medical transportation industry has never been better. There is a growing need that won’t be going away anytime soon for quality transportation services. As more individuals are eligible for Medicaid and there is a barrier for transportation services for many low-income individuals, seniors, and other potential clients, NEMT services are necessary. Now is an excellent time to get started in this industry as it’s continually growing, and there is always a need for transportation services. If you have a NEMT service, it’s a great time to look for ways to level up your business, and the right NEMT solution can be the first place to start making improvements to beat the competition.

The history of NEMT shows that the barriers to better care can be eliminated when solutions are implemented. Therefore, NEMT industry not only a tremendously reliable business, but also helps in eliminating barriers to care for individuals in need.

Ready to see how your NEMT company can improve and grow through the use of our NEMT solution? Our staff is prepared to go over our cloud-based and ever-evolving solution for your business. 

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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.

Why You Should Choose Tobi Cloud For Your NEMT Software Needs?

Software development should bring smiles to faces. When you have a genuinely remarkable piece of software, it just feels natural, good, easy. The team at Tobi Cloud set out to accomplish unique NEMT software transport in the non-emergency medical transport industry. Their accomplishment is now in the hands of many transport service providers. It makes it easier to grow their businesses, connect with clients, brokers, and deliver on their mission statement. Let us look at why you would choose Tobi for your non-emergency medical transport software needs.

Focused Development Team

Great software is the product of a development team with a focus on the wow factor. The customer priorities, what they find valuable, are what need attention for software to succeed. You need to build for your customer needs, create a partnership you grow over time. Tobi Cloud software development team utilizes their deep industry expertise to collaborate and co-create with customers daily.

The features provided and addons with the agile development model bring competitive advantages. Tobi Cloud NEMT software will disrupt industries like non-emergency medical transport. It is these disruptions when you adopt them that can make a huge difference.

Features That Set Tobi Cloud Apart from the Competition

What are some of the features that set Tobi Cloud apart from the competition? The team is here to disrupt the non-emergency medical transport industry, and we do this with an all-inclusive solution. The solution brings together fleet management with real-time monitoring, a driver interface, price modeling, manual scheduling, and more. Let’s dig deeper into some of these vital differentiating features.

Fleet Management, Including Multi-Fleet

One significant advantage of the Tobi Cloud NEMT software is that you can manage one or multiple fleets of vehicles on the same platform. If you are a small non-emergency medical transport company with one fleet of vehicles, you can control the dispatching and everything right through the software. If you have multiple fleets or even multiple companies, you can manage that here as well. The software even enables subcontracting as well as the ability to set permissions in dispatching across fleets.

 

Tobi Cloud Price Modeling for Immediate Quoting

The sophisticated price modeling platform from Tobi Cloud helps you price faster and more accurately for each job. You can get to a granular level with a series of customization rules. These include the type of vehicle, day of the week, even time of the day.

Pricing needs to be transparent and consistent. The software price modeling allows creating custom formulas unique to your company, your fleet of vehicles. When a customer wants a quote, you will use the price modeling to get them an accurate one on the spot.

Making Use of GPS Technology

Global positioning system or GPS technology can give you an accurate line of sight into where your fleet vehicles are at all times. When you want to know the location of your vehicles, you can see where they are on the current job, when the job began, when you expect it to end, etc.

Drivers can make use of the GPS technology as well with the driver interface within Tobi Cloud. It enables them to understand traffic ahead and get information to get to the end-point fastest. If you need to make decisions on the fly as dispatch or as a driver, the GPS vehicle monitoring features of Tobi Cloud allow you to do so.

Let Scheduling Happen Automatically

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are at play with Tobi Cloud when it comes to scheduling. The Tobi Cloud software has a proprietary algorithm. With the algorithm, it will learn about the trip patterns of your fleet over time. The software will understand the average distance for a trip, length of trip, etc. Through this, it will begin to schedule transport jobs for you automatically. The software and its features allow for schedule optimization. Tobi Cloud lets you get the most out of the fleet and be prompt with each of your customer pick-ups and drop-offs.

Filing Your Trip Attestation

When you drive all day, it can be challenging to go back to the office and do paperwork so your broker will pay you. It would help if you attested to your trips to get payments. With the Tobi Cloud software, you as the driver and your patient can sign electronically when the job is complete. With this electronic signature complete, you can then transmit it directly to a broker. It will mean instant verification, attestation of a complete job. It helps you get paid faster and more accurately.

Keep the Books Accurate

The accounting side of the house can be a challenge for a non-emergency medical transport professional. You want bookkeeping to be simple, efficient. With the Tobi Cloud software, you have bookkeeping built in. When you finish a job, invoice generation happens automatically and sees transmission electronically. Claims filing gets done through integrations, as well as statements.

All this gets handling with automation of accounts receivable and an insight into the aging of those receivables.

All these tasks are administrative in practice and carry overhead costs. To increase your margins, you need to automate claims filings, bookkeeping needs. Trust the software and let it work for you. When you do, the results can be breathtaking.

Open API For Easy Integrations

Tobi Cloud has an open API that is easy to work with. If you have your own billing company, for example, you can work with that company. It can allow for integration between Tobi Cloud and the existing billing company. If you want to use what Tobi Cloud has to offer, that is fine as well. The idea is the power is in your hands as a customer. The open API setup allows Tobi Cloud to work with any provider, customer, client, system, vendor, etc.

A non-emergency medical transport service provider needs technology to beat the competition. The days of being good with manual scheduling and organization are over. Even if you are great at those things, the administration time and overhead costs can be anchors holding back your company from growth. It is time to seek out a non-emergency medical transport software package, and Tobi Cloud is the front-runner getting your attention.