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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.