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5 Benefits of NEMT Software for Brokers

The non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) industry is undergoing a digital transformation as technology quickly enables businesses to improve efficiency. 

There are 68 million Medicaid beneficiaries in the US that NEMT businesses can potentially serve. This potential market size presents a considerable opportunity, albeit with significant operational challenges.   

NEMT brokerages or Medicaid transport brokers of all sizes can use NEMT software, like Tobi, to increase operating efficiency and reduce costs.  

NEMT software also lets brokers quickly scale their business as they expand.    

NEMT Brokers  

State Medicaid Authorities (SMA) are mandated to offer transportation for beneficiaries to and from healthcare providers.  

The SMA contracts a broker to manage these transportation services. Brokers act as liaisons between beneficiaries of the Medicaid program and vendor networks of NEMT vehicles and drivers.     

Brokers need to verify that customers are eligible for Medicaid transport. Once beneficiary authorization for NEMT services is verified, brokers dispatch vehicles that belong to NEMT provider networks to pick up the customers and drop them back at their residences.    

Brokers must verify that all vehicles, personnel, and dispatching software match national standards and state compliance mandates.  

A one-page CMS newsletter covers the basics of compliance for NEMT brokerages.  

This article looks at the top 5 benefits of NEMT software for brokers:  

  1. It simplifies day-to-day operations.  
  1. It streamlines trip management.  
  1. It provides a single source of data.  
  1. It fulfills compliance requirements.  
  1. It enables business insights.  

1. It Simplifies Day-to-Day Operations  

Brokers connect many beneficiaries to transport providers spread across the state.  

The matching and scheduling of rides is a highly complex process.  

Additionally, the volume of requests is not predictable, and a broker may experience a rush of orders that can be difficult to manage.  

NEMT software can help brokers simplify complex day-to-day business operations.    

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Automating workflows  

NEMT software for brokers can reduce manual work and save costs. It can also provide real-time updates for better coordination while using fewer human resources.  

Scheduling automation saves time and resources by automatically matching drivers to NEMT transport members and assigning trips.  

With the right NEMT software, brokers can easily manage multiple transport providers across different states and quickly select among them for the journey.  

Dispatching and Filing  

Dispatching tasks comprise a significant portion of the day-to-day workflow that NEMT brokers handle.  

Manual dispatching is human resource intensive and consumes a considerable part of NEMT brokers’ workforce.   

Automating NEMT dispatching is thus a significant advantage that NEMT software provides. 

Filing and documentation is another recurring yet critical task that NEMT software streamlines.  

With electronic records, tracking and filing historical data becomes more manageable.  

Driver credentialing and patient eligibility  

Before assigning the trip, NEMT brokers must verify compliance information for patients and drivers they match.    

Driver credentialing includes criteria like:  

  • Valid drivers licenses  
  • Other appropriate licenses (like a chauffeur’s license, required in some states)  
  • Medical fitness certificates   
  • Liability insurance  
  • Clean driving records  
  • Criminal background checks  

NEMT software with an open API can communicate with central databases. It can continuously monitor these criteria in the background and flag any NEMT driver that does not meet them.   

Before booking the trip, brokers must verify if Medicaid covers the customer for these services.  

Verifying patient eligibility ensures NEMT brokers don’t face difficulties later in claiming the trip cost from insurance companies.  

Billing and claims  

Digitized manifests make tracking trip info easier for compliance and historical data needs.  

Plus, with digital billing and trip attestation, filing claims and receiving payments from insurance companies becomes more straightforward.  

Streamline Trip Management  

Besides optimizing a broker’s overall business processes, NEMT broker software can also help improve the grassroots experience of the business.  

With built-in tools to monitor different aspects of each trip, NEMT software quickly improves customer satisfaction.  

Driver monitoring  

NEMT software can help brokers track and monitor drivers in real-time.  

The efficiency of drivers, the wait time, the distance traveled with the customer, and trip attestation all give a picture of the driver’s interaction with the customer.  

NEMT provider information  

Different NEMT providers have different ways of working. 

Tracking and monitoring the NEMT providers with sizable fleets can help NEMT brokers quickly select the most suitable provider network.    

Patient and vehicle information  

Tracking the patient and vehicle information is also helpful in improving the customer experience.  

Not correctly matching available vehicles to a patient’s specific accessibility needs when dispatching can result in trip delays or the patient’s inability to get into the vehicle.   

Trip details  

Traditional NEMT brokers rely on self-reporting by NEMT drivers or transportation providers to track and verify trip data like drop-off locations, the route the driver took, on-time pick-up, or trip completion.   

But NEMT software provides easy access to real-time trip data, which enables brokers to monitor drivers during the trip and ensure that customers accessing NEMT services receive the best experience possible.    

Provide a Single Source of Data  

For all modern businesses, data plays a critical role.  

Collecting, organizing, and accessing information is modern digitized companies’ first step to improve their processes.  

Ensuring data availability is especially valuable in the healthcare industry because electronic healthcare data is usually proprietary or masked by compliance requirements.  

Brokers using HIPAA-compliant NEMT software can store and use patient data, which can be an invaluable resource. 

Patient information 

Storing patient data is critical for all NEMT businesses to ensure exceptional customer service.  

Ensuring high customer satisfaction standards is part of the NEMT broker’s mandate.    

Some patients accessing NEMT services have unique transportation needs that standard vehicles do not support.  

For example, brokers must provide wheelchair-accessible transport for customers with limited mobility. Knowing more about the customer’s needs can help brokers deliver better service.  

Driver data  

Storing data about the driver can help NEMT brokers retain and monitor driver credentials.  

Verifying and updating driver credentials helps brokers meet federal, state, and corporate compliance requirements.    

Retaining credentialing data allows brokers to assign drivers to each trip that matches the state’s compliance requirements. 

NEMT provider data  

Retaining NEMT provider data allows brokers to identify effective transportation partners.    

Service history, vehicle data, and fleet quality of NEMT providers allow brokers to quickly identify the most suitable providers as soon as a customer initiates a booking.    

The number of vehicles a provider can supply helps schedule and plan services, especially during peak demand intervals.  

Insurance vendor data  

Brokers deal with various insurers while delivering their services.  

These can be state-mandated insurance providers like Medicaid or commercial partners.   

Each insurer may have specific rules and requirements for making claims. Keeping track of any unusual data or the attestation specific insurers require can help brokers ensure a smooth claims and payments process.    

Fulfill Compliance Requirements  

Brokers are contractors for a state’s Medicaid program.  

Brokers bid for this business in a competitive process. This contractual structure means the state will only use a specific broker to service a particular area.    

Like any insurance provider, Medicaid has strict compliance norms, and brokers must stick to them.  

In addition, brokers must retain their NEMT transport data and be open to audits from the state when requested.  

NEMT software can automate this regulatory data collection and retention to make a broker’s job easier.  

Patient data   

Being able to store and utilize patient data to deliver better services is invaluable for NEMT brokers.  

However, there are compliance requirements that brokers must ensure before legally storing and accessing this data.    

Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is essential to carrying out electronic transactions and storing and accessing patient data. Thus, brokers must ensure that they only use HIPPA-compliant NEMT software.   

Also, brokers must have procedures and processes to screen customer eligibility for state-backed Medicaid.    

State-mandated reports  

Brokers must maintain documentation of trips and services.  

States can request access to this data at any time for audits. Not documenting or providing this data when asked can incur hefty fines or even lead to the state barring the broker from providing NEMT services.  

NEMT software can automate the reporting process.  

With electronic attestation, the software tracks the mandated forms to be filled in and captures all required documents and data once the trip is complete.  

The standard documentation for trips should include the following:  

  • Beneficiary name  
  • Medicaid identifier   
  • Pick-up and drop-off locations  
  • Date and time of the services  
  • Distance traveled with the beneficiary  
  • Signature of the beneficiary  

Enable Business Insights  

One of the most significant impacts of using NEMT software is the insights brokers can gain into improving their business efficiency and saving money.   

Leading NEMT software can help regularly produce high-quality reports for brokers to measure indicators of business efficiencies.  

These indicators can include the total number of trips, growth in revenue, operational expenses, etc.  

Driver reports  

NEMT software makes it easy to track and monitor the overall performance of drivers.  

Brokers can analyze a driver’s work efficiency patterns to determine if a driver is an asset to the business or causes the broker to lose money.     

Standard metrics that measure NEMT driver efficiency are:  

  • Average trip time  
  • Beneficiary wait times  
  • Customer satisfaction scores  
  • Clean driving history  
  • Deviation from pre-set routes  

Patient and insurance vendor reports  

Knowing which patients tend to cancel appointments can help brokers assign trips better.  

Tracking patients no longer eligible for Medicaid is another way NEMT software can help improve business efficiency.  

Similarly, tracking the behavior of private insurance vendors can help brokers expedite the claims process.  

Knowing the specific mandated forms and compliance requirements of insurers can reduce the paperwork and follow-up required to collect payments.  

Vehicle feedback  

NEMT software can also help track the condition of vehicles used for NEMT trips.  

Ensuring that the quality of automobiles NEMT providers use meets the customer’s requirements can help NEMT brokers comply with state regulations and provide exceptional customer satisfaction.  

NEMT Software is an Essential Tool  

NEMT brokers need any tool that can automate routine processes and improve regulatory compliance. Modern NEMT software can do even more.   

Choosing Tobi NEMT software can save costs and reduce the compliance burden for brokers, and at the same time, help manage daily operations better.  

Ready to give it a spin? Try Tobi free for 30 days and see how your NEMT operations can be better at every turn.