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Hundreds of thousands of people are missing or delaying their health care appointments every day because they can’t get to their appointments using their vehicles.
This is especially true for routine checkups, testing, routine treatment, drug testing, pharmacies, dentist appointments, etc.
Fortunately, starting your own senior transportation business can help bridge the gap in this underserved market.
This blog post will give guide you through how to start your medical transportation business.
With a little hard work and dedication, you can have your medical transportation business up and running in no time.
Starting A Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business
As medical and technological advances are introduced, the number of older Americans remains rising. Census data showed that the average elderly population is estimated to number 70 million by 2030.
Additionally, the healthcare sector is booming, which means there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to start businesses in this field. This includes starting a profitable senior transportation business.
The State Of The NEMT Industry
Transportation problems are no reason to stop a doctor from seeing a patient. But the statistics show that 3.6 million Americans elect to dismiss or delay necessary medical care due to transportation problems.
Therefore, there is a growing market opportunity for those looking to start a medical transportation business. This is due to the increasing population of elderly and disabled patients, as well as the fact that more preventative and follow-up treatments are being covered by health insurance plans.
In most areas, there simply aren’t many wheelchair-accessible vehicles in public transportation fleets. This creates a need for non-emergency medical transportation, which is where your business can come in.
The Cost Of Starting Your NEMT Business
How much money can be invested in starting an ambulance business? A successful launch for medical transportation companies can cost around $350,000.
Figures are due to several factors, including legal and licensing fees, choosing the proper facility registration, registering and renewing insurance permits and licenses, purchasing car purchases, and utility bill payments.
However, if you do not have enough money, there are things you can do if you are on a budget. Maybe you’ve already got the correct car in place, or maybe you can rent a van to start with and go from there.
Either way, you can always start small and scale as you grow your business.
Are You Ready To Start A Medical Transportation Company?
Starting a healthcare transportation business can be hard work. You know from the beginning that it will take time and effort before you are successful.
However, you have to keep in mind that medical transportation company can help you make a lot of money. But it can also help elderly patients have a better quality of life by making it to their medical appointments.
This industry is perfect for those who have a passion for helping people and want to be their own boss. It’s also perfect for those who want to make a difference in their community.
If you’re ready to get started, then follow these steps on how to start.
1| Find your niche.
Whether you want to provide non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) or general transportation services, it’s important to identify your target market.
2| Develop a business plan.
Once you know who you’re providing services to, you need to develop a solid business plan. This document will outline your company’s goals, how you plan on achieving them, and what resources you’ll need.
3| File Legal Status
When starting a business, you need to figure out what your legal structure will be. This means deciding if you want to be an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership.
Each of these has its pros and cons, so it’s better to talk to a lawyer and discuss your options so that you choose the status that’s best for your situation.
You will also need to choose a name for your company and file the appropriate paperwork with your state.
4| Prepare Legal Documents
This includes submitting a license, certificates, and permits, which are required for the legal operation of your business. The requirements for a transportation provider may vary depending on your state and city.
5| Get The Necessary Licenses And Permits
Depending on the type of transportation services you want to provide, you may need to obtain special business license and permits from your state or local government.
But since the medical transportation business is still new, there are no formal guidelines for the entire business. However, different states have their own rules that companies must follow.
6| Auto and liability insurance elements
You need to have good auto and general liability insurance to transport people to medical facilities. There are risks when driving people, like car accidents and health-related events while you are on the way.
Although there is no requirement policy for how much insurance people need, it is still best to err on the side of caution and get as much protection as you can.
Some insurance policies have two parts: one part that covers a particular person driving, and another part that covers an organization in general. You need to have both to protect your business.
7| NEMT certification elements
Currently, NEMT operators do not have the same training as ambulance transporters. However, you still want your staff to be able to perform basic medical emergencies such as CPR, defibrillation operation, and vital evaluation. NEMT certification is expected to continue to evolve.
8| Choose The Right Vehicle.
Not all vehicles are suitable for transporting people with medical needs. You’ll need to choose a vehicle that is comfortable, safe, and compliant with any applicable laws or regulations.
You should equip all your vehicles with wheelchairs, stretchers, oxygen tanks, walkers, and anything else your passengers may need. This way you are ready to transport anyone who needs your services.
ADA-Compliant Wheelchair-Accessible Vans And Equipment
When choosing the right vehicle for your business, make sure to choose one that meets the requirements of the US Disability Act (ADA) & ADA Standards for Accessibility Designs.
To start a medical transportation business, you will need to ensure that your vehicles meet ADA compliance requirements. This includes ensuring that
- the lift door height is 56”
- the handicap lift is 30” x 40”
- the wheelchair attachments can withstand 2,500 lbs of pressure per leg.
- the interior of your vehicle is well lit
- there is a seat belt mechanism in place.
Additionally, you will need to think through the associated medical supplies you will need for your passengers, such as
- oxygen tanks
- dialysis machines
These extra considerations will influence the size and floor plan of the vehicle you need and will affect your overall startup costs.
However, a few affordable makes and models of wheelchair-accessible vans are ADA-compliant, such as the Ford Transit Wheelchair Transport Van, the Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van, and the Legend Side Entry Handicap Van Conversion.
9| Selecting Service Offerings And Billing
Whatever services you are planning to provide, ensure that they are detailed and communicated in writing. You want customers to know about the products that you offer, and you need the ability to be transparent in billing.
10| Pricing Your Services
Pricing techniques such as packages that provide multiple services to a customer can drive more revenue. For example, a patient may be discharged from the hospital and need transportation to a rehabilitation facility and then to their home.
You could package these services together and give them a discount for using your company for all their transportation needs.
Another way to generate revenue is to offer additional services that complement your transportation services.
For instance, you could partner with a local pharmacy to deliver medications to patients’ homes after they are discharged from the hospital.
This would be a value-added service that your customers would be willing to pay for and would generate additional revenue for your business.
11| Determining payment options
When starting a medical transportation business, it is important to determine the payment options that will be available.
Most likely, Medicaid will be a primary payer for services, so it is important to make sure that you and your staff have a working knowledge of Medicaid’s detailed processes and billing guidelines.
It is also important to develop relationships with insurance providers, as each insurer will most likely have its own set of operating guidelines. While this may be challenging at first, it should become easier over time.
12| Choose The Best NEMT Software
NEMT software automates your entire NEMT operation – from preparing for dispatch to routing and billing drivers to ensure your vehicles get to their destination on time. The software simplifies bill payment and allows for faster reimbursement.
13| Hiring Office Staffing positions
A successful new NEMT Startup requires an extensive staff of highly trained employees with comprehensive accounting and finance experience.
Like with any startup, the employees may need to do several roles at one point. And it’s possible that we cannot immediately hire our best staff. However, a robust learning plan is essential in the early stages of onboarding new workers.
14| Market Your Business.
You’ll need to let people know that you exist and that you’re able to provide the services they need. There are many ways to market your transportation business, including online, print, and word-of-mouth.
Because when potential customers are not aware of the existence of your organization, they can’t make book their trips with you. So your business needs marketing.
Talk directly to hospitals and assisted living facilities to get you the best possible rate on regular transportation. Hang a flyer in your grocery store. Create a useful website. Having a good website will ensure that you can meet and exceed the needs of your customers and that it is also accessible to all people who have a disability.
Final Thoughts On How To Start A Medical Transportation Business
Starting a medical transportation business can be a profitable business and very rewarding experience. You’ll be able to help people in your community get the care they need, and you’ll be your own boss.
However, it’s important to remember that starting your own business is a lot of work. Be sure to do your research and put together a solid business plan before you get started.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are plenty of resources available to help you get your business off the ground.
The steps above will help you get started on the right foot and set you up for success. Good luck!
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