All You Need to Know About NEMT Brokers
Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is an essential service that helps patients safely travel to and from health appointments. With many citizens relying on NEMT to get to clinics, pharmacies, rehab centers, and other healthcare facilities, this lifesaving transportation solution has become increasingly in demand.
This, in turn, has made NEMT brokers more popular than ever. Are you curious about what an NEMT broker is and if having one will boost your business? How do you choose the right one to partner with?
In this article, we will delve into all these questions, so you can know the ins and outs of this system.
- What is an NEMT broker?
- What Does an NEMT Broker do?
- How to Choose the Right NEMT Broker
- How to Compare NEMT Brokers
- Can I work Without NEMT Brokers?
- Final Thoughts
What is an NEMT broker?
Brokers of NEMT are independent contractors who serve as the point of contact between transport providers and patients. They serve NEMT companies within a certain area, and depending on their operations, they can offer regional, state, or national coverage. Previously we’ve covered what brokers operate in the US.
An NEMT broker can work with a small group or hundreds of members. They manage and assign NEMT trips keeping in mind the passenger’s needs, the billing source, and the vehicle type.
NEMT brokers provide jobs to contracted NEMT businesses and help patients travel to their medical appointments, hospital visits, pharmacy drug pick-ups, or receive urgent care.
What Does an NEMT Broker do?
NEMT brokers manage the administrative work involved in authorizing patients for transport services. This is done through the patient’s insurance provider, Medicaid, or other billing sources, while the NEMT broker software helps you to get all trip updates and other crucial info directly to your NEMT platform.
Brokers ensure all passengers safely travel to where they need to go and disburse their payments appropriately.
NEMT brokers navigate the healthcare system with ease. They work closely with patients, NEMT providers, and private and state insurance agencies. They also make sure to only partner with licensed and credentialed NEMT providers and eligible patients with the appropriate insurance coverage.
Many brokers are integrated into NEMT scheduling software with broker integration to understand the needs of different patients and assign suitable vehicles for specialized trips. They provide each patient with the needed resources and equipment, such as walkers, wheelchairs, or gurneys.
How to Choose the Right NEMT Broker
In most cases you don’t really have to pick the NEMT broker in your area, since there is one broker who wins the bid and gets Medicaid trips, which is a huge part of the market. However, in cases when you have several options with brokers who provide a decent amount of trips and you cannot fulfill all of them, we have a few tips on how to choose the best one for you. Here are nine critical factors you need to consider when choosing the right NEMT broker:
1. Find a Broker That Knows the Healthcare and Transport Industries
NEMT brokers work closely with healthcare facilities and NEMT operators to serve both parties well and provide them with the best solutions. Certain Medicare and Medicaid brokers don’t contact their clients directly. Instead, they work as a liaison between clients and government healthcare programs.
Choose a broker with significant experience in and fully understands the various industries they have to work with. They must be adept at navigating these complex systems and finding the best options for their business partners and clients.
2. Select a Local Broker That Works in Your Field
Zero in on a broker who understands your business scope and the local coverage area. If you serve specialized clients, such as veterans eligible for government healthcare programs, partner with a broker specializing in Veterans Affairs (VA) programs, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Brokers who understand the local transportation market and the challenges of providing services in distant locations will know all about the type of services you offer. They will also understand vehicle and equipment needs, making it easier to match the client to the business.
If your business serves patients in Texas, look for NEMT brokers in Texas. Similarly, Virginia and Florida businesses should accordingly work with NEMT brokers in Virginia and NEMT brokers in Florida, respectively.
3. Choose a Technologically Savvy Broker
Partner with an NEMT broker adept at using technology for their business. Nowadays, many NEMT brokers use various digital tools for efficient operations.
Robust NEMT software like RouteGenie is an excellent tool that helps brokers streamline their operations in many areas, such as billing, scheduling, dispatching, vehicle maintenance, etc.
Brokers that leverage technology for optimization and automation will better serve your business and ease the way for your partnership.
4. Partner With a Broker With Good Communication Skills
Your NEMT broker must communicate well with partners and clients and share all crucial information clearly to avoid errors and misunderstandings.
They must also carefully listen and appropriately respond to questions from patients, healthcare providers, transport operators, and government representatives.
5. Choose a Well-Regarded Broker
A reputable and reliable broker ensures transparency in their transactions and provides fair and timely payments. Make sure you choose a trustworthy broker—honesty and integrity are crucial in the NEMT industry.
Contact other partners and clients and ask about their working relationship. Do your due diligence before going ahead with a partnership.
Also, ask your shortlisted broker about their business and how they generally work with NEMT companies.
6. Choose an Adaptable Broker
Flexibility and adaptability are important traits for NEMT brokers, as the industry is ever-changing. Brokers must be able and ready to switch strategies and plans quickly when trends shift in a certain direction.
They must have an open mind and be willing to experiment with new ideas when their clients need help resolving issues. Brokers with strong problem-solving skills can help NEMT providers and clients manage such challenges and ensure smooth operations.
7. Choose a Broker With a High Level of Professionalism
Professional and courteous brokers are valuable in the NEMT industry as they treat partners and clients respectfully and professionally. Your broker must assure their transport partners and clients that they can deliver hassle-free and reliable services, especially as the industry can be highly unpredictable.
NEMT brokers should also be well-versed in the documentation and processes needed to manage Medicare and Medicaid assistance. Moreover, they must be familiar with the payment and billing processing of NEMT operators.
8. Choose a Broker That Pays Reasonable Rates
Many transport companies stay away from brokers because they pay poor rates. This is a massive problem in the NEMT industry. Ask your potential broker about their rates upfront, calculate all the fees and other expenses, and make sure you enter a healthy and profitable partnership.
9. Read Contracts and Understand All Details
Make sure you are attentive to details and understand all small details. For example, based on the experience we’ve heard from various NEMT providers across the US, it is crucial to be able to use multiload. For this you need your contract to allow that and you need to have good NEMT software capable of building efficient routes while utilizing multiload opportunities to increase profits per trip.
How to Compare NEMT Brokers
If you have a long list of NEMT brokers to sort through, here are some parameters to compare them and choose the right one for your business:
- Quality and scope of services: Efficiency in handling administrative tasks, communicating schedules, and managing day-to-day operations
- Coverage area: The region in which a broker operates
- Specialization: Specialized services that a broker offers, such as NEMT for veterans
- Rates: Rates paid by the broker
- Brokerage: Fees charged for each trip
- Technology use: How well-versed a broker is in using NEMT software
- Ease: Smooth transactions without any hassles or complications
- Customer reviews and ratings: The higher the ratings and more positive the reviews, the more reliable a broker is
Can I work Without NEMT Brokers?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of partnering with an NEMT broker to understand if you need one for your business:
- NEMT brokers provide an extra revenue stream aside from your private clients and contracts from Medicaid (if you could get them directly), hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, nursing homes, and so on.
- Brokers assign customized trips factoring in your location, fleet, and vehicle type to serve the needs of passengers.
- Brokers create and share trip data with health insurance companies, Medicaid, and other agencies, reducing the workload for filing paperwork and sending reports to healthcare institutions.
- Brokers control the rates and may increase them, preventing some patients from using your services.
- The more you rely on a broker for your business volume, the more control they have over your profits and losing the contract may hurt your business.
- You cannot control administrative tasks and may have to deal with brokers sending incorrect trip data to healthcare agencies and resultant invoice payment delays by healthcare providers.
- Most brokers work within certain geographic regions or states, so if you expand to new areas, you will have to sign new contracts. .
Weigh these various pros and cons and decide if the benefits of working with an NEMT broker are worth the disadvantages or if you’d rather go it alone.
It makes sense to work with brokers since they play an important role in the NEMT industry. They assign trips to NEMT operators and verify every patient’s eligibility for the service, which ensures smooth operations. But what is more important is that they allow you to increase your revenue. NEMT broker software is key to the smooth and accurate functioning of brokers as it ensures correct and timely trip management.
RouteGenie offers advanced NEMT and non-emergency ambulance software that allows companies in these fields to manage their tasks effectively and sync trip data with their brokers. This improves the quality of the NEMT trips and services. Get a demo today to see firsthand how RouteGenie can streamline your business operations.
About the author
An experienced content writer, Keren Dinkin’s forte is writing well-informed medical transportation, healthcare accounting, and related articles. Her work is backed by months of intensive research and pays meticulous attention to details. In addition to being a writer, she also dons the hat of a content strategist.READ MORE