Canceled Trips in NEMT: What Medical Transportation Providers Need to Do


This can happen for various reasons, such as weather conditions, traffic delays, or changes in the client’s appointment schedule. Whatever the reason, when a trip is canceled, it can have a significant impact on the service provider’s operations and schedule for the day. 

Trip cancellation can cause a ripple effect leading to loss of revenue, decreased customer satisfaction, and even legal implications. NEMT providers need to be aware of the potential consequences of trip cancellation and take steps to avoid it whenever possible.


Can Clients Cancel an NEMT Trip?

When a client wants to cancel a trip, it’s a NEMT provider’s responsibility to accept the change and manage the consequences. No matter how much a provider intends to complete all possible trips, there are situations when a passenger cannot continue the transaction. If the client no longer needs the service at the time, there’s nothing to do about it.

There may also be situations where the transport provider needs to cancel a trip. But whether the passenger or company cancels an NEMT trip, it is essential to understand the reasons for the cancellation to improve customer service and mitigate its effects on operations. 

Here are some of the most common reasons for trip cancellations:

  • Passenger no-shows
  • Schedule changes
  • Route changes
  • Vehicle issues
  • Driver problems

If clients need to cancel a trip, they must contact the NEMT provider as soon as possible to inform them of the change. The NEMT provider will then cancel and refund the client for any unused portion of the trip.

It is important to note that many of these reasons are beyond the control of the transportation provider or even the passenger. However, by understanding the reasons for cancellations, transport companies can work to improve their service levels, minimize these occurrences, and limit the effect on their fleets.

How to Cancel NEMT Trips

How to Cancel NEMT Trips

If passengers need to cancel a scheduled NEMT appointment, they can do the following: 

  • Contact the NEMT provider that scheduled the trip and let them know about the cancellation.
  • Cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled pickup time, if possible.
  • If the passenger cancels less than 24 hours before the scheduled pickup time, they may be charged a cancellation fee. 
  • Once the cancellation is processed, the passenger should receive a confirmation email or text message from the NEMT provider confirming the cancellation.

But what if a provider needs to cancel a trip? They may need to do so due to vehicle breakdowns, route changes, or driver issues. 

Here is what many transport providers do when they need to cancel a trip:

  • Notify the passenger or client as soon as possible.
  • Cancel the trip within the NEMT management system.
  • Notify the NEMT broker of the cancellation.
  • Update the system in case of a reschedule. 
  • If the client needs to be rescheduled, coordinate with the NEMT broker to find a new driver.
  • The transport provider has the option to refund the passenger and offer a different schedule. 

Canceling a trip is the last resort for most NEMT providers, and they usually explore other solutions to ensure that a scheduled appointment is not missed. Often they will contact other drivers or use a backup vehicle to make the trip. 

Cancellation Fees

Cancellation fees for NEMT providers are typically calculated based on the cost of the trip, the amount of notice given, and the inconvenience caused to the provider. 

Transport companies charge these fees because they are designed to compensate the provider for the cost of the trip and the inconvenience caused by the cancellation. In some cases, passengers may be charged a cancellation fee even if they cannot make their trip for a valid reason, such as an emergency. 

NEMT providers provide clients with a grace period so they can cancel with no charge. For most companies, the timeline for obligation-free cancellation is within 24 hours of their pickup time. 

However, if a client cancels beyond the grace period, the company can charge them depending on the rate, distance, and even the type of vehicle they scheduled, whether it uses gas or is an electric vehicle (EV)

For example, if a provider charges $100 for a trip and the passenger cancels within 24 hours, the provider may charge a $25 cancellation fee. But many companies will charge different rates based on the total cost of the trip, the length of notice given, or other factors. 

When a transport company cancels a trip for any reason, the passenger is often refunded in full. Too many cancellations on the provider’s end can lead to significant losses in revenue, which is why they must be minimized or avoided entirely.

Disputes on No-show Charges

Disputes on No-show Charges

In the NEMT industry, disputes about no-show charges are not uncommon. There are various reasons a passenger may not show up for their scheduled trip, such as schedule changes or emergencies. 

NEMT providers give clients all the tools they need to inform them of changes to their scheduled trips. For example, robust NEMT software like RouteGenie can lessen the instances of no-shows on either side and decrease the instances of disputes. 

If a passenger doesn’t show up for their ride, the NEMT provider may charge a no-show fee. Sometimes, passengers may dispute this charge, claiming they had a valid reason for not being able to make their ride. 

So what can NEMT providers do? 

It’s essential to have a clear policy in place for how to handle these situations. The best way to avoid disputes about no-show charges is to communicate to clients and passengers that there are strict policies in place, so all expectations are met.

The policy should have clear and concise guidelines in place regarding no-shows and cancellations. This policy should be made available to all customers so there is clarity about what constitutes a no-show and what the repercussions will be.

It is also important to be consistent with no-show charges and stick to your set policies. If certain circumstances call for a fee waiver, make it clear in your policy which situations may qualify. 

Transport companies can also use NEMT scheduling software. It decreases no-shows, improves the on-time performance of drivers, and chooses the most efficient routes and multi-load opportunities. 

RouteGenie has a passenger app and automated calling systems to ensure transparency from beginning to end. These apps help passengers and providers cancel trips, adjust routes, and keep both parties apprised of all changes. This saves clients’ time and minimizes the company’s losses. 

NEMT Software Can Help Your Business

Anyone working in the NEMT industry knows that cancellations are an inevitability and a hazard of the industry. However, if you have a system that addresses your client’s concerns and protects your business, you don’t need to worry about significant losses due to cancellations.

Contact RouteGenie today to lessen no-shows and increase your completed trips!

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About the author

Keren Dinkin

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.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.