Exploring the Future of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: What to Expect

Exploring the Future of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: What to Expect

The market for non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) has been quite promising for several years. However, many insiders and stakeholders still wonder how it will hold up in the future. 

With a pandemic, inflation, and war in Europe disrupting supply chains and operations all over the world, the NEMT industry is seeing changes that will lead to both promise and various challenges in the future. 

Let’s explore how these events impacted the industry and how it will continue to evolve in the following years.


The COVID-19 Pandemic 

The pandemic put many industries to a standstill. And the healthcare and NEMT industries were put to the test—providing patient needs despite the many challenges.

Here’s how the pandemic affected the NEMT industry:

A Change in Health and Safety Protocols

Transport providers needed to comply with new safety protocols. These included wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), regularly disinfecting vehicles, and testing. 

This increased operation costs significantly and increased waiting times for scheduling. 

Increase in Demand

There was an increase in demand for medical transport throughout the pandemic. Many patients needed specialized services as well. 

Decline in Overall Revenue

Despite the rise in demand, there was an overall decline in revenue in the medical transport industry. Many transport providers saw the bulk of their clients unwilling to take the risk of going to their appointments when hospitals and clinics were filled with COVID patients. 

Many people looked for other ways to receive medical care, such as telehealth and remote care, and stopped scheduling in-person healthcare appointments. 

Government Support

Many patients and companies were able to get through the pandemic through government support. Stimulus programs helped patients pay for their medical checkups and keep their appointments with their transport provider. 

Political Issues That Affect the Supply Chain

Political Issues That Affect the Supply Chain

The war in Ukraine in early 2022 affected global supply chains and fuel supplies. This led to a chain reaction that affected many industries all over the world. 

The war’s effect on the NEMT industry was quite apparent through the following:

Supply Chain Disruption

The supply chain issues in certain regions disrupted the movement of many goods. This affected the prices of some supplies that are vital in the industry, especially fuel and some medical equipment. 

Economic Impact

The war in Europe affected gas and fuel prices worldwide. Many NEMT providers had to increase their service rates to continue to cover operational costs and remain profitable. 

Some patients could not afford to pay these service rates, so transport companies explored other ways to attract customers. Many of them pushed more efforts to claim payments from government programs. 

Global Inflation

Political and public health issues are also seeing the effect of global inflation. NEMT companies are affected by global pricing surges for fuel, car parts, and other related equipment. This could impact the performance of many transport service providers in the long run, but it all depends if they have policies in place to protect their businesses. 

NEMT business owners could see a significant decrease in profitability and a rise in operational costs in the following months. They might also see more competition, as the continuing pandemic is increasing the demand for medical transport. 

The Future of NEMT Promises New Challenges and Growth

The Future of NEMT Promises New Challenges and Growth

Despite these challenges, the global NEMT industry is a growing market that was worth $8.66 billion in 2021 and could potentially grow to $15.58 billion in 2028. Primarily the growth will happen due to the rise of chronic diseases. According to CDC 60% of adults have at least one and 40% have two or more chronic diseases and these numbers keep growing. Patients with chronic diseases need to visit doctors frequently, which increases the demand for NEMT services. 

This growth promises a lot to NEMT business owners, but the expansion and success of the industry still depend a lot on these factors:

Leveraging the Right Technology

Most companies will have to adapt to new developments and technology to stay competitive. These include using global positioning systems (GPS), tracking and monitoring tools, dispatching systems, and cloud-based NEMT management software that will improve fleet maintenance and invoicing. 

One of the most important developments is NEMT software systems which are specifically designed to boost efficiency in the industry. For example, software like RouteGenie has all the features that an NEMT provider needs. We offer apps for their passengers, drivers, and cloud based software for the management team, which gives these stakeholder groups customization and control over scheduling and operations. 

RouteGenie NEMT software combines billing, invoicing, and even HR features with dispatching, scheduling, routing tools. These can help NEMT providers manage their trips, finances, workforce, and fleet. An increase in efficiency through an all-in-one platform promises to improve customer engagement and service. 

New Government Regulations and Policies

New policies that cover insurance claims and Medicaid programs will affect passengers and transport providers. The U.S. government is now trying to pare Medicaid recipient numbers down to pre-pandemic levels. 

This could affect the revenue flow for some NEMT providers, as a bulk of their passengers may shift to more affordable transport options. In which case, transport businesses must explore ways to retain current clients. 

Rising Competition

The promising growth of the NEMT industry is also seeing more transport providers setting up new businesses. With such industry growth, individual companies may see less profitability because of more competition. 

Using technology such as NEMT software could significantly reduce expenses and increase productivity and timeliness. It could also track billing and payments, which is vital for many companies.

RouteGenie helps companies take their operations to the next level and rise above the emerging competition. We enable transport providers to make intelligent, profitable, data-driven decisions. This will help businesses stay competitive and understand the metrics that affect their revenue and operations. 

A Promising but Challenging Future

Transport companies and business experts see a promising future for the NEMT industry. However, the success of individual providers depends on various factors. The better they can adapt and adjust to challenges, the more they can have a share in the rising NEMT market.

If you want your NEMT business to thrive and succeed in the next few years, adaptability to new technology like NEMT software is your answer. Talk to our NEMT experts to see how RouteGenie can help you today.

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About the author

Yurii Martynov
Yurii Martynov

As RouteGenie's Marketing Director, Yurii gained deep knowledge in the NEMT industry. He is an expert in marketing, utilizing all marketing channels to build RouteGenie's brand and to make sure NEMT providers have access to powerful NEMT software that can boost their growth. Yurii shares his knowledge by writing content on topics related to marketing, and the healthcare industry: medical transportation, home care, and medical billing.  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.