NEMT Optimization With Real-Time Tracking and Adjustments
The non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) industry is constantly growing. The next five years look to be promising and it is expected that the NEMT industry will be growing. However, the industry isn't without its challenges.
One thing is for certain, NEMT optimization is critical for the continued growth of the industry and the success of transport companies across the country.
What is NEMT Optimization?
NEMT is such a game-changer for many people. According to America's Health Rankings, people 65 years and older represent 16.8% of the population. That is about 55.8 million seniors.
Furthermore, about 27% of the population, or about 61 million have disabilities. That's more or less one in every four people.
The elderly and persons with disabilities benefit from NEMT services. It is vital for services to be optimized to help businesses and the passengers they serve.
NEMT optimization refers to the proper use of technology to enhance the service. On the part of the business, optimization means leveraging NEMT software to reduce expenses and maximize resources.
NEMT passengers can also contribute to optimization by being on time and maintaining safety.
Learning about NEMT optimization techniques will help solve many problems.
What are Some NEMT Problems?
Many seniors and persons with disabilities forgo medical visits because transportation is a barrier to healthcare access. For many, it’s difficult to find appropriate and safe vehicles that can accommodate their medical needs.
NEMT service is the answer to such a problem. These vehicles are equipped with modern equipment for patients with varying medical needs. The space is large enough for wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks, and even stretchers.
Even better, NEMT drivers are required to have basic medical training so they can assist passengers and ensure their comfort and safety.
Of course, the industry is not without its challenges:
1. Regulatory Compliance
Compliance is critical for all providers because safety is a primary concern in NEMT. But the issue with regulations and compliance is the lack of standardization in the industry. Every state has a different set of NEMT requirements. Companies operating in multiple states may have difficulty complying with such conditions.
Unfortunately, requirements are not up to the NEMT companies but to the local government. The best thing to do for now is to do everything possible to comply. Report difficulties through official channels so those in power can tackle them.
Many NEMT providers have complained about no-shows. These are people who made a pickup appointment but didn't appear at the indicated time and place. It is a significant waste of resources, such as fuel, not to mention the driver’s time and effort to go to the pickup point, only for the client not to appear. It is also extra wear and tear for the vehicle for no reason.
Similarly, late arrivals are huge problems in the transport industry. Some NEMT vehicles have full bookings on certain days. Just one late arrival means other scheduled pickups and dropoffs will be affected.
The lack of responsiveness is a challenge for NEMT providers and passengers. Either or both may fail to respond to communications from the other, which could lead to varying issues. Miscommunication may lead to missed appointments or overscheduling on the part of the provider.
4. Outdated Technology
Technology is the beating heart of NEMT optimization. But technology is always evolving, and NEMT software can become outdated. It must be upgraded whenever the newer version becomes available. Cutting-edge technology is crucial for optimization and helps the business to be more competitive.
The initial investment for technology may be expensive, but it is worth it in the long run.
5. Driver shortage
There is currently a global driver shortage. In 2022, various industries around the world came short of 2.6 million drivers, according to the International Road Transport Union.
NEMT is among the industries affected. It is worth noting that NEMT doesn't hire ordinary drivers but those with basic healthcare training.
The good thing is, there is a solution for these issues: efficient NEMT software like RouteGenie.
NEMT Optimization Techniques
Finding the right software for your NEMT business is essential. Here are the reasons high-quality tools are necessary:
The best NEMT software gives drivers real-time updates on route optimization and traffic. Dispatchers can check traffic situations in the area in real time. Updates are given to the driver to ensure they take the best route, which is much faster and uses less gas.
If there are changes in the traffic situation, such as accidents or extreme weather conditions that cause vehicular buildup, then it is easy to make NEMT real-time tracking and adjustments.
When the dispatch team has the resources to make NEMT real-time tracking and adjustments, they can communicate better. Drivers will have an easier time navigating the road and being on time.
More importantly, it prevents no-shows. Dispatchers can send reminders so clients can confirm the pickup or cancel. This way, NEMT services don’t waste resources.
Tracking of the Entire Fleet
NEMT dispatchers and providers are always aware of where each vehicle is in real time. This is important in cases where emergency trips are needed. For example, a vehicle breaks down and needs a replacement service. Dispatch can flag down the nearest driver that can make the trip. With the proper NEMT software it can be done in a few clicks, the system will find the best options and dispatcher just has to confirm the selection.
Some NEMT software will notify companies that it's time for fleet vehicles to undergo maintenance checks, oil changes, and other critical upkeep processes. This is the best way to keep the fleet in great condition, which means little to no chance of road setbacks.
Efficient Billing System
Money is the lifeline of every business, and NEMT is no different. An efficient billing system means that transport providers are paid on time and with the right amount. Because of that, it can continue to provide the best service to its clientele.
NEMT service is great on paper. But the industry faces many issues and challenges. NEMT optimization can solve these challenges, both in the business and passenger side of things.
The key to optimization is excellent software that could help with NEMT real-time tracking and adjustments, dispatching, and billing.
Get a professional demo from RouteGenie to understand if it's the right NEMT software for your business.
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.