How to start your own NEMT business : Ultimate Guide
What is a NEMT Business?
The Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) service, also known as an ambulette service, transports people in wheelchairs, stretchers, or those who are ambulatory and need assistance. This is not an ambulance service. Companies that provide non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) provide rides to patients who need them. It can be a ride to the hospital, doctor’s office, pharmacy, or any other destination from home or work. People with medical conditions who cannot drive or use public transportation can use these services to get to check-ups, hospital appointments, or other appointments. The transportation is strictly non-emergency.
You don’t need any special life-saving skills, training, or equipment to operate this business! If you provide NEMT services, you will transport people between medical appointments, hospitals, nursing homes, or residences to various medical appointments.
NEMT Business: Why Start One?
When service providers launch or expand a NEMT operation, many questions arise. This is the right place if you want to start a NEMT business. There is good news for you! In the coming years, there will be a massive scope. The flow of customers who want to use your services will thus be steady.
There are several aspects of the non-emergency medical transportation industry that make it incredibly unique. You may not be able to support your preferred future growth with a van and a willingness to work alone. In spite of the high demand for NEMT services, there will be fierce competition.
What is the cost of starting a NEMT business?
It is estimated that starting a NEMT business will cost around $350,000. The total cost can, however, be greatly reduced if you already own a vehicle or car that is suitable for running your business. Budgeting for expenses is part of your business plan. In order to start a NEMT business, you will have to account for insurance, transportation licensing and permits, fuel, utilities, vehicle maintenance, office supplies, and anything else you may need.
Different types of loans are available to help individuals start their own businesses and generate profits, so don’t be put off by the initial costs of starting a NEMT business. You can expect to spend around $2,500 on registration fees, insurance policies, and Medicaid enrollment application fees if you want to start small.
The NEMT business model: how to get started
With this guide, you can start a non-emergency medical transportation business or learn more about NEMT services. People who require NEMT can get to and from medical appointments, therapy sessions, lab tests, and more with this service.
You have the right strategy if you have a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation business plan, or NEMT for short. Business income from non-emergency medical transportation is increasing every day. Therefore, starting a medical transportation company is a good idea. In any case, NEMT is a non-emergency transport service.
Your NEMT business must be legally incorporated
When starting a NEMT business, the very first thing you need to do is choose the company’s legal status, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership. There are advantages and disadvantages to each status, and your business will benefit from one or the other. Prior to making a decision, you must understand that taxation depends on the company’s legal structure. Besides that, you must consider the future of the company. You should look for a lawyer to assist you in choosing the right and most appropriate legal status for your company.
Prepare legal documents
To start a successful business, you must prepare and file your legal documents correctly. You will need to fill out and submit licenses, certificates, and permits in order to operate legally. The requirements differ depending on the state and city you’re working in. Your locale will have specific regulations, whether you live in Michigan, California, Texas, Georgia, or New York. At your local Department of Motor Vehicles, you should fill out an application package for medical transportation providers.
Set up a fleet
Get your fleet in order after establishing the company. Start with a single van or special vehicle. Make sure that your vehicles are safe, reliable, customized for your prospective clients, and equipped with all accessibility equipment. To stay competitive and be approved by your government agency, you can check ADA (Americans with Disabilities) vehicle requirements. Choose factory-direct dealers when selecting your fleet seller to avoid middlemen.
Ensure that your insurance covers everything. Some states, such as California, require NEMT companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their medical personnel.
This industry also requires general liability insurance, as well as commercial auto insurance. You must decide which type of premium policy is best for your entire fleet, taking into account the total mileage, driving record, and model of each vehicle. When providing your services to people, every vehicle you own should be insured to cover any road accidents.
In determining the location of your business, demographics are the most important factor. Identify where elderly people live nearby by finding statistics. Make a list of adult daycare centers, hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers, retirement homes, and group homes. Ask those facilities what transportation services they currently use to help sustain your business.
To reach your demographic, you will need to use a brand to reach out to them. It is something that identifies you and your business that customers will recognize as yours. It can be a name, a color scheme, a slogan, or a combination of these things. Your brand will be able to distinguish your service from others, including potential competitors. It is important that your brand is easy to remember and easy to recognize.
The process of attracting clients is not always straightforward: In Georgia, for example, dispatching is done through third-party brokers. You are unlikely to get much business from a company’s Facebook page unless you target individual private clients. If you have the budget, a standalone company website is a good idea if you are looking for work through LinkedIn. To avoid missing calls, you should also have an answering service or an after-hours phone number.
The only way to tell people about your business and attract clients is to promote it. You can advertise your medical transportation business on the radio, TV, and in newspapers. The more targeted your marketing campaign is, the more effective it will be, and the more clients you will attract. Therefore, you should market your business at doctor’s offices, nursing homes, dialysis centers, and other places your potential clients frequent.
NEMT software: choose wisely
A NEMT software solution automates all aspects of your NEMT operation, including dispatching, scheduling, routing, billing, driver management, and customer notifications. Traffic problems, vehicle breakdowns, driver call-offs, cancellations, no-shows, and on-demand trips are just some of the daily challenges it tackles. Also, the software simplifies billing to reduce errors and speed up reimbursements.
You Should Be Aware of the Potential Threats and Challenges
A major threat that we will likely face is an economic downturn and unfavorable government policies (healthcare reform). A downturn in the economy affects purchasing power and spending power. We may also face a threat from the arrival of a bigger, well-established non-emergency medical transportation brand at the same location as our outlet.
Consider your clients’ future demands in advance:
We need new clients to be successful in business, but not at the expense of losing old ones. If you are able to retain your old customers, you are providing a steady and satisfactory service. The best way to maintain this in the future is to proactively start thinking about what your clients might need in the future. It is possible for their needs and requirements to vary. They may require an assistant to perform their daily tasks or scheduled caregiver visits in the future, or they may have increased medical appointments due to chronic diseases and limited mobility. A team of interdisciplinary professionals can provide accurate and efficient solutions to these changing needs. It will increase your credibility and dependability if you have a solution for the occurred situations. You may be asked by a client to provide a particular service.
How much can you earn from a NEMT business?
The base rate for medical transport is about $40 per trip plus $5 per mile, so you might earn $75 for each trip. You will likely get your business from medical transportation brokers who work with insurance companies regarding payment, and they will take a commission. You should have about an 80% profit margin when you’re working on your own.
You might do 20 trips per week in your first year or two, bringing in $78,000 annually. Assuming an 80% margin, this would result in $62,000 in profit. The demand for 70 trips per week might increase as your customer base grows. By this stage, you’d have hired staff and added more vans, resulting in a 30% profit margin. Annual revenue of $273,000 would produce an $82,000 profit.