When it comes to starting a non-emergency medical transportation business or ambulette service you need to understand the market. Once you get a better understanding of the market you can then decide if you want to target a particular sector or if you want to provide a more general service.
The market is basically comprised of those who require assisted transportation from one place to another, on a one off, occasional or regular basis. It includes those who are not mobile enough to walk, drive or get in and out of public transport independently. The market does not include those who require emergency medical care and the speed and trained paramedics onboard a regular ambulance.
Let's take a closer look at some of the markets that you may consider targeting as you set up and develop your non-emergency medical transportation business (NEMT business). You can then evaluate the potential that each of these opportunities has in your area and decide on which ones you want to go after.
Private Paying Clients
Some businesses in this industry target private paying clients. This kind of client usually pays full price and you can benefit from regular business if you serve them well and take some time to build a relationship. Profit margins with this kind of customer are great. However, you will have to do some marketing to reach them at first until you build up a good reputation and start getting 'word of mouth' referrals.
Another great market opportunity to target is Medicaid, a federal program that provides healthcare to those on low incomes, the elderly and disabled. Medicaid also provides for these individuals to receive free transportation to and from their medical appointments if necessary.
In some states Medicaid uses regional brokers who determine who is eligible and how they should be transported to and from their appointments. In other states you will have to seek approval from Medicaid directly. Rates will vary so you will have to do a little research in order to find out if it is worth transporting Medicaid clients in your area. However, such an opportunity usually means a good monthly volume of decent paying work as well as checks that come on time like clockwork.
Many transportation businesses get contracts directly with hospitals, medical centers, dialysis centers and various other medical institutions. Such relationships can provide you with one off clients who are being discharged from the emergency room or regular clients who have appointments for treatments as often as three times a week.
Retirement Communities and Nursing Homes
Another great market to tap into is retirement homes and assisted living communities. These people who are aged or disable often require transport for medical appointments. They will also often need transport for other purposes such as shopping, recreation or visiting family members.
Opportunities with Schools
Schools often require daily transportation services for disabled students. Such a contract could provide one of your vans with several hours of work every morning and afternoon transporting these children to and from school. They may also require specialized transportation for occasional school field trips.
Many NEMT businesses also provide transportation to those on workers compensation. People who have been injured at work often need transportation to and from medical clinics for checkups and treatments.
Contact workers compensation authorities in your state to find out how you can go about applying to provide medical transportation to recipients of workers compensation.
Local Health Authorities
Once you business is set up, licensed and in compliance with local regulations you can then submit your details to health authorities in your state. Health authorities often receive requests from individuals or organizations looking for non-emergency medical transportation. If your business is on the list of contacts that is given out in cases where such enquiries are received then you can pick up some easy business without much effort.