As the nations economy continues to suffer, so do government and private healthcare agencies. Everyone is making cuts, trying to save money, one way or another. One way healthcare organizations can save money, without making cuts to their employees or services, is to outsource their non-emergency medical transportation services to professional NEMT businesses that can provide these services better, faster, and cheaper. For your consideration, here is an estimate of expenses for providing NEMT services in-house compared to outsourcing them.

In-house Transportation Expenses:

These estimates are based on self-performing transportation services per one passenger vehicle or wheelchair van with driver.

  • Cost of one ambulatory passenger vehicle or wheelchair van, equipped with the necessary equipment and technology: Ambulatory Vehicle: $20,000; Wheelchair Van: $45,000; Avg. Payment: $650/month ($7,800/year)
  • Depreciation: $6,510
  • Annual insurance premiums: $3,000-$5,000 (depending on vehicle value)
  • Annual salary and compensation for one part time driver: $18,000 - $25,000
  • Annual salary and compensation for oversight management time: $12,000 - $40,000+, depending on number of vehicles
  • Driver training and certifications: $200 per driver
  • Driver background check: $30 per driver
  • Annual fuel costs (1-2 fill ups a week): $5,000
  • Annual vehicle repair and maintenance (oil changes, tires, etc.): $2,600
  • Driver medical exams: $60

Total In-House Annual Expenses: $67,190 or $5,599/month

These cost estimates don’t include interest on loans or large vehicle repairs, i.e; motors.

In-house Transportation Cost per Month, per Trip: 10 Trips = $559; 20 Trips = $279; 30 Trips = $186; 40 Trips = $139; 50 Trips = $111; 100 Trips = $56; 200 Trips = $28.

Outsourced Transportation Costs:

Sedan Service: Base fee per trip: $15 + $1.60 (avg.) cost per mile over base fee = $27.80 (Avg. trip 8 miles)

Wheelchair Service: Base fee per trip: $15 + $2.60 (avg.) cost per mile over base fee = $35.80 (Avg. trip 8 miles)

Savings: 100 Trips = 100% or $2,820 per month, per vehicle.

There is a national trend for organizations to outsource services that don’t align with their core competencies. By doing this, it saves them time and money so they can focus on their core customer services that generate revenue.

Contact the experts at Holt Transport to be your Non-emergency Medical Transportation provider.

There is nothing quite like spending the holidays with family and friends. Most of us take this privilege for granted, but there are many people who don’t have this opportunity, due to their age, an illness, immobility, or limited transportation options. The holidays are meant for us to appreciate our good fortune and help those who are less fortunate. If you or someone you know is unable to visit with family and friends this holiday season for any of these reasons, we would like you to know that there are options available to you.

At Holt Transport, we don’t just provide transportation to and from medical appointments. We also provide transportation for elderly or wheelchair-bound people who need to perform everyday tasks like shopping, running errands, and of course, visiting with family and friends. We offer this service at a competitive and affordable rate. We also allow a family member or caretaker to ride along at no additional cost.

We believe that everyone has the right to live a more fulfilling life no matter age, income, or health status. Our mission is to help improve the quality of life for persons with limited mobility or lack of transportation. There is nothing like having the freedom and independence to pursue the things in life that make us happy, and that is what we are all about.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty getting around, but would like to spend some quality time with their friends and family this holiday season, contact us at Holt Transport, and we will do everything in our power to help make that happen, so they can enjoy the holidays too.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Your Friends at Holt Tansport

This article is intended to provide a brief overview of the primary options for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation and the quality of service that patients consider most important to enhance their overall healthcare.

Ambulance Transportation:

Ambulance transportation is usually reserved for emergency medical situations. However, ambulance transportation can be used in non-emergency medical situations where the patient’s health is a concern, and the transport is deemed medically necessary to provide support for the patient. These transports are typically from hospital to hospital; hospital to home; hospital to nursing home; or hospital to outpatient services. The circumstances for the necessity of these transports vary widely, dependant upon the individual patient’s medical condition.

Due to the high cost of ambulance transportation, it must meet specific guidelines to be considered medically necessary, in order to be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most health insurance policies. Before using an ambulance service for non-emergency medical transportation, it is recommended you check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered for the service. Otherwise, you may be liable to pay the ambulance company hundreds of dollars out of your own pocket.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Companies:

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) companies were established to fill a unique void in medical care, by enabling patients who cannot drive or do not have access to transportation to get to their appointments. These companies provide a lower cost service than ambulance companies, and a safer, cleaner, more comfortable ride than private taxi services or public transportation. NEMT companies are also trained and equipped to accommodate special needs for physically disabled persons, including wheelchairs, walkers, and service animals. Our NEMT drivers are familiar with the locations and physical layouts of all the major medical facilities in our area, thus we are uniquely qualified to go the extra mile to assist passengers with door-through-door service, to and from the vehicle.

What is meant by door through door service? If a client was mobility challenged or anxious as to where to check-in for a first time appointment, our drivers can assist the client into the building, including holding doors open, assistance with elevator’s or stairs if requested.

A reputable, customer-focused NEMT company employs highly skilled drivers with these credentials:

  • CPR Certified
  • First Aid Certified
  • Defensive Driver’s Training Course
  • HIPAA Regulation Training
  • Assisting Persons with Disabilities Training
  • Emergency Situation, Procedures, and Bloodborne Pathogens Training
  • Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Training

Most NEMT companies receive their work from large transportation brokerage firms that distribute the work to qualified NEMT providers. NEMT companies must adhere to high standards, certifications, inspections, and training set forth by these companies to be considered a preferred transportation provider. NEMT companies utilize sophisticated dispatching software and scheduling programs that allow them to provide reliable, on-time service.

With prior authorization, NEMT services can be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and many health insurance programs.

Private Taxi Transportation:

Most patients whom require non-emergency medical transportation are in a certain state of distress, due to their particular medical condition. These patients deserve clean, safe, comfortable transportation from individuals who are professional, polite, compassionate, and possess the experience and understanding of their situation.

Most private taxi drivers have little or no training on how to treat or accommodate persons with medical conditions or physical disabilities. Their primary concern is to get the passenger to their destination as quickly as possible, in order to make money. It is rare to see a private taxi driver exit his vehicle, much less offer assistance through the front door to the facility check-in area. The result of this attitude is often an unpleasant, unreliable experience that can cause more stress on the patient.

Under most circumstances, private taxi companies do not bill Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance providers. Therefore, the patient must pay the transportation fee upon delivery and handle the reimbursement request themselves.

Public Transit:

Public transportation for persons with medical conditions, behavioral problems, or physical disabilities can be an inconvenient, inefficient, and stressful mode of transportation. The patient has to find a way to the bus terminal and wait for the bus to arrive, often in inclement weather. The patient is dropped off at the bus terminal closest to their destination, but rarely within safe walking distance. Seniors and persons with disabilities are especially susceptible to falls, and boarding a bus can be a daunting and hazardous task for them.

As with private taxi drivers, few public bus drivers have adequate training on how to properly accommodate the needs of persons in poor health or with disabilities. In fact, due to the fixed-route nature of public transportation, the patient’s final destination is unknown by the bus driver. They have no way of knowing if the passenger has a health issue unless they show physical symptoms. Therefore, the driver has no indication that the patient might require special care and attention. And even if they did, the driver is under no obligation to assist the patient in any way.

Few public transit providers bill Medicaid and Medicare, due to the low rate of reimbursement and the ability to meet the complex regulations. While public transportation may be the most affordable option for persons without health insurance, the experience can exacerbate their condition, hinder their recovery, or possibly even endanger their health.

Conclusion:

When determining your needs for non-emergency medical transportation, we recommend you take into consideration the points we’ve mentioned in this article. There are many other factors to consider that we didn’t cover here. So depending on your circumstances, you should consult with your health insurance provider, your healthcare provider, and your family to determine which method will provide you with the services you need.

Seniors and persons with disabilities are especially susceptible to falls, often with catastrophic consequences. Despite precautions, you should know what steps to follow if you’ve taken a sudden and unexpected fall. The best advice obviously, is to do all that is possible to eliminate the likelihood of losing your balance and taking a fall in the first place. This advice applies especially to seniors or persons with disabilities when they are required to travel in a vehicle. Entering a vehicle and exiting a vehicle are very risky maneuvers, the likelihood of experiencing a fall is further magnified when:

  • The person feels stressed to “rush” and get out of the vehicle quickly, so as not to hold up traffic.
  • They are accompanied by an untrained friend or spouse.
  • The untrained friend or spouse themselves are physically limited to steady or catch a falling passenger due to age or disabilities of their own.
  • The vehicle that they are transported in is poorly designed for accommodating anyone with a mobility issue.
  • The vehicle is parked on uneven pavement, or there are curbs, or other obstacles such as bumper poles, that may prove difficult to navigate around.

When all is said and done, utilizing the services of a qualified and respected Non Emergency Medical Transportation provider is recommended to cut down the risk of falls that can occur when seniors or persons with disabilities attempt a seemingly harmless trip to the doctor.

Despite all prudent precautions, if a fall does occur, it is recommended that you take the following steps:

Step One: Stop… stay exactly where you’ve fallen. Take a few deep breaths, then use your medic-alert call device (if you have one), or your cell phone to summon help. If these are not available, yell and then yell again. Sooner or later someone will hear you.

Step Two: Do not try to rise immediately, until you’ve accomplished step three.

Step Three: Do a self-check to assess where and how you may be injured. You will sense whether you’re badly hurt or even whether you’ve broken a bone. If help hasn’t come repeat step one until it does.

If you’ve ascertained you’re not seriously hurt, and if no one has come to give you a hand, here is what measures experts recommend:

Inside Your Home:

  • Roll onto your side
  • Bend your knees up to your waist
  • Inch your way over to the nearest stable object (for example a chair or bed)
  • Reach up and grab the object firmly while still on your side
  • Scrunch up close to the object
  • Using your free hand as a push-up and the object in the other, roll over onto your knees
  • If you succeed, use both hands on the object to help you rise to a standing position and then turn and sit as soon as possible

Outside Your Home:

  • Stay down
  • Do not let someone try to help you until you have done a self-assessment
  • If you’re offered a coat or jacket, accept it
  • At this point someone will probably have called 911 and if you have any doubts, stay down
  • If you think you can get up, use the nearest sturdiest onlooker as you would a chair in your own home
  • In general, don’t be embarrassed to let others help you. However, if there’s any doubt in your mind about your injury, wait for the Emergency Response people to arrive.

Traveling by vehicle to a friends house, shopping or a trip to the doctor can be a hazardous experience for seniors or persons with disabilities, even when they are accompanied by a well-intentioned friend or spouse. Please consider the services of a professional Non-Emergency Medical Transportation provider to insure your safe arrival free from incident or worry.

Disclaimer: Holt Transport is not a medical facility, nor do we give medical advice. These comments are merely suggestions. For more specific information and advice on this matter, we recommend you ask your physician.

How is it that we as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation providers are able to get so many individuals (many of whom are first-time clients), from their homes to their medical appointments safely and on time? How do we plan routes efficiently within a congested major metropolitan area? In addition to managing the basic logistics involved in picking up and dropping off patients within precise time windows, the NEMT team must also balance ever-changing schedules, traffic, and any unexpected challenges that may occur throughout the course of the day. The answer is “Vehicle Telematics”. Long gone are the days of thumbing through map books, and relying on memory, for determining the quickest and safest routes. Even in-vehicle cell phone usage is minimized. Today, an exciting combination of technologies is available which can revolutionize the transportation industry in general and NEMT providers in particular.

“Vehicle Telematics”, is a term applied to the combination of the following technologies:

  • Telecommunication
  • Vehicle tracking via GPS
  • Driver feedback
  • Fleet management
  • Satellite navigation
  • Emergency warning systems
  • Real time dispatch and communications
  • Management reporting

To better illustrate how these technologies can combine to vastly improve the effectiveness of a fleet of NEMT vehicles, let’s take you to a typical day for Bob M. a non-emergency medical transportation driver for Holt Transport.

6:00 AM: Bob logs on to his navigation device to access his trips.

6:02 AM: Bob downloads his entire dispatch for the day. This includes trips to either pick up or drop off individuals for appointments. Bob also has a printed hard copy of his trips as a backup in case of an internet connection failure.

6:15 AM: Bob completes his pre-trip vehicle inspection, then selects his first trip which is a pickup. By selecting start, a detailed route is planned complete with turn-by-turn mapping and voice instructions to the exact location. Real-time traffic patterns are used to calculate an accurate ETA.

7:00 AM: Bob arrives at the first pickup location. Dispatch personnel at the office are aware of the driver’s exact location and activity each step of the way. Dispatch can notify clients of delays or changes as necessary over the phone.

8:15 AM: The navigation screen alerts Bob that his off ramp is coming up in 2 miles. A visual image appears on his navigation screen, and a voice message alerts him of the approaching off ramp, and even tells him which lane to be in during the exit.

9:00 AM: Back at the office, the dispatcher receives an add-on trip that requires download to the driver. The new order appears within seconds on Bob’s navigation screen, complete with customer name, address and turn-by-turn instructions.

1:15 PM: A patient calls the dispatch office that they are now ready for a pickup for their return home. The dispatcher downloads the request, along with the name, address, and turn-by-turn directions from Bob’s current location.

4:10 PM: Management can analyze total daily activities for Bob, as well as for the entire fleet. Management is able to customize reports showing pick up and drop off times, vehicle speed data, hard breaking data, hard turn events, idle times and MPG estimates. Management is able to analyze these reports to identify problems and improve safety.

The utilization of “Vehicle Telematics” technologies vastly improves dispatch efficiencies, expedites pickups and drop-offs, influences positive driver behavior and confidence, and improves the passenger experience while enhancing overall safety.

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