By now you must be aware of the many compelling reasoned explanations why a non-emergency medical transportation business offers entrepreneurs such a great business model. With the growth in the medical care industry and the explosion of baby boomer retirees, this market is big and set to have even bigger still.
In this article we look at how exactly to start a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business. Learn about some of the steps that are involved and some of the facets of this business that you must consider.
Franchise or Independent Operator?
Nowadays there are several players offering non-emergency medical transportation franchises. Entrepreneurs benefit with the franchise model as they are able to operate under an established brand and get advice and training RouteGenie to get started and run a business. However, with the franchise fees that must be paid initially and on a continuing basis, the upside potential for profit is reduced. In the event that you do your homework, you will discover that this business is not too difficult and it is possible to launch and thrive independently.
Choosing the Right Area
Give some thought to the demographics of the region where you stand setting up your business. Try to find statistics that prove that there are a good number of elderly, disabled or Medicaid citizens living nearby. Compile a set of hospitals, dialysis centers, retirement homes, assisted living centers and other relevant operations. You could even make initial connection with some of those organizations and discover in regards to the transportation solutions which they now have in place.
Research the Competition
Identify all of the major competitors that you will have in your town and evaluate them when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses. You might decide to include parts of these business model into your own personal business and reject other parts. Learn around you can about them by reading their websites and calling their offices to ask questions. You can even take some time following around some of these vans to be able to know how they work and to discover exactly who their customers are.
Getting Started – Licenses and Permits
Regulations and requirements for medical transportation businesses vary from state to state so you ought to make enquiries at the local level to discover what your obligations are.
While in the commercial of transporting paying customers in one place to a different you will need some sort of permit, just as a taxi driver does. Your application for this type of license will soon be handled by transportation authorities at the state or local level. Due to the nature with this work, some states will even require businesses in this industry to be registered with local health authorities.
There are often other paperwork that requires to be done such as for example registering your business name, getting a small business license (possibly more if you serve multiple counties) and zoning considerations if you run a property business.
Vehicles and Equipment
It is common for medical transportation services to get regular vans, either new or used, and then have them fitted out to accommodate special needs clients. Business owners typically start out with one vehicle and gradually add for their fleet as their business grows.
The very best vans for an ambulette have a high raised roof and doorways. Access is normally on the side of the vehicle but may also be at the rear.
Some operators still use manual lifts to simply help them get wheelchair passengers into and out of these vans. However, you should be able to offer a quicker, more professional service when you have a contemporary hydraulic lift installed.
Once in the van, wheelchairs could be fastened to various securing devices so that they don’t maneuver around during transit. Vehicles also require customized seatbelts for wheelchair bound passengers. You can also improve the caliber of your service when you have some comforts like TV and air conditioning.
A decent sized van that is properly kitted out should have the ability to transport four wheelchair bound passengers at the same time as well as have extra seats available for caregivers. Depending in your clients, you may even desire a space in your van that allows you to match in a passenger that is confined to a stretcher.
To safeguard yourself from unforeseen events you will have to purchase a variety of insurance policies. A broad liability insurance policy will ensure that you’re covered in situations where your customers are injured or suffer losses while they’re in your care. You will even need regular automotive insurance to guard yourself in cases when your vehicles are damaged, stolen or associated with traffic accidents.
Decide how you intend to collect payment for your services. You might have to invoice medical institutions on a monthly basis or you will need to process bank card payments for individual clients. In the event that you service large clients like Medicaid then it may be as simple as receiving a check in the mail each month. Talk to some prospective clients and look at what their needs are. Discover what payment options your competitors are offering.
Give some thought to your operating hours. The very best ambulette services in the market usually offer weekday service from morning hours to late during the night with decent hours on Saturdays too. As a sole operator you will soon be limited in the hours that you can take on. As you expand into a multi-driver operation you will have a way to offer more flexible scheduling to clients.
In the event that you start out doing all the driving while also managing your business you will begin to get burnt out. In order to grow you need to step back and hire some drivers so that you can transfer to a purely management and marketing orientated role.
Staff must have a drivers license which allows them to take passengers and they are often subject to certain standards or requirements at the local level. No real matter what you ought to ensure that your staff are trained on how best to do the practical side of the job. They have to know how to aid passengers and their caregivers because they be in and out of vehicles. They will also be instructed to smile and make pleasant conversation if the opportunity arises so that they help your brand to get a positive reputation.
There are lots of various ways to market a non-emergency medical transportation business. For a few ideas on markets that you can target read our article on Medical Transportation Business Opportunities.
Initially you must venture out and meet prospective clients and possibly even bid to test and win contracts. However, if your team are performing a good job then you definitely will discover that eventually business should come directly for you through person to person and referrals.
You can of course boost your chances of having calls from private paying clients should you a little advertising. A web site that pops up in the search results when people seek out ambulette services in your town can really help. A tiny Yellow Pages listing will even almost certainly be worth the cost. You can pretty much try any method that other local service businesses are employing to advertise themselves. Vehicle advertising is perfect for exposure and flyers, postcards or door hangers may are well.