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Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – A Complete Guide

Do you want to start a non-emergency medical transportation business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a non-emergency medical transportation business with NO money and no experience.

Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample non-emergency medical transportation business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample non-emergency medical transportation service marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for non-emergency medical transportation businesses. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a non-emergency medical transportation business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Why Start a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business?

The Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry is literally growing by the day. Because the elderly population is literally in the process of doubling and the medical industry is experiencing huge change. Before we start talking business, it is important to shed light on the conjoined concepts. So what is Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)? It is also known as an ambulette service, NEMT is the transportation of people in wheelchairs, stretchers or those ambulatory who need assistance.

Are you confused right now? Don’t be! This is NOT an ambulance service! This is strictly non-emergency transportation. This business doesn’t need any kind of special life-saving skills, training or equipment! With your NEMT service, you will transport people to and from medical appointments, in and out of hospitals, nursing facilities, or from residences to various medical appointments.

The Non – Emergency Medical Transportation Services industry comprises of both private and municipal operators that basically provide transportation alongside medical care for patients either by ground or air. These services most often than not are provided during a medical emergency, but they are not restricted to such instances; they are also used for non – emergency medical transportation services. The ambulances or vehicles as the case maybe are usually well – equipped with lifesaving equipment operated by medically trained employee i.e. nurses and doctors et al.

It is a known fact that non-emergency medical transportation services is highly essential for disadvantaged Medicaid recipients, for the elderly, for those who have form or disability or the other and those with low incomes who have no form of transportation to access healthcare services when the need arises.

There is a huge market for this type of services simply because there are loads of sick people out there who cannot transport themselves to hospital hence the need for private ambulance services. People who are paralyzed, down with stroke, on a wheel chair and too frail to move are some of the people that need this services. So if you are looking towards starting a business in the healthcare sector, then one of your options is to start a non – emergency medical transportation services or ambulance services.

Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

The growth of the health care industry offers entrepreneurs a great business opportunity within the community. The market is limitless for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business. The healthcare industry of which non – emergency medical transportation services is a part of is one industry that plays a key role in the economy of many nations.

This is so because without health, there will be no capacity to create wealth, in other words, health is indeed wealth. Little wonder the healthcare industry is one of the most supervised and regulated industries in most countries of the world.

  • Interesting Statistics About the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Statistics has it that about 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical care services simply because they lack appropriate means of transportation to catch up with their medical appointments. So also, the average low – income earners in the United States Americans lack the disposable income necessary to have access to a working automobile, and as a result of that may lack transportation options to get to and from medical appointments which is why

Medicaid provides a non – emergency medical transportation benefit that pays for the least expensive and suitable way of conveying people to their appointments whether by taxi, van, public transport or mileage reimbursement.

As a matter of fact a large percentage of people with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes et al, would need medical care services on a regular basis. Statistics has it that the treatment of chronic conditions account for three-quarters of all United States healthcare expenses.

For instance, in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 78% of the adult population age 55 and older has at least one of these chronic conditions. In addition, it was projected that states will add more than a half million adults who have serious behavioral health issues that impair their everyday functioning to the Medicaid population. These people of course will need the services of Non – Emergency Medical Transportation to access life sustaining treatments and health care services et al.

It is important to categorically state that a large percent of the 20 million adults with chronic kidney disease who are undergoing dialysis three times a week, non – emergency transportation services providers is a reliable way to transport them to their appointments and so as to avoid going to the emergency room if appointments are missed.

So also, Statistics has it that 66 percent of dialysis patients rely on others for transportation to their appointments, only 8 percent depend on public transportation or taxi services, and 25.3 percent drove or walked to the clinic themselves.

The Non – Emergency Medical Transportation Services industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world especially in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and Italy et al.

Envision Health care is one of the leading players in the industry. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 16,928 licensed and registered non – emergency medical transportation providers responsible for employing about 200,048 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $15bn annually with an annual growth rate projected at 1.1 percent.

Non – emergency medical transportation services or ambulance services as it is popularly called is yet another thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur who is interested in making money from the healthcare industry should consider starting.

Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The individuals that will need your services as a non-emergency medical transporter include;

  1. Adult day cares
  2. Nursing homes
  3. Hospitals
  4. Geriatric doctors
  5. The Government via Medicaid
  6. Adults and Seniors
  7. Expectant Mothers
  8. Injured Sports Men and Women
  9. Disable / Physically Challenged People
  10. People why mental / psychiatric challenges
  11. The aged who might suffer from severe joint pains and every other age categories who falls under the conditions listed by the physician.

List of Niche in the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry

  1. Medical travel
  2. Air Medical Travel
  3. Wheelchair Transportation
  4. Orthopedic Transportation
  5. Taxi Service
  6. Non-Medical Transportation

Level of Competition in the NEMT Industry

A lot of competitions exist amongst various non – emergency medical transportation service providers, you will also compete against other healthcare services providers such as hospitals, health centers and community clinics who have ambulances and also provide transportation services for their patients.

To be highly competitive in the non – emergency medical transportation services industry means that you should be able to deliver consistent quality patient service and should be able to meet the expectations of the physicians that referred patients to you.

To stand tall among your competitors, run a standard medical call center for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Ensure you have enough trained health workers that are ready to run a shift system.

List of Well-Known Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry

  1. Envision Health Care.
  2. UMTPG
  3. Ready Transportation
  4. Silver Star Transportation Services
  5. Voyageur Transportation Services
  6. Pine Creek Care Center
  7. Senior Citizens United Community Services
  8. Superior Ambulance Service, Inc.
  9. Certified Homecare
  10. Advent Homecare.

Economic Analysis

As a matter of fact a large percentage of people with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes et al, would need medical care services on a regular basis. Statistics has it that the treatment of chronic conditions account for three- quarters of all United States healthcare expenses.

For instance, in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 78% of the adult population age 55 and older has at least one of these chronic conditions. In addition, it was projected that states will add more than a half million adults who have serious behavioral health issues that impair their everyday functioning to the Medicaid population. These people of course will need the services of Non – Emergency Medical Transportation to access life sustaining treatments and health care services et al.

It is important to categorically state that a large percent of the 20 million adults with chronic kidney disease who are undergoing dialysis three times a week, non – emergency transportation services providers is a reliable way to transport them to their appointments and so as to avoid going to the emergency room if appointments are missed.

So also, Statistics has it that 66 percent of dialysis patients rely on others for transportation to their appointments, only 8 percent depend on public transportation or taxi services, and 25.3 percent drove or walked to the clinic themselves.

No doubt the non – emergency medical transportation service industry will continue to grow and become more profitable because the aging baby-boomer generation in Unites States is expected to drive increasing demand for these specialized services.

Is a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business Worth Starting from Scratch or is Buying a Franchise Better?

Starting a NEMT business requires in-depth learning about the industry, available products, installation, and solutions for disabled and seniors. It also involves establishing relationships with health providers and health management professionals, along with a source of in-depth information for the questions the business owner can’t answer. The easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure all of the foregoing is to buy a franchise, as the entire business model is already created, the kinks are worked out and the business is essentially ready to go.

Research various NEMT franchise opportunities and select a franchise to work with. This way, the business model, including the business plan, and advertising media and materials are all ready-made. Establish a relationship with the chosen franchise and get as much information as possible about the way the business is operated, the startup capital required and the process of becoming a franchisee.

Probable Threats and Challenges for Starting a NEMT Business

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies (healthcare reform). It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing / spending power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new and bigger / well established non – emergency medical transportation brand in same location where our outlet is located.

Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – Legal Aspect

  • Best Legal Entity to Use for your NEMT Business

Due to the size of the business, you need to register it as a company with a legal entity. After making your business plan and estimates, you should start the process of registering your business name as a legal company and permissions provided by the law to starting a solar farm. This way, you will avoid legal issues with the law later. You can employ a legal counselor or Lawyer to handle the process for you.

The best legal entity for this business is starting a LLC. A limited partnership is an organization made up of a general partner, who manages a project; and limited partners who invest money but have limited liability and are not involved in day to- day management.

Usually, limited partners receive income, capital gains, and tax benefits; the general partners collect fees and a percentage of capital earnings and revenues. Typically, limited partnerships are in real estate, oil and gas, equipment leasing, family partnerships but can also finance movies, research and development and other projects.

Catchy Business Name ideas Suitable a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

When it comes to starting a non-emergency medical transportation business it is important that you choose a suitable name. Many entrepreneurs overlook the importance that a name can play in the development of a brand. The right name can help you to make a great first impression on people in your market and it can help you to build long term relationships and reputation. Consider any of these names for your new NEMT business;

  1. Safe Ambulance Services
  2. Fast and Safe Transports
  3. Special needs Services
  4. Seniors and Specials Transportation Inc.
  5. Ride with Care Services
  6. Epic Ambulate
  7. Boomers Transporters

Choosing the Best Insurance Policy for your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Your transportation business has to be concerned with the right insurance for your fleet vehicles, driver activities, and other business assets. Knowing that transporting your elderly and special needs clients means your vans and other vehicles are often outfitted with special equipment; your drivers and staff are required to communicate effectively with medical staff, transfer patients with care, and maintain standards required by licensing agencies.

Find a good insurance companies that can provide the high limits and special insurance your business needs, including:

  • Auto Liability Insurance.
  • Physical Damage Insurance for Your Vehicles.
  • Inland Marine Insurance for special equipment.
  • Property Insurance for your business premises.
  • General Liability Insurance.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance.
  • Excess or Umbrella Insurance

Apply for insurance. It is best to have insurance because transporting patients opens you up to a number of liabilities. You may be held financially responsible for any accidents that occur while on the road. Investigate the prices and benefits of various insurance programs.

Is Intellectual Property Protection Needed to Start a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business?

If you are considering starting your own non-emergency medical transportation business, then you should consider filing for intellectual property protection. Filing for copyright protection for your firm is not only limited to your company’s logo and other documents, and but also protecting, of course, the name of your business.

If you want to file for intellectual property protection and also register your trademark in the United States, then you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business?

Laws vary by state but you will likely need to complete training both for first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, available through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. A course in defensive driving through the National Safety Council is also a typical requirement for this business.

Non-emergency medical transport company owners may need to register as medical transport providers through their states, as in Oregon, for example, according to the SBA. You will also probably need a chauffeur’s license and be required to register your business name if you’re operating as a company. The other essential requirements are a driver’s license, liability insurance, patience and customer service skills.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Register your business with the government. Laws vary by state. Talk to your local Department of Commerce and Department of Licensing to receive the forms that you need to establish your business and to learn if you need a license to do bookkeeping. You can notify the federal government of your business by applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You can also create a business name for yourself and file a “Doing Business As” or “DBA” notice. These are some of the basic legal document that you are expected to have in place if you want to start a solar farm business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Apostille
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement
  • Company By laws
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy

Writing a Business Plan for your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

The first thing you need to do before starting out with your plans to start a NEMT business is to first of all invest your time and money in research. As a matter of fact, you would require other people to help you out with the research. You would need to be well informed about the makeup industry before you can truly make headway.

So, try and talk to medical professionals to help you out with the necessary research. If indeed you truly want to grow your  to compete with already established world renowned brand, then it won’t be out of place if you enroll in a college to acquire a degree or diploma in transportation management.

The fact that this kind of business requires huge start – up capital, and rigorous planning makes it very important to draft a very good business plan. The need for a good business plan can’t be over emphasized if your desire is to build a business that can grow big and well accepted in the global market. As a matter of fact, it will pay you to hire expert to help you draft a workable business plan that can assist you to access loan from the bank or attract serious investors.

If you are looking towards starting a non-emergency medical transport business line, then one of the first steps that you are expected to take is to consult experts to help you write a good and workable business plan. The truth is that, in order to successfully run a non-emergency medical transport business, you would need to have a good business plan in place.

A Business plan is the blue print that is needed to successfully run a business; with a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial and error approach of doing business. You will be able to manage your business with purpose and perhaps precisions; you will know what to do per time and how to handle challenges, growth and expansion.

The whole idea of writing a business plan is not just for the sake of having a business document in place; but a detail guide on how to effectively run your business from the scratch. Your business plan should outline and cover strategies on how you intend to manage and grow your non-emergency medical transport business.

The rule of thumb in writing a business plan is to try as much as possible to be realistic and never to over project when putting figures on income and profits et al. As a matter of fact, it is safer to underestimate when writing a business plan so that you won’t be so disappointed when reality sets in.

These are the key areas that should be covered in your business plan;

Executive summary and Company’s descriptions: you are expected to write about the concept of your business, descriptions of your company, your company’s vision statement, mission statement and where your company will be located and also if you intend selling out franchise or opening outlets in different cities in the United States of America and in other parts of the world.

Other key components that should not be missing in your business plan are products and services offering, SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, marketing and sales analysis / strategies, target market, market goals, pricing, costing and financial projection, publicity and advertising strategy, expansion and growth strategies, budget and start – up capital generation et al.

A Detailed Cost for Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

The items listed below are the basics that needed for starting a non – emergency medical transportation services business in the United States, although costs might vary slightly;

  • The Fee for registering the business in the United States –$725.
  • The budget for legal fees, insurance, permits and license – $5,000.
  • The cost of leasing a facility – $100,000.
  • The amount needed to renovate the Facility (electrical, furnishings, plumbing, painting and landscaping) – $10,000.
  • The Cost for the purchase of furniture and equipment (Flat Screen TVs, computers, printers, and cabins et al) – $10,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000.
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500.
  • The Cost for the purchase of Ambulances – $150,000.
  • The Cost of Launching a Website – $600.
  • The cost opening party – $5,000 (optional).
  • Cost for payment of salaries for the first 3 months of operations – $50,000.
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $5,000.

Going by the report research and feasibility studies of other non-emergency medical transportation start-ups, you will need an average of $350,000 to start a small scale but standard non – emergency medical transportation services business in the United States of America.

Financing a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

If you choose to start your non-emergency medical transport business on a small scale, you might not need loads of resources to launch the business, but if you decide to start on a large scale, you will sure need to raise the required start – up capital to launch the business.

If you are starting your non-emergency medical transport business on a large scale, you will need a decent office facility, office equipment and furniture, and money budgeted for the payment of salaries and utility bills for at least a period of 3 months and you will also need money to purchase or lease a laboratory. In essence you are expected to generate your start – up capital.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first thing and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your new non-emergency medical transport business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Applying for loan from your bank / banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.

Choosing the Best Location for your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

The number one key factor in determining your business location is demographics. Find statistics on where the elderly population lives nearby. Compile a list of adult day care centers, hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers, retirement homes and group homes. Reach out to those facilities and inquire on what transportation services they currently use to better help sustain your business.

Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – Technical & Manpower Details

As a Non – Emergency Medical Transportation business, the composition of your workforce will determine how it will be built on a solid foundation. From the onset, please ensure you recruit only qualified professionals (doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, mental health counselors, chiropractors, medication management counselors, physical therapists, county aging workers, and rehabilitation counselors, home health caregivers and ambulance drivers) to man various job positions in the organization.

Be aware of the rules and regulations governing the non – emergency medical transportation services cum health care industry which is why you have to recruit only well experienced and qualified employees as foundational staff of the organization. As a new start-up, leveraging on their expertise to build your business brand to be well accepted in your target market and the whole of the United States.

When hiring, look out for applicants that are not just qualified and experienced, but honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help in building a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers). As a matter of fact, as a way of making them be part of the business, profit-sharing arrangement should be made available to all your management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more.

These are the positions that Non – Emergency Medical Transportation business will need;

  1. Chief Medical Director / Chief Executive Officer
  2. Doctor
  3. Human Resource and Admin Manager
  4. Nurses / Nurse’s Aides
  5. Home Health Caregivers /County Aging Workers
  6. Ambulance Drivers
  7. Marketing and Sales Agent
  8. Accountant / Cashier
  9. Cleaners

Equipment Needed to Run a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Typically, as a business owner, start up with one to two vehicles and gradually add more as business increases. The most common vans used for transport have the following:

  • raised roof and doorways which allow clients to enter from the side or the rear of the vehicle.
  • Manual lists or hydraulic. Securing devices for wheelchair clients.
  • Vans should be able to accommodate both wheelchair and ambulatory clients.
  • don’t forget to buy good paratransit dispatch software to schedule and dispatch rides.

Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and Strategies for a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Your marketing strategy should be based on generating long-term personalized relationships with customers. In order to achieve that, ensure that you offer top notch all – round non – emergency medical transportation services at affordable prices compare to what is obtainable from existing competitors.

All your employees should be well trained and equipped to provide excellent and knowledgeable non – emergency medical transportation services and customer service. We know that if we are consistent with offering high quality service delivery and excellent customer service, we will increase the number of our customers by more than 25 percent for the first year and then more than 40 percent subsequently.

You should also make use of experts who have good understanding of the non – emergency medical transportation service industry to help in developing marketing strategies that will help achieve your business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market.

In summary, the following sales and marketing approach should be implemented to win customers over;

  • Introduce your business by sending introductory letters to residence, business owners, hospitals and corporate organizations.
  • Advertise your business in community based newspapers, local TV and local radio stations.
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories).
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business.
  • Engage in direct marketing.
  • Leverage on word of mouth marketing (referrals).
  • Enter into business partnership with hospitals, government agencies and health insurance companies.
  • Attend health care related exhibitions / expos.

Possible Competitive Strategies for Winning Your Competitors in Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry

Promoting your business is only way to tell people it exists and the only way to attract clients. To spread word about your medical transportation business, you can advertise on radio, TV, and newspaper.

However, the more targeted your marketing campaign is, the more effective it will be, and the more clients you will attract. So, it is more profitable to market your business at doctor’s offices, nursing homes, dialysis centers, and other places frequently visited by your potential clients.

Possible Ways to Increase Client Retention for your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Establish a successful customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Implementing a well-devised CRM plan can better position savvy energy providers to retain and acquire the most profitable customers, build strong brand identity, keep information technology (IT) costs in line, and streamline operational efficiency. A well-chosen CRM solution will enable utilities to succeed in their short- and long-term IT goals and stay within budget constraints.

The key enabler for building and maintaining these closer, more personal customer relationships is a complete view of each consumer. An integrated CRM solution built on the foundation of a customer-centric data warehouse can provide a customer view that focuses on improved communication and individuality.

To achieve these goals, energy companies should select a CRM solution from a data warehouse vendor who can provide an industry-specific system that can grow-or scale-for future needs. With a CRM data warehouse solution that has been customized with data models and valuations specific to the energy industry, utilities can avoid costly and lengthy system customizations and reap the rewards of rapid implementation. With the appropriate CRM solution, businesses can receive a measurable return-on-investment (ROI) in as little as 90 to 120 days.

Strategies to Boost Your Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

Map out clear cut publicity and advertising strategies that will walk your way into the heart of your intended market. As a matter of fact, your publicity and advertising strategy should not be solely for winning customers over but to effectively communicate your new brand to the general public.

Here are the platforms you can leverage on in promoting and advertising your Non – Emergency Medical Transportation business;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms.
  • Sponsor relevant community health programs.
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your brand.
  • Install Bill Boards on strategic locations all around your target market.
  • Engage in road show from time to time
  • Print and distribute fliers and handbills in target areas.
  • Ensure that all your workers wear branded shirts and all your vehicles and ambulances are well branded with the company’s logo et al.

Creating a Suppliers/Distribution Network for your Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

Ensure that all your services are offered at highly competitive prices compare to what is obtainable elsewhere in The United States of America. On the average, non – emergency medical transportation service providers usually leverage on the fact that a good number of their clients do not pay the service charge from their pockets; private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid are responsible for the payment.

In view of that, it is easier for non – emergency medical transportation service providers to bill their clients based in their discretions. However, in most non – emergency medical transportation service providers adopt the hourly billing cum per visit billing method.

Tips for Running a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business Successfully

Finally, you must bear in mind that you will certainly face competition, as there will be some local businesses around you rendering medical transportation services. So, you will surely face challenges.

But you can overcome these challenges by devising strategies for beating the competition. You might decide to provide discount for the first few orders or multiple trips. If you work diligently and are punctual, polite, and reliable, your business will grow. Some insurance companies will pay for private medical transportation. You can approach such companies and work with them to become an approved medical transportation service provider.

This allows you receive insurance payments for some clients you support, which means the insurance company (and not the client) will pay for your services for these clients. Of course, you will do more transports because more people will use your services if the insurance pays for it. Know who your competitor is. Call local business and inquire about their practice. Identify their competitions strengths and weaknesses. Call and ask them questions, read on their website if they have one. Do some research on their vehicles and drivers.

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