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Medical Transport Vs Wheelchair Transport Business

Starting a medical transport business vs wheelchair transport business; which is more profitable? Do you want to know? If YES, here is a detailed comparison. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, the population of elderly people in the united states has continued to increase. While there were fewer than 50 million elderly Americans in 2015, it’s expected there will be 70 million of them by 2030, according to census data.

That growth, coupled with the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act and the public’s need for medical care, has created many opportunities for entrepreneurs to make some serious cash by building businesses that provide needed healthcare services—like starting a medical transportation company or a wheelchair transport company.

Medical transport is an important business in the transportation arena. There are several ways to focus this business. Some require no more than a regular vehicle, driver’s license, and a solid driving record. You could focus on transporting seniors to medical appointments locally, or, if you live in an area that’s some distance from a city, you could focus on driving people long distances to specialist appointments at world-class hospitals.

Both of these businesses can be profitable on their own rights, but in this article, we would attempt to bring out which business is more profitable or lucrative than the other.

An Overview of the Medical Transportation Business

The Medical transportation industry is an industry that provides transportation alongside palliative medical care for patients as they are transported to the hospital or to other destinations either by land or air vehicles. Medical transportation services enable patients to reach their destination quickly and efficiently.

While in transit, highly trained drivers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics provide medical services that may be needed to ensure a safe arrival. These services are most often than not provided during a medical emergency, but they are not restricted to such instances as they can also be used for situations that are not emergencies.

The ambulances or vehicles used in this transport are usually equipped with lifesaving equipment operated by medically trained staff i.e. nurses and doctors et al. It is a known fact that air and land medical transportation service is highly essential for sick people that need safe and fast transportation from to the point of incident to the nearest hospital, or from the hospital going back home, or to and from doctors appointments.

An Overview of the Wheelchair Transport Business

Yet another popular way entrepreneurs are making money in the medical line of business is by starting a non-medical emergency wheelchair transportation company. These businesses typically exist to take elderly and disabled patients from their homes to routine appointments and non-emergency checkups, then back again.

Patients who use non-emergency medical transportation companies are usually on stretchers, wheelchair-bound, or rely on walkers or canes to move from place to place. In almost all instances, these folks are simply unable to use traditional transportation services—like taxicabs or buses—to get from Point A to Point B.

They require some sort of assistance so to get to their appointments, a vehicle that can accommodate wheelchairs can be a lifesaver in these circumstances. As it stands now, the non-emergency medical transportation sector generates $15 billion annually, and over 3.6 million Americans a year miss their medical appointments due to transportation issues.

If you have a desire to help people with mobility difficulties and you enjoy setting your own schedule, starting a wheelchair transportation business may be an appropriate choice. A wheelchair transportation business offers private transportation services for people who are wheelchair-bound.

It provides rides to medical appointments, work, social activities and retail stores. It reduces the need of wheelchair-bound individuals to rely on friends and family members to meet their transportation needs.

If you want to start this business, you have to first of all obtain first aid certification in case a minor injury occurs while transferring a client to or from your vehicle, or while transporting a client. Another important thing you should think of is a wheelchair accessible van. This can make transferring clients to and from your vehicle more efficient and can reduce the risk of injuries. You can add on more vans as your business grows.

Note that your van or bus should have a wheelchair lift or ramp, as well as seat belts to hold the wheelchair in place while the individual is being transported. Put your wheelchair business’s name and contact number on your van or bus to get the word out to the community about the transportation services you offer.

Select a name for your wheelchair transportation business. Apply for a state business license or permit to run your business. Create business cards and fliers for your business. Decide on the fees and rates that you will charge for your wheelchair transportation services. Will you charge based on mileage or will you charge an hourly rate?

Market your wheelchair transportation business by passing out business cards and fliers to hospitals, senior care facilities, grocery stores, department stores and other places an individual in a wheelchair might go.

Medical Transport Vs Wheelchair Transport Business – Which is More Profitable?

Before we start thinking of which business is more profitable between the medical emergency and wheelchair transportation business, we have to look at what it costs to get each up and running.

It is a fact that opening a medial transport business can more cost involved because you need to get vehicles that are are able to carry stretchers and of course you need to have some basic life saving equipment on board. In some instances, you may also need a trained medical staff or two to accompany your patients.

Also know that some medical transportation companies can go out of their way to buy helicopters and other vehicles that offer speedy air transportation. Having these in your business is guaranteed to shoot your startup fees quite high.

But this is not so for a wheelchair transportation business. You should know that a wheelchair transportation business can be started with just a van that is wheelchair accessible, and then a wheelchair, (in case your client does not own one).

Some research has it that a wheelchair transport business can earn anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000 in a year if it is properly managed. Wheelchair transport rates are usually put at $37 per call. You can also charge your clients $15 for making use of your wheelchair.


A medical transport business can usually charge $100 and upwards per call, and gurney rates can be put at between $35 to $40 per call. Emergencies can go way higher than that. As stated by NAIC (The National Association of Insurance Commissioners), the average air ambulance cost for a 52 miles trip falls somewhere between $12,000 to $25,000 per flight which can reach as high as $6 million depending on the medical equipment and maintenance.


As these two businesses have various startup costs, so are their earnings going to vary. But in all, a medical transportation business that offers medical transportation even in emergencies and also have air ambulances, is going to net in more income than a wheelchair transportation business.

But in all, your ability to effectively manage your business is the key indicator of what the said business would net in for you annually.