Contracts are a crucial part of running a successful non-emergency medical transportation business. Without reliable contracts, you’ll be relying on one-off trip requests, which won’t be sustainable in the long run. That’s why winning contracts is just as important as building a proper fleet.
When you’re at the start of your NEMT business journey, you should actively search for various sources of passengers. But where can you find these passengers? How can you secure non-emergency medical transportation contracts?
We’ve collected all the information you need in order to become a profitable NEMT provider with reliable contracts.
An overview of the NEMT Market
Non-emergency medical transportation is the fastest-growing sector of all medical transportation industries.
According to Zion Market Research, the healthcare transportation industry was evaluated at about $22 billion in 2017. By 2026, it’s estimated to reach up to $32 billion worldwide.
The importance of the NEMT industry can’t be overstated. NEMT businesses provide transportation for Medicaid beneficiaries, namely seniors, disabled folks, and other passengers who require extra care.
With the number of Medicaid beneficiaries growing each year, NEMT providers have a lot of opportunity for new business prospects.
What to do before looking for contracts
Starting your own NEMT business can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. The following steps are a good place to begin your non-emergency medical transportation journey.
- Choose a legal business structure – Depending on your business goals, you can choose to enroll your company as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability corporation (LLC). Your best bet is to consult an attorney to determine the most suitable option for your business.
- Legal documents – The licensing you’ll need depends on what state you’re starting a business in. Once you know where you’re operating, you can figure out what licenses and permits you’ll need to start.
- Insurance – Before you begin, you need proper NEMT insurance. This is not the place to try to save a buck. Find insurance that covers your drivers and vehicles, and invest in proper coverage.
- Build a fleet – Whether you have one vehicle or ten, all should be safe, reliable, and customizable to your passengers’ needs. Before purchasing a vehicle, verify that it can actually be used for NEMT transport—all NEMT vehicles must be ADA compliant.
- Invest in high-quality NEMT dispatch software – Software optimizes all NEMT operations including dispatching, routing, scheduling, billing, communication, and more. Billing software reduces claim errors and gets money in your pocket faster.
Where To Secure NEMT Contracts
No matter what size your business is, you should look in a variety of places to land different types of contracts.
- Reach out to citizens in your area and let them know about your NEMT business
- Communicate with current clients and secure recurring trips
You never know where you may find trip possibilities. The following are potential partnerships you should seek out.
Health Insurance Companies
Facility partnerships are a great way to find clients, since your target market is already working with that specific facility. Health insurance companies may cover NEMT services under their plans and can advertise your services to their customers.
NEMT brokers receive trip requests from passengers, which they then distribute to NEMT providers to fulfill. Securing broker contracts can be tricky, but if you can prove that your company is reliable, timely, trustworthy, and efficient, you’ll have a good chance of landing contracts with big brokers.
In order to reach potential partners, you should focus your marketing efforts on your local area. Develop social media and web campaigns, advertise your services around town, and introduce yourself in person to partners you’d like to work with.
Some groups you may want to work with include:
- Non-medical institutions: daycare centers, retirement homes, group homes
- Medical institutions: hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers
- Private patients
So, how can you get transportation contracts with these groups? First, see if these organizations have any requirements regarding partnership inquiries. If so, follow the set guidelines. If the organization doesn’t have any set guidelines, reach out to them explaining who you are and what your goal is.
Be careful not to take on more contracts than your business can handle in terms of time, fleet size, and drivers. If you take on more than you can handle, you run the risk of losing those contracts due to inefficient business practices.
Land contracts and watch your business grow
Reaching out to potential partners can be intimidating, but you won’t secure contracts until you open the line of communication. Visit these companies in person, send emails, or give them a call—whatever it takes to start the conversation. Be casual and friendly, but remember that at the end of the day, this is a professional business transaction.
Follow these tips to produce a fast-growing business!