By now you must be familiar with 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 obtain even bigger still.
In this informative article we look at just how to start a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business. Find out about some of the steps which are involved and some of the aspects of this business that you must consider.
Franchise or Independent Operator?
There are now several players offering non-emergency medical transportation franchises. Entrepreneurs benefit with the franchise model as they could operate under an established brand and get advice and training RouteGenie to begin with and run a business. However, with the franchise fees that really must be paid initially and on an ongoing basis, the upside possibility of profit is reduced. In the event that you do your homework, you will find 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 are establishing your business. Try to find statistics that prove that there are certainly a significant amount of elderly, disabled or Medicaid citizens living nearby. Compile a listing of hospitals, dialysis centers, retirement homes, assisted living centers and other relevant operations. You could even make initial contact with many of these organizations and find out concerning the transportation solutions that they now have in place.
Research the Competition
Identify most of the major competitors that you will have in your town and evaluate them with regards to their strengths and weaknesses. You may decide to include parts of these business design into your own personal business and reject other parts. Learn as much as you can about them by reading their websites and calling their offices to ask questions. You may even spend some time following around some of these vans in order to know how they work and to learn who their customers are.
Getting Started – Licenses and Permits
Regulations and requirements for medical transportation businesses vary from state to convey so you need to make enquiries at the neighborhood level to learn what your obligations are.
While in the business of transporting paying customers in one place to another you will be needing some sort of permit, just like a taxi driver does. Your application for this kind of license is likely to be handled by transportation authorities at the state or local level. Because of 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 needs to be done such as for example registering your business name, getting a company license (possibly more if you serve multiple counties) and zoning considerations if you run a house business.
Vehicles and Equipment
It is common for medical transportation services to buy regular vans, either new or used, and then have them fitted out to suit special needs clients. Business owners typically start out with one vehicle and gradually add with their fleet as their business grows.
The most effective vans for an ambulette have a top raised roof and doorways. Access is normally quietly of the car but can also be at the rear.
Some operators still use manual lifts to greatly help them get wheelchair passengers into and out of these vans. However, you need to be able to supply a quicker, more professional service if you have a contemporary hydraulic lift installed.
Once inside the van, wheelchairs can be fastened to various securing devices so that they don’t move during transit. Vehicles also require customized seatbelts for wheelchair bound passengers. You may also improve the caliber of your service if you have some comforts like TV and air conditioning.
A good sized van that’s properly kitted out should manage to transport four wheelchair bound passengers at any given time in addition to have extra seats available for caregivers. Depending on your clients, you may even require a space in your van that will allow you to suit in a passenger that’s confined to a stretcher.
To protect yourself from unforeseen events you should purchase many different insurance policies. An over-all liability insurance plan will ensure that you will be covered in situations where your visitors 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 involved in traffic accidents.
Decide on how you intend to collect payment for the services. You might have to invoice medical institutions on a monthly basis or you will need to process credit card payments for individual clients. In the event that you service large clients like Medicaid then it might be as simple as receiving a register the mail each month. Talk for some prospective clients and look at what their needs are. Find out what payment options your competitors are offering.
Give some thought to your operating hours. The most effective ambulette services on the market usually offer weekday service from morning to late during the night with decent hours on Saturdays too. As a sole operator you is likely to be limited in the hours that you could take on. As you expand into a multi-driver operation you will have the ability to provide more flexible scheduling to clients.
In the event that you start out doing all the driving while also managing your business you will quickly get burnt out. In order to grow you’ll need to step back and hire some drivers so that you can move into a strictly management and marketing orientated role.
Staff should have a drivers license that enables them to take passengers and they are often subject to certain standards or requirements at the neighborhood level. No real matter what you need to make sure that your staff are trained on the best way to do the practical side of the job. They have to know how to help passengers and their caregivers while they be in and out of vehicles. They will also be instructed to smile and make pleasant conversation if the chance arises so that they help your brand to achieve an optimistic reputation.
There are lots of other ways to market a non-emergency medical transportation business. For some ideas on markets that you could target read our article on Medical Transportation Business Opportunities.
Initially you must get out and meet prospective clients and possibly even bid to test and win contracts. However, if your team are doing a good job then you definitely will find that eventually business can come directly for your requirements through word of mouth and referrals.
You can obviously improve your chances of having calls from private paying clients should you choose only a little advertising. A web site that comes up in the search results when people search for ambulette services in your town can actually help. A small Yellow Pages listing will even probably be worth the cost. You can virtually try any method that other local service businesses are using to market themselves. Vehicle advertising is great for exposure and flyers, postcards or door hangers may work as well.