Starting a business is hard, let alone a medical transportation one.
However, transportation of elderly and disabled patients has become accessible in parts of the U.S., which has become a profitable industry for people with money.
When you start transporting disabled and elderly patients, it is a rewarding opportunity as you make their lives easier and earn money in return.
If you’re considering taking this opportunity to the next level, you should know how to start this new business.
But, if you don’t know where to begin, worry not, as we’ve got you covered. Here’s our full guide on how to start your medical transportation business.
Starting a Medical Transportation Business: Everything You Need To Know
Before we start, let’s first discuss what a NEMT business is.
A NEMT business or non-emergency medical transportation business is a service you provide to individuals (such as through a shuttle service or ground transportation) to get to their medical appointments.
They are not government-owned businesses. They are mostly independent driver-providers offering different medical transit services depending on your state.
This business helps individuals such as elderlies, the disabled, and people with special needs to get to nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, pharmacies, dialysis centers, routine appointments, and many more.
In addition, NEMT vehicles also have wheelchairs and stretchers accessible to clients, depending on their needs.
A NEMT business, or the senior transportation business, is expected to generate around $12-$15 billion yearly. Sounds enticing, right?
How Profitable Is Medical Transportation Business?
Non-emergency medical transportation is a very profitable business. In the U.S., availing of these services costs around $25 to $60 per hour, depending on the state.
So, if you plan on providing transportation assistance for around 40 hours a week at a rate of $30/hr, you’ll earn around $1,200, or $4,800 a month.
NOTE: The amount you will earn depends on the schedule you’re after.
There are still some deductions such as fuel pay, pay utility bills, and employee pay before calculating the net pay for the entire month.
Still, if you work more hours and provide top-notch service, you’ll be expecting more. That’s how lucrative this market is!
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Medical Transportation Business?
According to several sources, starting your medical transportation business will cost you around $350,000 on average.
If you want to know what makes up the entirety of the costs, we’ve listed them below:
- Licensing Fees
- Utility Bills
- Salary Expenses
- Office Supplies
- Physical Location
- User-friendly Website Creation
- Fuel Expenses
- Motor Vehicles
- Marketing (signages, promotions, advertising cards, etc.)
Several factors make up the entirety of the cost. It depends on what state you’re located in and what your business will provide; these are some scenarios wherein it will determine the entire cost.
That’s why it is important to do your research and plan everything from the ground up. The more money you have, the better service you will be able to provide, and the more likely you will get paid.
Also, the medical transport vehicle is one of the biggest factors that make up the entirety of the overall cost. Having the right vehicle for this industry can make or break your business.
So, the best tip to give you is to NEVER go cheap. Provide the best service to your customers and patients!
How to Start a Medical Transportation Company in 9 Steps
Starting your own business might be a daunting task, but if you have enough money, motor vehicles, and the right location, all you have to do is follow the steps below:
Step 1: Obtain a Company License
Most states require a taxpayer identification number to set up your NEMT services. The legal status can either be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability corporation (LLC).
Each legal structure you choose has its advantages and disadvantages. So, be sure to pick one that is beneficial for your cause.
Step 2: Acquire NPI or National Provider Identifier
Almost all healthcare providers are required to have an NPI. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, healthcare providers who assist in Medicaid and Medicare must provide to operate.
Step 3: Medical Provider Application
Each state or county in the United States has a website where you can apply or contact them to become a medical provider.
In addition, applications to become a medical provider vary from state to state. So, it would be essential to know first what documents are needed depending on what legal structure you put your business for.
Step 4: Get Your Fleet Set
To start your NEMT business, decide how many vehicles you will start. Before deciding, check within your state’s NEMT providers and other Medicaid brokers to have an estimate.
Also, check whether there’s a minimum required number of vehicles to start your medical care transit company.
Paratransit and NEMT services differ, and some of these options might not require access to wheelchairs.
Step 5: Business Insurance
Make sure your insurance covers everything. For example, some states like California require NEMT companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their medical personnel before operating.
In addition, general liability insurance is a must for this industry, and commercial auto insurance covers your entire fleet of vehicles.
Decide what type of premium policy covers your entire fleet, from the total mileage, driving record, and vehicle make and model.
Every vehicle you have should be insured to cover any road accidents while providing your services to people.
Step 6: Obtain Livery Plates
Like any other business, ensure that your NEMT business is properly insured with general liabilities.
As we’ve mentioned, some states may require your business to have workers’ compensation liability insurance.
Step 7: Obtain A Vehicle license
Some states in the U.S. require a separate vehicle license according to their use.
Contact your state if you need to provide a separate vehicle license if your NEMT company uses vehicles to provide medical transportation.
Step 8: Medicaid Broker Application
Once you’ve enrolled your business as a Medicaid provider and organized your medical transportation fleet, the next step is contacting your local Medicaid broker to operate as a non-emergency medical transportation provider.
Step 9: Find a Medical Billing Company
Operating a medical transportation company from the ground up may be difficult as you will be tasked to prepare invoices for your offered assistance.
However, a billing corporation is a great idea as it can save you time and effort.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Companies
If you want to know some of the best companies providing medical transportation to patients and other customers, here’s the list:
- Golden Chariot Specialty Transport Service, LLC
- Ambulance USA
- ACC Medlink
- Royal Medical Transport
- MASA Assist
- U.S. Air Ambulance
- First Place Service Group LLC
- Fiossa Medical Transit System
- Family First Transportation
These are some of the best medical transit providers on the market currently operating in the U.S.
Some of these companies can provide great assistance to their clients and have a wide array of facilities and fleets capable of safe and reliable transportation.
How Do I Become a Non-Emergency Transportation Provider?
For you to become a non-emergency medical transportation provider, you have to provide the following:
- Provide proof of license or obtain a business license
- Be registered in the state you want to do your business
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- Comply state regulations
- Provide proper vehicle registration(s)
- Charge a standardized rate
- Provide employees with a driver’s license if need be
- Provide documented procedures and policies
- Driver training verification
- Inspection of maintenance files
- Submit drug and alcohol results of employees
- Submit annual operating costs and other expenditures
- Provide criminal background checks on employees
- Penalty points on a driving record
NOTE: You will have to provide some documents to become a medical transport provider. Also, each state has a different requirement. So, be sure to do your research before applying.
List of Patient Transportation Companies
Here are some patient transportation companies currently operating in different counties and states in the U.S.:
- Health Hero Inc. Private Company.
- Ride Roundtrip, Private Company.
- Siemens. Listed Company.
- Medhaul. Private Company.
- Ride Health. Private Company.
- BotDoc. Private Company.
- On-Time Non-Emergency Medica L Transportation.
- Auspice In-Home Care.
- Greenline Non-Emergency Transportation, LLC
- Ride Safe Medtrans
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have added questions about this topic, you may find them below:
How Do I Start a Transportation Business With One Van?
Starting your own transportation business is no different from the one from our guide. They follow the same steps; the only difference is what niche your transportation will operate.
Transportation Services Niches:
- Packers and movers
- Medical transportation
- Transportation of goods
- Livestock transportation
There are many niches regarding transportation services, and your company varies depending on your van type. You have to find what’s profitable for you.
Taking care of elderly and disabled patients has come a long way. We are fortunate to no longer have to deal with long commuting times to various medical appointments.
Schedule your appointments very well to make clients happy and satisfied. While there’s no secret recipe to having a successful business, with the right mindset and dedication, you will reap your rewards if you put your heart into it.
We hope our full guide on starting your NEMT business will help you make your first step to creating a successful and meaningful business venture!