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Why a Broker Isn't Always Best: 3 Ways to Strengthen Your NEMT Dispatch

Embrace the new age of healthcare software for your operations

Despite the prevalence of modern technology in some areas of healthcare, much of the NEMT industry has fallen behind. A vast majority of service providers still rely on the phone and fax machine to schedule transports, utilizing unreliable paper records to  conduct business. Because of these ancient operations practices, it becomes almost impossible to reliably track pick-up/drop-off times, an accurate transport schedule, the medical necessity requirements surrounding each transport, and more. With the medical transport services market expected to reach $96 billion by 2022, it’s more important now than ever that NEMT providers bring their operations online and embrace modern technology. NEMT software solutions can allow you to receive and accept transport requests 100% through your web browser, timestamp all activities, electronically assign drivers to various pick-ups on the fly, and so much more. Because medicaid transport providers are required by law to furnish all their trip records to the state upon request, it’s crucial to protect yourself from auditing through seamless records-keeping.

Consider doing some business without a broker(yes, you read that right!)

Almost every guide to NEMT businesses available online will recommend fostering a good relationship with transport brokers. Brokers create relationships with local facilities, assigning all facility transport requests to local contracted vendors. While working with a broker can help you in receiving more transport leads in the short term, brokers make a profit by charging a fee from each trip you perform.

To take charge of your business and stop relying on a middle-man, develop direct relationships with local facilities. You may not get a contract with the nearest hospital, but small local SNF’s and other facilities may be open to using you as their primary transport provider. By developing a relationship with these facilities and maintaining a reputation for transparent business practices and reliable services, you can develop a network of clients independent of a brokership.

In addition to facilities, make sure you develop working relationships with other local NEMT vendors.

While this may seem counterintuitive at first, strengthening communications with other local providers will improve your own business practices. One of the most important aspects of developing client trust is maintaining reliable transport across the board. Depending on the size of your dispatch, this can be difficult to do when you suddenly get three transport requests in the same afternoon and you only have two ambulances running that day. Creating a reliable back-up network of vendors can ensure that you’re always able to fulfill a client request on time.