NEMT Usage is On the Rise: How NEMT Scheduling Software Can Help You Serve More Riders, Save Money, and Improve Efficiencies

By May 11, 2021

Nearly 6 million people in the United States delayed medical care in a single year because they did not have access to transportation. Those are the astonishing numbers released in the American Journal of Public Health in May 2020 featuring results of a survey of data from 2017.

While we’ve not yet seen numbers for 2020, it will be interesting to delve into the impact of new pandemic fueled barriers on healthcare access during the past year—barriers that also added additional challenges for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and paratransit companies looking to scale services and serve more riders during a long-lasting and widespread disruption.

There is good news, though. The industry has experienced growth in both need for services and service offerings, with the global NEMT market exceeding $7 billion in 2020. That trend is expected to continue to climb upward, with the market reaching more than $9.5 billion by 2025. 

While the market is ripe for growth, new health and safety protocols, such as social distancing, sanitization procedures, and personal protective devices (PPDs) requirements have added to operational burdens for many NEMT companies already trying to operate lean and efficient companies to serve a growing proportion of both metropolitan and rural populations more effectively.

If you’re an NEMT or paratransit provider still managing operations via spreadsheets and paper manifests, your challenges are likely to continue to increase as the industry grows and more competitors enter into the landscape. For example, in recent years both Uber and Lyft have made gains in the market, both of which come into NEMT with a resource many smaller companies just don’t have—an entire technology team adopting existing user-focused software for NEMT needs.

But you don’t have to surrender your market share to the big guys or cobble together a piecemeal technology stack to compete. An NEMT scheduling software solution like TripMaster has all the features you need to operate more efficiently, save time and money, and provide a better experience for your riders and your staff—all without ever having to hire your own IT squad.

Driving Your NEMT Business Forward

TripMaster is the industry-leading solution for all of your scheduling, dispatching, billing, and reporting needs—all within a single platform that simply integrates with your existing systems, including national brokers like ModivCare (formerly LogistiCare).

And, unlike other technology solutions, TripMaster hasn’t been molded from another product to fit NEMT needs, it was built from the ground-up with the medical transportation industry front-and-center.

The core platform comes with everything you need to manage your NEMT services, and add-on modules will help you quickly take your offerings to the next level, making your employees happier and more efficient, and your riders so satisfied with the ease and simplicity of using your services, they’ll keep coming back and they’ll tell their friends. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights of using TripMaster to manage all of your NEMT and paratransit needs:

Automated Scheduling

One of the most time-consuming and frustrating parts of running an NEMT service is directly related to the headaches from manual scheduling tasks. If you’re doing this with Google Maps or paper manifests, your on-time performance (OTP) may tank because you may not be making the most efficient decisions for mileage, routes, and drivetime.

TripMaster’s TripScheduler, one of the solution’s most cost-saving measures, automates these tasks for you including helping your drivers minimize drive time, which gets your riders to appointments faster and decreases your fleet’s fuel consumption. 

You can use TripScheduler to create detailed, customized schedule profiles and incorporate rides and routes to build more efficient schedules, and you get insight into important statistics about time, deadhead, and ride mileage so you can always keep an eye on performance to meet all of your goals.

Through TripScheduler you can also create recurring and demand-response routes and you can make on-the-go changes any time that are communicated directly through the system to your drivers’ app. That means less chatter between your dispatchers and drivers and more focus on the road.

Automated Reservations, Ticketing and Reminders

Another time-consuming part of NEMT operations is managing your reservations. If you’re doing this by phone or through a form on your website, your staff is likely dedicating a lot of time to tasks that TripMaster can easily handle for you.

TripMaster’s TripPortal enables your riders to quickly and easily schedule rides online, right from their computer or smartphone. No more waiting on hold. No more busy signals. 

And, if your rider has a rider delegate that schedules rides for them, for example someone at an assisted living facility, a group home, or hospital, then they too can log into TripPortal to schedule a trip without ever having to dial your number.

You can give your riders access to TripPortal by simply entering their email address into the system, which will generate an invite that gives them access. From there, they can quickly select the dates, time, and location for travel, and receive alerts and updates on their reservation and trip, including reminders.

TripMaster’s TripReminder helps you cut down on missed trips and no-shows by automatically contacting your riders about the details of their scheduled trip the day before and the day of so they never forget an appointment and you can reduce load time and other rider and driver frustrations. TripReminder also tracks these calls so you know who was called, when, and if the reminder was received or there was no answer.

And the benefits for your riders don’t stop there. They can also handle their fares digitally through TripPass instead of bringing cash along for the ride. With TripPass, an add-on to TripMaster’s ParaScope Module, your riders can simplify fare payments by loading money onto their TripPass over the phone or in your office. They’ll get a special card they can use for every trip. Your driver simply scans the card and TripPass takes care of everything for you, saving both your drivers and your staff time and hassle while decreasing the chance of human errors or other accounting issues.

Driver/Dispatcher Connections

In addition to working with TripPass, TripMaster also offers an intuitive driver app available on Android and iOS that helps improve efficiencies for your drivers. Your drivers can access the ParaScope driver app from any smartphone or tablet so they can safely and simply communicate with your dispatchers and access a variety of resources including:

·      Trip manifests

·      Time and odometer tracking

·      Real-time schedule and route updates

·      Electronic signature capture for writer documents

Detailed Maps and Tracking

Another way TripMaster can help you save time and money is by automating your trip mapping with accurate, current information through its detailed mapping engine. TripMaster’s mapping feature updates each quarter to ensure it has the latest information about traffic issues such as new or closed roads, speed limits, and other relevant information.

Automated mapping also builds the most efficient routes for your fleet, including visual mapping with turn-by-turn directions, drive time estimates, and mileage calculations. You can even check the map to see where all your vehicles are so you can adjust to best serve your riders and avoid delays.

Similarly, TripMaster’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) module creates a standalone map display of your entire fleet in real time, including important information such as capacity, location, and speed. The feature also tracks vehicles and captures history for review, providing you critical insight on performance and incidents such as accidents.

Getting Paid

There are a lot of nuances and requirements when it comes to tracking billing and payments for NEMT services, especially if your company receives payments through brokers or Medicare. TripMaster streamlines all of your reporting and billing tasks and automates some of the tedious parts that slow you down. 

With TripReporting, for example, your data is right at your fingertips with pre-built reports to ensure you’re always pulling the right data you need for all mandatory state and federal NEMT requirements. You can also create custom reports or edit existing reports as you need them. And TripMaster’s TripBroker integration feature means you can automatically import trip data and billing and payment information from a range of industry recognized trip brokers right into your NEMT scheduling program. It’s seamless and saves you time with scheduling and billing, freeing your team up to handle more pressing tasks, but giving you confidence you’ll get paid the right amount and on time. You’ll especially find it helpful if you’re a ModivCare or Alivi network provider because TripMaster is a Premier Partner for both.

Not only is TripMaster jam-packed with features that will help you save time and money to run more efficient NEMT operations, it’s also easy to get up and running and simple to use. Want to see it in action for yourself? You can give TripMaster a try for free. Just contact us to learn more.