Your NEMT Company is Growing: You Need NEMT Software That Can Scale With You

By June 17, 2021

Managing a modern non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) and paratransit service isn’t for the faint-at-heart. There are a lot of moving pieces you must carefully manage and balance. And those moving pieces quickly multiply when you’re growing and adding new riders, more drivers, and more vehicles to your fleet.

You have your forward-facing tasks such as your brand and marketing, attracting new riders, letting them know about your services, scheduling rides, ensuring everyone safely gets to their appointments and are picked up and returned home on time, payments, and vehicle, rider, and driver safety.

And while those are things the public sees most often , there’s a whole lot more that goes on behind the scenes, like attracting and retaining new employees, training your drivers, education about safety and regulatory protocols, payroll, invoicing and billing, insurance, working with brokers, managing and maintaining your fleet, scheduling trips, and so much more.

Scaling With Tech Instead of Stacks of Paper 

When many small NEMT companies get started, they often find it easy to manage these tasks with paper manifests and static documents such as spreadsheets and word processing tools. But as your company grows, both in terms of the number of riders and trips you manage, as well as the number of drivers and fleet expansion, that simplicity can quickly become a giant mess of paper files and computer documents.

The hassle isn’t any less for larger, more technology-friendly NEMT services, either. While some of those companies may have selected software to complete some of these tasks, they often find themselves managing a lot of disparate solutions—software and applications that focus on single-task management, don’t communicate with one another, and hold data hostage—making it time-consuming to export data from one, change it to a different format, and import it into another.

In either version, if you’re subject to an audit or you have to pull reports, you may feel like you’re drowning in paperwork or applications, getting bogged down in compliance tasks, and losing time for focusing on more pressing matters such as growing your NEMT operations and attracting new customers.

But managing your growing NEMT operations doesn’t have to be all about piles of paper and reporting headaches. 

Instead, look for an NEMT scheduling software solution that can streamline all these tasks for you, all within a single platform, and integrate with some of your favorite and existing operational software. 

Within a short time, you’ll be improving efficiencies, closing service gaps, improving your on-time performance, and making your employees and customers much happier.

A Case Study in Simplicity

Independence Inc., a center for independent living, is based in Kansas and offers transportation services. Each year, the company manages about 8,000 trips with a small fleet of four ramp-equipped minivans and one large passenger bus that serves about 12 people with a lift.

Before implementing TripMaster, NEMT scheduling software powered by CTS Software, the management team relied on Google calendars and paper printouts to manage their four drivers and all of their routes. While it worked, it was tedious and frustrating.

After seeing a demo of TripMaster, the company was all-in—and not just office staff, the drivers were impressed with how easy it was to learn how to use the software and how it made their day-to-day tasks much easier to manage.

Here are some of the instant benefits the company saw after implementing TripMaster as its NEMT software solution:

  • No more paper manifests
  • Simplified trip management and integration with their largest trip broker (LogistiCare, now ModivCare)
  • Real time, digital access to any trip or route updates or changes
  • Improved customer service
  • Mobile app options (Android and iOS) to access the software anytime, anywhere
  • Improved OTP
  • Automated routing and scheduling, including more accurate (time and distance) mapping
  • Simplified, digital payments
  • Improved ride management
  • Simplified billing and invoicing

The Rise in NEMT Software

Independence Inc.’s experience with using TripMaster reflects some of the many efficiencies NEMT service providers get when they shred paper manifests and implement the industry-leading NEMT software solution. 

And it also reflects a growing trend in the number of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that are making the move toward adopting more software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based solutions.

According to SaaS Trends 2020, overall spending on SaaS products for companies has increased about 50% in the past two years, and the larger a company grows, its tech stack often grows with it, compounding that common problem we mentioned earlier—implementation of too many disparate solutions that don’t talk to other and that, over time, make day-to-day operations more challenging, not more efficient.

That’s why it’s important to consider adopting an NEMT solution that gives you access to all of your most important operational tasks—all in a single platform, with an easy-to-understand dashboard, and a simple-to-use digital interface.

Our friends over at Independence Inc. told us that TripMaster has made what they do “more simple for everyone.” And that’s the goal of adopting tech to solve our most common challenges, isn’t it?

But just adopting technology for the sake of choosing a solution isn’t going to solve your efficiency problems right out of the gate. Instead, you’ll want to ensure the solution you choose is right for your operations and helps you do your job better.

So, what should you look for in a NEMT scheduling solution? Here are a few recommendations to help you shorten your list and help you managing your growing fleet and services:

Your Vendor Matters as Much as the Solution

While there are many SaaS companies on the market today, and likewise a range of public transportation providers that have technology components, look for a NEMT software vendor who knows the ins and out of NEMT and paratransit, especially one who has knowledge and experience working with Medicaid and national brokers.

The developers of TripMaster, CTS Software, for example, have always been focused exclusively on NEMT transportation and software for almost three decades. They have unmatched experience working with Medicaid on payments on billing and they’re premier partners with some of the nation’s most recognized trip brokers like ModivCare, OneCall, and Alivi.

Customer Focus, Improved Satisfaction

Look for an NEMT solution that can help you improve services for your riders and take your customer service to the next level. That’s not just about providing more services, it’s about ensuring the services you provide continually meet or exceed customer expectations.

With TripMaster, for example, you can eliminate the wait on your phone lines by giving your riders access to TripMaster’s Online TripPortal, where they can easily and conveniently schedule their rides digitally right from their computer or smartphone. If they have recurring trips, they can set those up with ease through TripPortal, too, eliminating the need to call back and set up future trips.

This feature is so easy to use. Your riders simply:

  • Select pick-up location
  • Select drop-off time
  • Add any special requests or instructions
  • Confirm ride

TripMaster also sends automated trip reminders to your riders so they never forget they have an upcoming ride scheduled, helping to decrease missed appointments and ensure your fleet is always moving with passengers as scheduled.

TripMaster also makes your customers happier with TripPass, which gives your riders an option to put away the cash and pay for trips with their pre-loaded TripPass cards. These cards are a safe way to exchange fares for both your riders and your drivers and it’s a simplified way for you and your riders to keep track of their fare payments.

Simplified NEMT Reporting and Billing

In addition to looking for an NEMT solution with great features for your riders, you’ll want a solution that improves operational efficiencies and time- and cost-savings for your internal operations, too. 

Look for an NEMT solution that simplifies reporting and billing and integrates with your brokers.

TripMaster, for example, is considered the industry’s leading billing and reporting solution. With TripReporting, you can manage billing and payments and generate unlimited customizable reports to stay on top of your numbers. TripMaster works with state Medicaid providers and other funding sources to ensure you can create reports that meet their reporting requirements, giving your NEMT company confidence you’re staying in compliance with their requirements. 

Fleet Management

One of the most time-consuming tasks for NEMT service providers is fleet management. There are so many tasks you have to juggle:

  • Scheduling trips
  • Selecting efficient routes for each trip
  • Tracking and managing your fleet while they’re on the road
  • Communicating with your drivers
  • Updating routes and trips with changes
  • Keeping your fleet maintained and safe

Your NEMT software solution should give you insight into all of these critical services, in a single platform, so you can cut down on manual tasks and automate processes so you never get behind or lose sight of your fleet and drivers.

TripMaster, for example, can tackle all of these tasks for you. Here’s how:

Automated scheduling: TripScheduler ensures you meet your OTP goals by automatically generating accurate, realistic schedules that minimize drive time and ensures you maximize ride capacity.

Driver App: ParaScope (available for iOS and Android) ensures you can always communicate with your drivers. All they need is a smartphone or in-vehicle tablet with internet or cell access. With ParaScope your drivers and office staff can access electronic trip manifests, see real-time information about mileage and drive times, get instant updates to trips and routes, capture electronic signatures for riders, and give you real-time insight into where your fleet is at all times with automated vehicle location that you can see on a stand-alone tracking map.

Vehicle maintenance alerts: With TripMaster’s vehicle maintenance module, you can automatically keep track of dozens of fleet-related tasks, such as when they’re due for maintenance, mileage parameters, service requests, and approved vendor information for services.

Managing your NEMT operations doesn’t have to be as challenging as it once was. With the right NEMT solution in your office, you can move forward with confidence, knowing you’re keeping your customers safe and happy, creating an environment that fosters happier employees because their tasks are easier to manage, and improving overall efficiencies with cost-savings so your company can continue to grow to meet market demands.

Do you need help choosing which NEMT solution is right for your company? Check out a demo of TripMaster to see just how easy it is to use and some of the many ways it can help you improve operations right away. Have other questions? We’d be happy to help. Contact us and we’ll help ensure the solution you choose today is right for your growing operations tomorrow.