How to Charge for NEMT Deadhead Miles

Deadhead miles can be a very profitable item to build into your trip pricing. The topic can be simple when you have non-emergency medical transportation billing software to keep track of all the parameters surrounding deadhead miles. To properly understand how to set a pricing structure and how to charge for deadhead miles it is necessary to know what deadhead miles are and when they should be applied to a trip. Additionally, deadhead miles are one of many components that make your NEMT company profitable and with deadhead miles rates you can have a better understanding of how much money your NEMT business can bring you.

What are Deadhead Miles?

The best way to explain deadhead miles is through a hypothetical scenario. Let’s take a look at NEMT company ABC Transport:

  • ABC Transport is located in the center of a major city
  • John Smith is wheelchair bound and needs transport to a doctor’s office in the major city but lives 40 miles outside of this major city
  • ABC Transport is the selected company for this trip

When we look at the scenario above there are 2 legs to the trip; taking John Smith from his home to the doctors’ office and from the doctors’ office back home. In reality, for the transportation company, there are 4 legs. ABC Transport has to send a driver 40 miles just to pick up John Smith and when John Smith is dropped back off at his home the driver has to travel 40 miles back to the city. There is no client in the vehicle for this portion of the trip but the miles driven pertain to the trip. These are the deadhead miles. 

Pricing Structure

So, the question still remains, how do you charge for the deadhead miles? The answer can vary between different companies, but if you have NEMT dispatch and billing software to keep track of pricing and when deadhead miles apply it will be much easier.You first have to set a radius around the central location where your services are provided. Trips originating outside of this radius or traveling somewhere outside of this radius should have a deadhead mileage charge included. If ABC Transport had a 25-mile radius they would be charging for 15 deadhead miles each way for John Smith’s trip. The price per mile is up to you! With the right kind of NEMT billing software it should be as simple as plugging these numbers in and letting the software do all of the thinking and calculating.