Back in 2013, the average annual income of an NEMT business owner was about $46,000. Today the numbers are higher due to the increasing demand for non-emergency medical transportation services among individual patients, state needs, and overall development of the business insides. For example, affordable NEMT software solutions have increased the operational capability of companies, therefore increasing their overall income. More efficient and professional vehicles, better-trained personnel, and tools to help streamline operations have also helped the companies operate better and achieve greater profits. But first things first: let’s take a look at the cost of NEMT services and generalized information about income in different parts of the country.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Rates and Income
The rates that providers are paid for the trips they perform vary depending on region, state, day of the week, and time of day a patient is requesting transportation. Rates generally begin around $25 per ride and go up to $250 per hour excluding additional fees and charges that might apply (such as waiting time for $15-$30 per half an hour or additional mileage for $2-$10 per mile depending on the passenger’s mobility, the type of vehicle needed, and additional special needs that may apply, like supplying oxygen on board or an attendant to watch over a passenger or passengers). Off-hours and weekend services generally cost about 25% more while holiday service is up to 45% more expensive than the average rate.
Based on these pricing ranges and average operational costs, the average NEMT vehicle running full time without efficient NEMT management software can generate about $800 a week in gross revenue, generating a little over $40,000 per year. However, with a non-emergency medical transportation software solution in place to help manage trips, route them efficiently, collect all compliance and billing data, and keep track of incoming payments, business efficiency raises by about 20%-40% depending on the software type, so one vehicle can generate gross revenues around $50,000-$60,000 per year.
Required and Recommended Qualifications
The barriers to entry for potential NEMT operators are fairly low, but do differ state by state. Some individual brokers/payers may have their own requirements that may be more stringent than others. A valid driver’s license and qualifying insurance are always required. Other needs may be enhanced insurance policies, HIPAA certification, background checks, drug testing, vehicle safety inspections, CPR training, first aid certification, wheelchair training, or NEMTAC accreditation.
So, why do all these qualifications and licenses matter? The biggest reason is because they set you apart from your competitors and ensure that you are a safe and responsible transportation provider. If you can demonstrate more knowledge to brokers, other payers, and passengers, you’ll be able to attract and keep more clients. The right technology can also create a great advantage, since you can integrate your business with broker requests for better communication and, in turn, better results. Some solutions also offer portals that give payers, passengers, and/or facilities the ability to see their trips and when your driver will arrive, resulting in more satisfaction and fewer unnecessary “where is my ride” phone calls.
It’s important to note that NEMT profits vary across the country. The eastern portion of the U.S earns more than the western, for instance. For example, vehicles for companies in Nevada and California can generate between $30,000 and $50,000 per vehicle annually while vehicles in Maine or New York might generate between $40,000 to $56,000 each year.
- Time in business. The longer an NEMT company is in business, the more profitable they become. As regular clients spread the word of their satisfaction with your business, it becomes easier to get more new clients. Insurance rates will also tend to fall as you establish yourself as a responsible business with the right practices in place to reduce risk, and thus have fewer claims.
- Additional tools. As mentioned before, expertise in various types of non-emergency medical transportation scheduling software can also benefit your company. The more knowledge of the technological business side you have, the easier it will be for you to set up relationships with your potential partners.
- Overhead costs. Insurance, payroll, vehicle maintenance, fuel, building, utility, and software costs will impact each provider differently. Generally, as a fleet adds more vehicles, its overall overhead per vehicle drops, allowing the business to become more and more profitable as it grows.
NEMT is a Profitable Business
To sum it up, non-emergency medical transportation income varies between about $30,000 and $56,000 a year for each vehicle on the road. The actual income of your particular NEMT company will mostly depend on your location, the number of vehicles you operate and your operational efficiency. Also be sure to pay attention to the qualifications your business and its employees have, as well as the dispatching software for NEMT you select while setting up the business.
Revenue data for this article was tabulated from transportation providers using iSi Technology’s RouteGenie NEMT software platform that agreed to participate in this study.