Determining the Rate Structure for Your Paratransit Services
Do You Set the Rates?
Before considering how much you will charge for services rendered it is important to note a single fact: a majority of the business received by NEMT companies will be coming from a broker. In this case, the broker will be deciding how much they will pay you for services rendered. You will however have time to negotiate once in a while on special trip requests such as something outside of your normal coverage zone. For these requests you need to look at the circumstances and increase the rates already agreed upon accordingly.
Cost That NEMT Companies Have
When dealing with the portion of the public who do not have NEMT services paid for by insurance there are numerous factors that should go into the rates you set. The best NEMT software on the market should have a billing aspect to help you keep track of these costs and also create a way to collect payments from clientele. Some of these cost factors include:
- Fixed Cost
- Variable Cost
- Average Market Price
- Mode of transport
Fixed cost is going to be any expense that does not change with increased business. Things like lease price for your office space, hourly wage for a driver, the cost of a vehicle. Variable Cost will increase as your company grows. The insurance will increase with more vehicles added on the road, labor will increase with more employees and also vehicle repairs. These 2 cost parameters should be covered by the income from your services. It is important to remain profitable but what controls how profitable will be the average price on the market for the service being provided. If the average cost of a wheelchair transport is $75 dollars you will go out of business charging $150 for the same service. There will be a large demand if you are offering a specialized service that no other company in the area is. This will in turn give you greater leverage with creating higher prices.
Structure of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Rates
The structure of your rate is going to be the breakdown of how you are going to charge for NEMT services. Keeping track of all your rates for each account and calculating the rice for each trip should be placed in the trust of your NEMT billing software. Types of fees include:
- Load Fee
- Per Mile Rate
- No-Show Fee
- Minimum Charge
- Flat rate fee
- Weekend and Holiday Fee’s
A load fee is the first part of your rate structure. This is the fee you charge just for making the initial pick-up. Taking into account the mode of transportation this fee can fluctuate. A per mile rate can be added to the load fee to build a full price for a transport. Implementing a minimum charge will save you from losing money on a one or two mile trip. There are times where you will create a contract with a local hospital or nursing home and it might be advantageous to negotiate flat rate prices to and from frequent destinations. This will give you a negotiation tool when bringing on a new account. If your business is not a 24/7 operation you may want to look at the possibility of special trips on the weekend or after hours at a higher rate. Keep in mind, when coming up with the exact figures for each rate you need to look at costs involved and keep yourself profitable. A NEMT software like the one ISI Technology provides will take care of the hard part of billing and let you focus on other aspects of your business.