The Biggest NEMT Challenges of 2021
2021 has been a challenging year for everyone. We’ve spent the year navigating life as we continue to adapt to Covid-19 policies and restrictions. Most of us can agree that we’re in a better place than we were a year ago—we have Covid-19 vaccines widely available, businesses have figured out how to safely allow people to gather once again on a large scale, and offices are back open for in-person work. Still, running a business poses more challenges than ever before, and the non-emergency medical transportation industry is no exception. We took a look at some of the biggest challenges NEMT providers have faced this year and how they worked to overcome them.
Dependency on Outdated Technology
As we know, the shift from manual to digital processes has become a natural next step in almost every industry. Many non-emergency medical transportation providers have also made the switch, but some are adamant against investing in technology. This may appear to save them money up front, but it costs them a whole lot more. Over time, the cost of doing business—scheduling, routing, billing, and dispatching—is enormous without the right software. Not only does it become costly, it also is a slow, inaccurate process, which means hours of work may not even yield accurate results when all is said and done. All this to say, investing in reliable NEMT scheduling software is essential in today’s landscape. Those who try to stick with old-fashioned methods are doomed to fail.
The past year has left employers with many gaps to fill. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, businesses across nearly every industry are facing employee shortages. The transportation industry is feeling the impacts of employee shortages, too. According to one survey, the American Trucking Association estimates that by the end of 2021, the truck driver shortage will hit a historic high of over 80,000 drivers. While truck drivers and NEMT drivers aren’t technically the same, they fall under the same umbrella, and the shortage impacts medical transportation drivers, too. NEMT providers have had to work even harder to secure reliable drivers in a time when options are slim.
The Rise of Telehealth
On the flip side of things, the rise in telehealth appointments has reduced the amount of NEMT needed across the country. When Covid-19 first hit, many healthcare appointments shifted from in person to video calls to reduce contact. As we all know, some appointments have to be conducted in person due to the nature of the visit, but many can be completed over video call. Today, many practices have kept telehealth as an option for those who want it, and because of this, there are fewer trips available for some NEMT providers.
Unreliable Drivers and Scheduling
When a business continues to operate without an organized process, they’re going to face problems. For instance, if a NEMT company is still scheduling trips by hand, there’s a good chance drivers are going to mix up time slots from time to time. One study found participants reporting that while they were pleased with their NEMT experience overall, they reported specific issues including drivers who arrived too early, too late, or not at all. This is obviously a huge problem, but it’s one that can be simply solved with the right medical transportation software.
Switch to Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Software for a Better Operation
Challenges are part of being a business owner. What separates the mediocre owner from the stellar one is the ability to find solutions in every problem. If you’re ready to find a dependable solution for your NEMT operation, it’s time to invest in software that does the hard work for you. Get in touch with the team at iSi Technology to find out which of our products is right for your business.