What Happens When an NEMT Trip Is Cancelled?
NEMT providers have busy schedules. Scheduling, routing, dispatching, and billing trips takes time—lots of time. That’s why so many providers have turned to automated solutions to manage their NEMT business operations. Even with the help of electronic transportation routing software, there’s not much room for error. Unfortunately, things can and will go wrong from time to time. Specifically, we’re looking at trip cancellations and no shows in this blog, how to prevent them, and what impact they have on your business.
NEMT Trip Cancellations
A typical day for an NEMT provider goes something like this: providers pre-assign their trips for the day to ensure everything is scheduled and ready to go. If the NEMT company is using NEMT software, the system dispatches trips when it’s time for drivers to head out, and it automatically searches for multiload opportunities on every route. The driver is on their way to the pick-up point and everything is running smoothly. That is, until they get the notification no driver wants to see on their phone: “Your trip has been cancelled”
After thorough planning and meticulous scheduling, a trip can still get cancelled out of seemingly nowhere. The important thing to understand is that this almost never has anything to do with the NEMT company, but rather with how the patient is feeling that day. The good news is, NEMT software helps prevent and manage cancellations.
How Does NEMT Software Prevent Cancellations?
NEMT software is the best way for providers to prevent trip cancellations at their company. The leading software options achieve this by sending out phone calls a day in advance to remind passengers of their upcoming trip. Additionally, software has the ability to send out phone calls as soon as the driver hits the road to let passengers know the driver is on their way. There’s no guarantee that these calls will prevent cancellations 100% of the time, but they definitely serve as gentle reminders for anyone who may have forgotten about an appointment.
If a trip is cancelled last minute, the trip might not be a complete bust. Since the system checks for multiload opportunities, the next passenger in line may still be available for pick up.
NEMT Trip No-Shows
When a driver hits the road, they expect their passengers to be ready when they arrive at the pick-up point. Unfortunately, trips don’t always unfold this way. Sometimes, a driver arrives for their pick-up, only to be left wondering where their passenger is. This is called a no-show, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: the passenger didn’t show up for their appointment. This can be frustrating for NEMT providers who carefully plan their schedules to avoid these situations. The best way to prevent no shows from happening is with NEMT vehicle scheduling software.
How Does NEMT Software Prevent No-Shows?
NEMT software features a handful of tools built to reduce the likelihood of no shows at your practice. Systems do this a few different ways. First, the system has the option to send out calls a day in advance to remind passengers of their appointment. There’s a chance the passenger may have completely forgotten about both their appointment and their ride, so this is a simple reminder for them that gives them enough time to cancel if they still need to. Additionally, the system sends another reminder as soon as the driver is in route, meaning the passenger has two opportunities before their trip time to cancel or reschedule. It isn’t foolproof, but it definitely reduces the chance of no shows and gives your practice more control over trip management.
Additional Ways to Prevent Cancellations and No-Shows
Trip management is different for every company. What works for one business may not work well for another, so a trial and error process is the most realistic solution. If you’re attempting to reduce cancellations and no shows, there are a number of things you can do to tackle the problem. First, conduct a report and collect your trip data to pinpoint whether or not there’s a trend in your no shows and cancellations—are the same passengers doing this again and again? Are there specific days or times of day that no shows and cancellations are most common? Analyzing your data will give you these answers, which will then point you in the right direction for how to address them. Next, talk to your passengers about no shows and cancellations. Be up front about your policy for both, what you charge, and how far in advance you expect to be notified about a cancellation. Transparency goes a long way, and it just might be the difference between a no show and a proper pick up.
Expand Your Business Opportunities With Software
There are more products than ever in the technology landscape that afford your business exciting opportunities. If you’re looking for a system to help manage your operations better, iSi Technology has a product for you. We have software for NEMT providers, Medicaid billers, Homecare billers, and more. Get in touch today to find out more and schedule your free demo!