Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is one of many markets in the mobility landscape that are experiencing changes. One of the most recent changes has been adapting to service disruption as a result of transportation network companies (TNC). TNCs provide on-demand transportation services for passengers and have entered the rapidly growing NEMT market. They are also known as “ride hailing companies”.
Despite TNCs being a newer transportation provider in the NEMT industry, they have become an important component in the dependability of NEMT networks for the following reasons.
The Modernization of NEMT
Given the digital component many TNCs bring into the NEMT industry, this modernization has resulted in substantial annual savings. A 2018 study from the American Journal of Public Health estimates the modernization of NEMT saved approximately $537 million. The transparency, accountability, and analytics that TNC technology provides offers value to riders and NEMT companies by reducing overhead and operational costs, as well as improving quality of service.
Providing a Stronger Infrastructure for Passengers
As TNCs utilize a digital network to connect drivers with passengers looking for transportation services, there is a convenient, organized way of facilitating scheduling. As the process of scheduling and payment is completed through the digital network, the focus is solely on safe transportation once the scheduled time arrives. With real-time trip monitoring and routing options, the scope of service has expanded to allow passenger input.
Unlike other kinds of transportation, TNCs are structured so drivers use their own vehicles for transportation services. Some drivers within a TNC may have “hands on assistance training to help walk riders to and from a residence or clinic. The utilization of TNCs within an NEMT network adds an element of structure and personalization, as individual drivers provide private transportation services, but the usual financial strain of private services is not present. On top of this, TNCs offer a similar advantage to NEMT that NEMT offers to the world of health care—giving rides to people who don’t need a specially-trained person to transport them.
Creating a Safe and Secure Experience
There are often strict regulations for the drivers hired by TNCs. From ensuring drivers do not have a history of alcohol or substance abuse to having a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, and proper insurance, TNCs are required to check that the drivers they hire fulfill a set of requirements. This standard helps to create a network in which safety is a priority that passengers can feel confident using.
Encouraging Other Players to Do Better
As TNC technology and services are becoming an integrated player in the NEMT industry, other pre-existing players, such as brokers, are being strongly encouraged to look for ways to incorporate TNCs in their offerings. This will only become more important as the number of people who need NEMT and those who qualify for it increases. Brokers, MCOs, and other NEMT companies can also continue to keep pace with demands by implementing similar technology to TNCs in-house or by partnering with tech platforms. TNCs have provided an exciting opportunity to not only fill gaps in service, but also expand service offerings without using as many resources as typical staffing efforts. Want to learn more about how transportation network companies can enhance your current range of NEMT services? Contact us today and speak with a team member with an eye on bold new directions in NEMT.