How to Start a Medical Transportation Business? (Guide with Cost Estimation)

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Get the equipment, insurance, and cars required to offer dependable transportation services while adhering to all applicable safety and health regulations.
  • Identify the unmet needs and pain areas of the target clients, such as seniors, people with disabilities, or patients with chronic ailments.
  • To earn recurring revenue and referrals, form agreements with healthcare providers like hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes and give them specialized and dependable transportation options like non-emergency medical transportation, patient transfers, or medical courier services.
  • Recruit and educate a team of skilled and compassionate drivers who have a strong focus on patient care, excellent communication abilities, and medical expertise.

Medical transportation businesses are often highly lucrative, primarily if they focus on serving the elderly. 

The elderly population is one of the fastest-growing groups in America, and they are more likely than younger people to require medical transportation services. 

The U.S. Healthcare Transportation Services Market is projected to achieve a CAGR of around 9% by 2022-2028, reaching USD 24,137.6 million by the end of the forecast period.

There is an ever-increasing demand for these services, making them more profitable over time and more stable than other types of businesses when the economy fluctuates. If you’re aspiring to get into the medical transportation business and wondering how to start a medical transportation business, this article will guide you in getting started with your business.

What Does a Medical Transportation Business Do? 

A medical transportation business provides transportation to people who need it, such as seniors and specially-abled people.

The main goal of a medical transportation business is to provide safe, reliable, and comfortable transportation to people who may not be able to drive themselves or do not have access to public transportation.

A medical transportation business can be an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to start their own medical transport business but has limited funds, as it doesn’t require office space or extensive equipment.

How to Start a Medical Transportation Business

1. Choose the right location

When starting a medical transportation business, you must choose the correct location. The area should be accessible and easy to find. It should also offer parking spaces for your vehicles and a place where patients can wait comfortably.

In addition, it should have good public transport connections so patients can get there quickly. Go for a venue that is near hospitals or clinics. It will allow you to attract more customers since many people will already know where to find your business.

For example, if you provide home health care and offer transportation services for people who need help getting from their homes to doctor’s appointments or nursing homes, you’ll want to be close enough to your clients that they can quickly get there. 

But if you are a company that provides transportation for patients, being closer to the hospital may be more significant.

2. Register your business

There are several business entities, each with advantages and disadvantages. Medical transportation businesses must select a (legal status) business structure that will shape tax obligations, personal liability, and business registration requirements. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the most accessible type of business to start and maintain. You’re personally liable for any debts or legal issues that arise from your company.
  • Partnership: This is similar to a sole proprietorship, in which no annual fee or ongoing paperwork requirements exist. However, partners are personally liable for all debts or lawsuits against their company. 
  • Corporation: This requires an initial registration fee and ongoing paperwork requirements. It also offers limited liability protection and tax advantages over other entities because profits can be passed on to shareholders. 
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLCs provide some protection from personal liability while offering flexibility regarding how much tax you’ll pay on profits.

3. Apply for licenses and permits

Starting a medical transportation business is a great way to make money and help people. But before you can get started, you need to meet all the legal requirements.

In most states, you must get a license or permit from your state and county governments. Once you have those, you must obtain a federal license or permit and register with OSHA. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license to operate motor vehicles. 

Getting all these licenses can be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s worth considering the amount of money you’ll make when your business is up and running.

4. Invest in the right equipment

The medical transportation business is a daunting task in our society. It helps potential clients who need treatment or medical facilities move from one place to another.

Invest in the right equipment for medical transportation business

Medical transportation businesses use various equipment, including:

  • Ambulances and other vehicles equipped with medical equipment, such as defibrillators, oxygen tanks, and stretchers.
  • Medical equipment, including wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Medical supplies like bandages, gauze, and gloves.
  • Medical transportation businesses also use proper vehicles, including wheelchair-accessible vans and minivans.

5. Hire a team

If you’re looking to build a successful medical transportation company, you’ll need to hire the best and most experienced workers you can find.

As your NEMT business grows, so will the number of patients and contracts you accept. To ensure that your patients get the quality of service they expect from your company, it is essential to hire experienced drivers and office managers who will keep things running smoothly.

6. Market your service offerings after thorough research

When it comes to medical transportation services, you need to know what kind of people are likely to use them and what problems they’re looking for solutions for. 

Once you’ve identified those clients and figured out their problems, you can figure out how to talk about your business in a way that speaks directly to them and addresses their needs so you can get more medical transportation contracts.

For example, if you’re marketing medical transportation services for senior clients with disabilities, you might talk about how your drivers are specially trained in handling wheelchairs and walkers.

How they’ll help seniors with dementia remember where they’re going so they don’t get confused by the route. 

Or maybe it’s more vital for them that all of their vehicles are wheelchair accessible so that people with mobility issues can get around without trouble.

7. Provide top-notch customer service

To provide good customer service for a medical transportation business, you must understand what your potential customers are looking for.

You should be able to anticipate their needs and take steps to meet those needs immediately. If an issue arises, you should be able to handle it in a way that keeps your customers happy and engaged.

Get Efficient Routes for Medical Transportation

Leave your route planning to Upper for efficient routes in seconds, ensuring punctual medical transportation services for patients.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Medical Transportation Business

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT business) is an excellent option and a profitable business for those with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to make a difference in their community.

Following are some pros and cons of starting a (NEMT business) non-emergency medical transportation business:

Pros
  • There are many different types of medical transportation services, so you can choose to specialize and operate in one area or do it all
  • You get to meet new customers every day and have a direct impact on their lives
  • You can make a lot of money. The demand for medical transport is high, and the market is growing
  • Being able to work flexible hours
Cons
  • It takes time to build your client base and figure out how to run things smoothly
  • You need to work well with people of all ages and backgrounds because they can be very different from each other
  • It takes a lot of work to start this kind of company; it requires a lot of training, licensing, and money
  • You will need to invest in expensive equipment for the business, including a vehicle and any necessary safety equipment

How Much Does it Cost to Start a NEMT Business?

Starting a NEMT (non-emergency medical transportation) business costs approximately between $30,000 and $100,000 or more. The total investment required can vary significantly based on the following expenses:

  1. 1. Vehicles: The most significant cost is the vehicle. You’ll need reliable, comfortable, and accessible vehicles, especially if you plan to transport elderly or disabled clients. The price of a vehicle can range from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on whether you buy a new or used one. The type of vehicle you choose also affects the cost.
  2. Insurance: Insurance is crucial for protecting your business and your clients. The cost of insurance will depend on factors like the number of vehicles, the types of vehicles, and your location. Expect to pay several thousand dollars per year for insurance on a vehicle.
  3. Licenses and permits: You’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally. These costs can vary greatly depending on your location. Research your local and state requirements. This could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
  4. Marketing and advertising: Getting the word out about your business is essential. Marketing and advertising costs can vary depending on how aggressively you market your business. This includes costs for creating a website, business cards, flyers, and online advertising.
  5. Office space and utilities: If you decide to rent office space, this will be an additional cost. However, starting from the home office can significantly reduce this cost.
  6. Employee salaries: If you plan to hire drivers or office staff, you’ll need to factor in their salaries. The cost will depend on how many employees you have and the local wage rates.
  7. Fuel and maintenance: Running vehicles means spending money on fuel and regular maintenance. These costs will vary depending on how much you use the vehicles and the current fuel price.
  8. Miscellaneous expenses: Don’t forget to account for miscellaneous expenses like office supplies, phone bills, and software for scheduling and managing your business.

How Much Does an NEMT Business Make?

On average, NEMT business profits can range between $40,000 and $60,000 annually.

However, several factors influence NEMT’s business profits. Efficient route planning, operational excellence, and adherence to regulatory standards contribute to cost savings, which positively impact the bottom line.

Additionally, forming strategic partnerships with healthcare providers can lead to a steady flow of clients, enhancing overall profitability.

How to Become an NEMT Provider?

To become a NEMT (Non-Emergency Medical Transportation) provider:

  1. Understand local regulations for NEMT services
  2. Develop a business plan outlining services and financial projections
  3. Choose a legal structure, register your business, and obtain the necessary licenses
  4. Obtain suitable, compliant vehicles for medical transportation
  5. Secure liability insurance and coverage for your vehicles
  6. Train drivers on patient care, safety, and specific medical transportation requirements
  7. Establish partnerships with healthcare providers and clinics
  8. Develop a marketing strategy, including online presence and networking within the healthcare community
  9. Adhere to health and safety standards, implementing cleanliness protocols
  10. Set up electronic record-keeping systems for appointments, schedules, and billing
  11. Prioritize patient care for a comfortable and safe transportation experience

Perform Medical Transportation Services Using the Best Routes from Upper

Every second counts when you’re moving, and every penny counts when you have to travel. This is especially true in a critical business like non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT Business). 

Therefore, it is essential to use NEMT scheduling software while performing medical transportation services. In that case, Upper Route Planner could be your ideal software, as it comes with an array of routing features. Using it, you can overcome on-road obstacles so that your patients reach hospitals on time.

With Upper, you can:

  • Save time by avoiding traffic jams and finding the best way to reach needy patients.
  • Save money by finding the quickest possible route with the lowest fuel usage so that medical essentials reach their destination on time.

Upper maximizes efficiency with less time spent traveling. Taking historical data and real-time information into account, it provides the best routes for each worker to take dynamically. So, all your drivers will never be late. Below is how Upper can be reliable software for those who want to run a medical transportation business.

1. Dispatch routes in a single click

Upper offers a one-click dispatch that helps you notify employees about upcoming appointments and stops. Moreover, if one of your drivers cancels an appointment due to an emergency, you can immediately reassign it to an available driver. As a result, patients never suffer.

2. Schedule routes for months

With Upper, you’ll save hours spent manually scheduling patients’ pickups or drops to or from medical appointments. All you need to have is a list of stops and delivery drivers, and Upper route planning software will do the job. This is a quicker and more efficient way to schedule routes and save time so that you can focus on more pressing matters.

Prioritize Patient Comfort with Automated Transport

Improve patient comfort and well-being with automated medical transportation solutions, delivering seamless and stress-free experiences.

FAQs

Yes. As the population ages and people live longer, there’s an increasing demand for rides from home to doctors’ offices and hospitals. It means that if you’re willing to invest in your own business, you can have a profitable medical transportation business with only a few employees.

You’ll be paid $95 for each trip you take as a (NEMT business) non-emergency medical transportation business driver. That’s about $60 for your base rate and $35 for each mile you drive your passenger to their destination.

Yes, it is. The non-emergency medical transportation business is good because it is a highly regulated industry that requires specialized equipment and employees. It also allows you to diversify your business with additional rehab and home health care services.

The steps to consider for setting up your NEMT business include registering your business, acquiring necessary licenses and permits, considering partnerships with healthcare providers, obtaining insurance coverage, investing in vehicles and equipment, training/hiring qualified drivers, and implementing marketing strategies.

Putting Your Medical Transportation Plan into Action

Starting a medical transportation company or profitable senior transportation business, even if it’s non-emergency medical transportation, is not for the faint-hearted. You must be willing to invest the time and energy necessary to succeed and garner many opportunities.

When all is said and done, remember that you should be on time when running a medical transportation business for elderly and disabled patients. This is true even for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services or new businesses that deal with non-emergency cases.

This is where Upper helps medical transportation companies. Upper route planning and optimization software ensure that you take all driving contingencies into account and have the shortest routes to always reach the patients on time.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.