Every day, people move about their world to get and do what they need to thrive. But those with physical and mental disabilities are often at a disadvantage. What happens when public transportation doesn’t fit the bill, but riders don’t need emergency transportation either? Is there a middle ground?

Non-emergency medical transportation(NEMT) fills in where other transit solutions don’t fit. Read on to learn more about it and NEMT software that makes using it easier.

What is NEMT?

NEMT is a transportation service for individuals who are not in an emergency but need assistance that other transit solutions, such as taxi services, can’t provide. This may include rides for various health-related needs, such as:

  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Behavioral health services
  • Preventive services
  • Physical therapy
  • Adult day care
  • And more

NEMT is uniquely suited to provide this level of service because vehicles are equipped to transport riders with mobility needs—and devices such as wheelchairs—and drivers are trained to accommodate riders with behavioral needs who may be traveling with a companion.

Software to Schedule Rides

When customers request rides, a chain of events starts behind the scenes to orchestrate trips with the broker and NEMT software. Brokers trust software solutions to locate the best providers based on a number of factors, such as: 

  • How much the provider will charge the brokerage 
  • The provider’s coverage area and service hours
  • Availability of drivers and vehicles

By using NEMT software, brokers can automatically offer trips to multiple providers based on predefined rules, giving them a choice to accept or send the trip to another provider. Remember that Medicaid, state and local programs, departments of aging, and/or hospital systems control rider eligibility, but once it’s verified, the broker can schedule the trip!

How NEMT and NEMT Software Benefits Riders

It’s easy to take for granted the benefits of being able to fully control your own travel during daily life—from making an afternoon Starbucks run to driving to a checkup. Riders who need assistance may feel like they’re at a disadvantage, so it’s important for NEMT software and services to provide ways to remain in control. Five of the most important benefits include:

1. Independence

With NEMT, riders never have to say, “I wish I could,” or “I need this, but ...” Instead, the service and NEMT software that powers it expands accessibility for disabled people who have more trouble getting around than a person without a disability. As a result, riders can keep up with their care independently and even lift some of the burden off of friends and family members they may have otherwise asked for a ride.

2. Affordability

Ever ridden in an ambulance? The bill probably shocked you. Ambulatory transport can cost an average of $758 with private health insurance and $463 with Medicare. This isn’t ideal in non-emergency situations for riders who need transportation to receive regular care. NEMT is less expensive and can mean the difference between being able to stay healthy now versus needing emergency transportation and services later.

3. Peace of Mind 

If riders need help boarding their vehicle, have safety concerns, or have special needs, they should be able to count on their driver. With NEMT, passengers always get assistance from certified transport specialists (CTS). The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) is the leading authority for NEMT training, and NEMTAC certification gives drivers the knowledge and skills to deliver safe transportation services, such as: 

  • Positive driving skills and safe vehicle handling
  • Door-to-door procedures to assist passengers
  • Americans with Disabilities Act and disability awareness
  • Wheelchair handling and securement
  • Transport vehicle inspection procedures

4. Access

Riders often have appointments scheduled weeks or even months in advance, and they need to know that they can reliably get to and from each one. NEMT software doesn’t just help providers and brokers—it gives riders the ability to plan ahead. Thousands of people schedule NEMT for their medical services each week, and it provides access for future trips.

5. Convenience

Waiting on hold? Riders shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the transportation services they need. NEMT software makes it easy to get a ride with online booking, so riders aren’t dependent on call centers to book trips. The software finds a driver, car, and route, and it handles payment. Riders just have to request a date and time—even at the last minute! And there’s no wondering about if or when vehicles will show up because riders can get trip status notifications by text, email, or voice call.

Empower Your Riders with NEMT Software

Sometimes, emergency transit isn’t the best solution. When that happens, riders need viable alternatives so they can get to appointments and stay active in their own health. NEMT fills that gap while elevating riders’ independence, peace of mind, and more. Want to help them get there? Let Ecolane’s NEMT software power your agency’s non-emergency ride service. Schedule a demo today to see how it works.