Posts Tagged ‘Non-emergency Medical Transportation’

Growth of Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Transporting patients to and from local surgery centers is a growing source of business activity for a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation company such as ours. This report is designed to help define the role of the Ambulatory Surgery Center in the healthcare industry.

What are Ambulatory Surgery Centers and why are they Significant?

According to a report prepared for the ASC Coalition, ambulatory surgery centers, (ASCs), are health care facilities that offer patients the convenience of having surgeries and procedures performed safely outside of the hospital setting. Since their inception more than four decades ago, ASCs have demonstrated an exceptional ability to improve quality and service while simultaneously reducing costs. At a time when most developments in health care services and technology typically come with a higher price tag, ASCs stand out as an exception to the rule.

What Procedures are Performed at an ASC?

Among the most common procedures, were colonoscopy (27%), upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (10%), lens and cataract surgery (10%), and pain management procedures (5%). About half of the total population of patients were 60 and older, with 22% between 60 and 69, 18% between 70 and 79, and 10% were 80 or older.

ASCs Provide Care at Significant Cost Savings

Not only are ASCs focused on ensuring that patients have the best surgical experience possible, they also provide cost-effective care that save the government , third party payors and patients money. According to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association,

If just half of the eligible surgical procedures moved from hospital outpatient departments to ASCs, Medicare would save an additional $2.4 billion a year or $24 billion over the next 10 years. Likewise, Medicaid and other insurers benefit from lower prices for services performed in the ASC setting. For example, a Medicare beneficiary could pay as much as $496 in coinsurance for a cataract extraction procedure performed in a hospital department, whereas that same beneficiary’s co-payment in the ASC would be only $195.

Non-hospital Ownership

The majority of ambulatory surgery centers are owned by physicians, or by physician partnerships. As of 2011physician ownership was approaching 80% of all ASCs. The physician owned healthcare model allows the following efficiencies:

  • More intense and better focused quality control processes since ASCs offer a single setting, and smaller space and smaller number of operating rooms.
  • Allows patients to bring concerns directly to the physicians involved, rather than hospital administrators.
  • Physicians can personally guide innovation strategies and quality control initiatives.

Benefits of Medical Technology Advancements

Technological advancement has allowed a growing range of procedures to be performed safely on an outpatient basis. Faster acting and more effective anesthetics and less invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, have driven ASC growth. Procedures that only a few years ago required major incisions, long-acting anesthetics, and extended convalescence can now be performed through closed techniques utilizing short-acting anesthetics, and with minimal recovery time.

92% Satisfaction Rate

As a result, patients say they have a 92% satisfaction rate with both the care and service they receive from Ambulatory Surgical Centers.

Are Ambulatory Surgery Centers Safe?

In the wake of the surgery-related death of comedian Joan Rivers, patient-safety leaders and some physicians are calling on outpatient surgery centers to carefully select elderly patients eligible for surgery and encouraging patients to question the qualifications of physicians performing the procedures.

Surgery carries risk for everyone, but older adults are more likely to have multiple health conditions that can affect how their body responds to even minor surgical procedures. “If something goes slightly wrong, it’s much more likely to turn into a big problem in an older person than a younger person,” said Dr. Jonathan Flacker, chief of geriatrics and gerontology at Emory University and a spokesman for the American Geriatrics Society.


The growth of Ambulatory Surgery Centers has been remarkable the past several years, and from the standpoint of our company, the results are overwhelmingly positive. All Points Assisted Transportation would like to thank the ASCs in our area for their contributions to the community.

Vehicle Telematics Revolutionizes the NEMT Industry

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

How is it that we as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation providers are able to get so many individuals (many of whom are first-time clients), from their homes to their medical appointments safely and on time? How do we plan routes efficiently within a congested major metropolitan area? In addition to managing the basic logistics involved in picking up and dropping off patients within precise time windows, the NEMT team must also balance ever-changing schedules, traffic, and any unexpected challenges that may occur throughout the course of the day. The answer is “Vehicle Telematics”. Long gone are the days of thumbing through map books, and relying on memory, for determining the quickest and safest routes. Even in-vehicle cell phone usage is minimized. Today, an exciting combination of technologies is available which can revolutionize the transportation industry in general and NEMT providers in particular.

“Vehicle Telematics”, is a term applied to the combination of the following technologies:

  • Telecommunication
  • Vehicle tracking via GPS
  • Driver feedback
  • Fleet management
  • Satellite navigation
  • Emergency warning systems
  • Real time dispatch and communications
  • Management reporting

To better illustrate how these technologies can combine to vastly improve the effectiveness of a fleet of NEMT vehicles, let’s take you to a typical day for Bob M. a non-emergency medical transportation driver at All Points Assisted Transportation in San Diego, CA.

6:00 AM: Bob logs on to his navigation device and “punches in” for payroll purposes.

6:02 AM: Bob downloads his entire dispatch for the day. This includes 8 to 10 trips to either pick up or drop off individuals for appointments around town.

6:15 AM: Bob completes his pre-trip vehicle inspection, then selects his first trip which is a pickup. By selecting start, a detailed route is planned complete with turn by turn mapping and voice instructions to the exact location. Real-time traffic patterns are used to calculate an accurate ETA.

7:00 AM: Bob is alerted that road construction on I-5 will delay arrival to his first pickup by 11 minutes. An alternate route is automatically generated to keep him on schedule.

7:45 AM: Bob arrives at the first pickup location. Dispatch personnel at the office are aware of the driver’s exact location and activity each step of the way. Dispatch can notify clients of delays or changes as necessary over the phone, so that Bob can avoid in-vehicle cell phone use.

8:15 AM: The navigation screen alerts Bob that his off ramp is coming up in 2 miles. A visual image appears on his navigation screen, and a voice message alerts him of the approaching off ramp, and even tells him which lane to be in during the exit.

9:00 AM: Back at the office, the dispatcher receives an add-on trip that requires download to the driver. The new order appears within seconds on Bob’s navigation screen, complete with customer name, address and turn by turn instructions.

12:00 PM: Bob punches out for lunch break

1:15 PM: A patient calls the dispatch office that they are now ready for a pickup for their return home. The dispatcher downloads the request, along with the name, address, and turn by turn directions from Bob’s current location. Again, this process avoids in-vehicle cell phone use.

4:00 PM: Bob punches out for payroll purposes.

4:10 PM: Management can analyze total daily activities for Bob, as well as for the entire fleet. Management is able to customize reports showing pick up and drop off times, vehicle speed data, hard breaking data, hard turn events, idle times and MPG estimates.

The utilization of “Vehicle Telematics” technologies vastly improves dispatch efficiencies, expedites pickups and drop-offs, influences positive driver behavior and confidence, and improves the passenger experience while enhancing overall safety.

All Points Assisted Transportation utilizes TomTom hardware on the WEBFLEET platform. DispatchBot, a NEMT tailored software solution, is also integrated into the overall system. 24/7 Dispatch and call center services are provided by NEMT Solutions, LLC.

In-House vs. Outsourced Non-emergency Medical Transportation

Monday, July 8th, 2013

As the nations economy continues to suffer, so do government and private healthcare agencies. Everyone is making cuts, trying to save money, one way or another.

One way healthcare organizations can save money, without making cuts to their employees or services, is to outsource their non-emergency medical transportation services to professional NEMT businesses that can provide these services better, faster, and cheaper.

For your consideration, here is an estimate of expenses for providing NEMT services in-house compared to outsourcing them.

In-house Transportation Expenses:

These estimates are based on self-performing transportation services for one full-size wheelchair van.

  • Cost of one full-size wheelchair van, equipped with the necessary equipment and technology: Used: $25,000-$35,000; New: $50,000+; Avg. Payment: $1,100/month
  • Annual liability insurance premiums: $7,500 (depending on market)
  • Annual salary and compensation for one driver: $30,000+ (including taxes & WC)
  • Annual salary and compensation for one transportation director or dispatcher: $40,000+
  • Driver training and certifications: $200 per driver
  • Vehicle permits, licensing, and registrations: $1,200 per vehicle
  • Driver background check: $80 per driver
  • Annual fuel costs (based on a 5 day week): $18,000
  • Annual vehicle maintenance: $2,600
  • Dispatch service and communication subscriptions: $450

Total Annual Expenses: $113,230

These cost estimates don’t include interest on loans or depreciation of equipment or facility rental.

Outsourced Transportation Costs:

  • Base fee per trip: $20
  • Cost per mile over base fee: $2.00

There is a national trend for organizations to outsource services that don’t align with their core competencies. By doing this, it saves them time and money so they can focus on their core customer services that generate revenue. Also, many companies who are primarily engaged in the NEMT services, will outsource the service to subcontractors in order to accommodate “surge demand”.