In 2015, the United States reportedly spent $3.2 trillion dollars within the healthcare industry, or approximately $9,990 per person. Despite this enormous financial investment, millions of Americans still lack proper care. One branch of our convoluted healthcare system ripe for improvement is the Non-Emergency-Medical-Transportation (NEMT) industry. Most frequently provided as a benefit under Medicare, the NEMT industry provides transportation to and from medical services for patients who require but have no means or access to such accommodations. There are many inadequacies within this segment of our healthcare system, but within these inadequacies lie opportunities for influential improvement.
One major problem is booking rides at the hospital. When a patient needs to be transported, hospital admins who book rides for patients currently call outdated broker systems and have no way to track the rides. This leaves the hospital, the patients, and the fleets with no direct communication or transparency. The patients don’t know their driver’s location or their expected time of arrival. As a result, it is common for patients to wait hours for a ride. And hospitals incur massive costs by having to keep patients longer. Fleets end up not having enough data or tools to provide a high-quality service, and often end up missing pickups altogether.
Dashride fixes these problems for all three parties involved. With vastly improved booking tools for the hospital admins booking rides, updated patient profiles, live vehicle tracking for patients providing them insight into their driver’s location, and automated tools for the fleet providers, the Dashride platform is revolutionizing healthcare transportation. Making major changes to the NEMT industry would allow the 3.6 million Americans left without medical care annually, (due to lack of transportation) to receive the assistance they need.
Even for those few lucky patients for whom transportation is provided, timeliness and reliability are not always guaranteed. Current drivers are operating at a mere 35% efficiency rate. In other words, for every 10 hours they are hired, drivers are only transporting patients for 3.5 hours. Additionally, most rides must be scheduled at least 2 days in advance, another inconvenient stipulation. Even more significant, some contractors don’t require any prior medical certification or experience as a qualification to become a driver. These two factors open the patient up to unnecessary danger should any complications arise. Equally detrimental, is the tendency for drivers to be late. In one study, observers discovered that a lack in transportation caused cancer patients to delay and even miss their treatments. Inefficiencies come at a cost, almost one third of the aforementioned $3.2 trillion is spent on things that don’t make Americans any healthier (ex: inefficient transport).
As a result, the current NEMT system is based on antiquated practices and lack the benefits of current technology.
Nadav Ullman, CEO of Dashride believes that improving the platform on which NEMT operates has the potential to increase efficiency and patient care while simultaneously decreasing taxpayer liability. In fact, studies have shown that investing in an NEMT program has direct monetary rewards. In 2008, the state of Florida commissioned an evaluation of its NEMT program and found that every dollar invested saved $11.08 in avoidable hospitalization costs, which is an ROI of more than 1,100 percent. These savings likely grew, as patients that received timely care were less likely to have new or further prolonged medical challenges – thus requiring less costly medical services.
While these medical inefficiency impacts many Americans, it is most prevalent in lower socioeconomic classes, women, and other minority groups. As demonstrated in a 2001 survey of adults living at or below the federal poverty level, it was reportedly “hard” to “very hard” for patients to find transportation to their healthcare providers, resulting in missed appointments. This was based on both lack of transportation options and inefficient transportation infrastructures and services.
Similarly, in a survey of low-income New York City patients, those who rode the bus to their medical provider were two times more likely to miss their appointments than their self-driving counterparts. Overall, 25% of low-income patients have cited a lack of effective transportation as cause of their missed or rescheduled appointment.
The NEMT industry is one in which direct action can have a ripple effect throughout healthcare as well as the overall American economy. While, most elements of our current healthcare system are redundant and convoluted, the NEMT industry has clear paths for revitalization; through the utilization of modern technology we can improve both patient care while relieving burdening expenses. With live vehicle tracking, concierge booking tools, a customer relationship manager, just to name a few features, Dashride offers the only on-demand solution for NEMT transportation.
Be a part of the revitalization of the health care industry, contact Dashride today!