Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) has been a longstanding benefit for Medicaid, and is gaining popularity with Medicare Advantage plans as a critical benefit. While this kind of transportation benefit has been available in the healthcare marketplace for a while, it wasn’t so long ago that key insights on ride experience, fulfillment, and billing were gate-kept inside a black box of ride information.
Health plans and care providers alike have pushed for a change in this antiquated, opaque NEMT system. Within the past decade, technology is the one key catalyst that has helped better align health plans, care providers, NEMT providers, NEMT brokers, and plan members alike.
Technology has become a driving force in every part of our day-to-day lives and transportation is no different.
Is how you traveled 10 years ago the same as you travel today? By plane– we seldom call an airline for tickets, and more often than not we use our smartphones as a boarding pass these days. By car– we now have the ability to pull out our smartphones for the best directions to avoid traffic or even request an on-demand ride with a few buttons using rideshare options.
With technology like smartphones, users are empowered to be in command of their journey and NEMT should be no different. A technology-first NEMT approach with SafeRide gives these benefits and more simultaneously to members, their health plans, their care providers, and NEMT providers.
As aforementioned, rideshare has been one of the most significant technological advancements in transportation of the past decade. Much of the NEMT industry has been resistant to such change, deteriorating the member experience. Traditional NEMT brokers require a two-plus day notice to provide any ride. With SafeRide and direct integrations into popular rideshare platforms, on-demand NEMT rides are a reality.
By delivering 50% or more of rides via rideshare, members enjoy a better experience being in control of their journey and using transportation options they’re already familiar with using. A better member experience leads to greater member retention and satisfaction helping health plans to focus on their business objectives and growing the plan. With on-demand transportation integrations, there is just as much ride data as any other transportation modality that is passed along to the health plan without delay to ensure that performance metrics are attained by the NEMT broker and members’ needs and preferences are consistently met.
Real-Time Ride Tracking GPS
Related to the use of rideshare and how you can see where your driver is when awaiting pickup, SafeRide’s technology allows for real-time ride tracking across all forms of transportation. This helps give members and their health plans peace of mind knowing that their riders are safe and that they are getting to their appointments when they say they’re supposed to get there. For care providers, real-time ride monitoring lets them spot late or no-show rides so that their healthcare providers and care teams don’t waste time with missed appointments and wait times for others are kept to a minimum.
This level of visibility holds NEMT providers and brokers accountable for their performance ensuring they are taking optimal routes, obeying traffic laws, and delivering the rides as agreed upon. For a broker like SafeRide, live ride monitoring is critical to flag late or off-track rides to proactively communicate with all other parties and triage (and even re-route or replace) the ride. This real-time response creates a higher standard of transparency never before seen in the NEMT journey for each stakeholder, including health plans, NEMT providers, members, care teams, and beyond.
For health plans and care providers, adding a new benefit partner into the mix can feel daunting from enterprise-level onboarding to having to learn and operate a different system. It doesn’t have to be this way– SafeRide’s technology syncs into existing workflows via API integrations so that there is minimal transition fatigue. This allows health plans and care providers to be fully in control of their data and be better aligned on how the transportation program is performing.
Technology Keeps Making Us Better
Technology continues to be a driving force to change the NEMT industry and beyond for the better. As the antiquated pen and paper logs of NEMT fade away, every layer of NEMT should be investing in future-proofing their benefit offerings. With our continual investments in research and development, SafeRide remains excited to stand at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry to elevate and align with our health plan partners, care providers, members, and NEMT providers.