Luxury Coach & Transportation

February 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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OPERATIONS: CLIENT MARKETS Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: A New Revenue Stream A s the ground transportation industry evolves, we can remain focused on luxury, but we must look for new revenue streams as well as ways to differentiate our companies in our local markets. A great idea trending in the in- dustry is offering non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) to clients considered "transportation disadvantaged." Millions of Americans fall into this category, providing a big opportunity to offer services to this overlooked population. You can jump into this lucrative business with your fleet or enhance your service by adding wheelchair lifts. Who Uses This Service? Americans who are "transportation disadvantaged" are mostly elderly, poor, mobility-impaired, and/or injured on the job and being treated under a worker's comp policy. ese employees must be taken to and from medical appointments, and may need other rou- tine trips such as to the grocery store, work, classes, and shopping. Medical appointments could range from daily physical therapy to mental counseling, meetings with attorneys, and medical specialists based out of town. In a report on the cost benefits analysis prepared for the Transporta- tion Research Board of the National Academies, 3.6 million Americans miss or delay non-emergency medical care each year because they cannot provide or pay for their own transportation. e buzz phrase for this type of trans- portation is "medically necessary." Some insurance companies will hap- pily cover the cost of transportation when it's seen as medically necessary. What Are The Requirements? More strict requirements govern the use of a wheelchair lift than other forms of NEMT, such as those involving sedans and SUVs. Your existing author- ity allows you to drive any passenger who is ambulatory (can walk on their own). DOT regulations for transporting wheelchair bound patients are included in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and apply to transporting clients in wheelchairs or any mobility aid with three or more wheels includ- ing non-motorized scooters. e DOT requires all platform lift systems and manufacturers to make sure their lifts meet minimum dimensions and maxi- mum size limits on protrusions and gaps. ere are also rules for handrails and threshold warning signals, and retaining barriers for lifts to keep a pas- senger from falling off the lift. What About Training? Obviously, you must train your chauf- feurs to handle disabled or injured patients. A program must include not only the physical aspect of loading a patient, but also sensitivity for disabled passengers. e DOT ADA regulations prohibit an operator from refusing a person with a specific type of disability, as long as your lift can physically ac- commodate them. You cannot require a person to transfer from a wheelchair to a vehicle seat. is is important because many wheelchair patients can transfer from a wheelchair to a car us- ing a device known as a transfer board. You cannot refuse a patient who uses a board and cite a liability concern. In other words, you are either in the busi- ness or not. Obviously, there is a higher risk in transporting injured people. Chauffeurs will also need training on using a two-part securement system. One part to secure the wheelchair, and the second part is a seatbelt and shoul- der harness to secure the wheelchair- bound passenger. Just as important to securement is training chauffeurs on how to properly help and treat individu- als with respect and sensitivity. Addi- tionally, chauffeurs will be exposed to private information such as insurance and patient care records. Your company will have to be HIPAA (Health Insur- ance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant before you can schedule such patients. Many online companies can help you achieve certifications such as 2 4 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION FEBRUARY 2019 This sector provides an opportunity to increase your customer base as well as the bottom line profit. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor L to R: Executive Secured Transportation co-owners: Christina Yancy, CFO, VP/ human resources; Robert Yancy, VP/operations; J.C. Yancy, CEO/President; Jan Yancy, VP/finance.

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