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NEMT Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Operate NEMT Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published By: NEMT Cloud Dispatch

Unfortunately, where the Covid-19 epidemic has disturbed every sphere of life and halted operations of many things, at the same time it has sabotaged both transportation and health systems in the United States and across the globe. While the rise in the cases of Covid-19 is at an all-time high in the entire country back again, NEMT providers are looking for ways to carry on providing their services in a secure manner. Coronavirus business impact on NEMT is really big and the Covid after-effects are not yet known.

Remember that each year, 3.6 million Americans forget/waste or hold back medical reservations as a result of lack of transportation. But, non-emergency medical transportation providers make every effort to reduce this number and arrange trips to underprivileged or handicapped people who besides that wouldn’t have a way to their appointments. While the world accommodates these unpredictable and hard times with the harsh corona effect on NEMT, NEMT companies must do the same. Delivering good customer service is the aim of anyone running a NEMT business.

Hence, these are some safety protocols for operating the NEMT business during the Covid-19 pandemic we have gathered based on our knowledge of the business as well as considering medical precautions and proven data regarding Covid-19 and transportation issued by CDC, CTAA, and other concerned agencies. Click here if want to know the key features of our customizable non emergency medical transportation scheduling software.

1 Driver and patient both should wear masks

For Passengers: CTAA suggests all of its associated agencies have masks of all passengers (this is for the protection of both drivers and passengers). If possible, it is recommendable for adult medical transportation operators to provide masks (cloth) to passengers trying to board without one.

For Drivers: Well, considering and following the instructions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA,) suggests N95 masks (or the Chinese equivalent KN-95). CTAA in recent days sent contact details for a KN95 mask manufacturer to all associates. In case you are not able to get N95 (or the Chinese equivalent KN-95), CTAA suggests the use of common masks/face coverings to reduce the propagation of the virus and help people who may carry the virus and do not know it from transferring it to others.

2 Adjust with the times

At the moment, medical reservations are carried out both face to face and virtually, depending on the need. The reality is that some reservations are virtual completely means a decreased need in NEMT. Though this is not good for your business, there exist other techniques to make sure you are still getting your share. First, check out your patients who have regular appointments scheduled. Do they still require trips? Are there others who now require recurring trips, also? These patients are of greater importance because they ensure you several trips.

3 Driver section/chamber hindrance

Keep in mind, CTAA suggests that every one of its associates set up — as good as they can — driver sections that isolate drivers from passengers. In certain circumstances, members are doing this using shower curtains and other full-length transparent plastic covers. Elsewhere, companies are sealing off many front rows of seats from use to make a six-foot hindrance between driver and passengers. Moreover, if possible, ask bus passengers to in and out of the bus through the rear entry doors.

4 Social distancing

Besides restricting trips to essential purposes only, the CTAA advises of the social/physical distancing of patients both between them and the driver as well as between patients if more than one within a vehicle. Well, CTAA suggests obeying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s minimum 6-foot distance instructions between patients and drivers to ensure maximum safety against virus transmission. NEMT business providers should consider well-planned deployment of ongoing services and routes to prevent, as much as possible, overcrowding vehicles. Some NEMT business providers are restricting the number of patients per vehicle, or even adopting a ‘one driver, one vehicle, one patient’ rule to allow for low cross-contamination. Other NEMT business providers have sealed off some seats in the van to ensure that patients in case of more than one don’t sit too close to one another.

5 Van and transit facility sanitizing and cleaning

Aside from CTAA’s prior recommendations to NEMT business drivers about proper vehicle and transit facility cleaning, CTAA suggests sanitizing and fogging vehicles on a regular basis. In case anyone on the vehicle is a Covid-positive, especially adequate/fit for NEMT operations — the company should carry out, as promptly as possible, a full cleaning and antimicrobial fogging of the vehicle. If a NEMT business operator is unable to obtain a disinfectant fogging machine, CTAA suggests that all high-touch surfaces be duly cleaned and sanitized many times throughout the day, this is how to get rid of Covid while operating NEMT business. High-touch surfaces involve booths, pinwheels, benches, railings, banisters, garbage cans, bike racks, door handles, etc. CTAA instructs that during cleaning, transit staff must wear disposable gloves and dress for all tasks in the process, including handling trash.

6 Carrying a Covid-19 positive/infected patient

For those NEMT business drivers who are uncertain of whether or not they should carry COVID-19 positive patients, CTAA advises you to check with your state’s Public Health Department and Medicaid Agency, despite being a NEMT business operator. A substantial number of states are suggesting against the transportation of COVID-19 patients by public transportation and NEMT providers, and favoring collaborations with local EMS providers to safely carry these patients. Whatever decision you may make, it should be made in tandem with your local public health officials.

7 Use the best NEMT software for better services during the pandemic

In case you are yet operating without NEMT software there has never been a better time to make the switch from manual and traditional ways. Saving time and money has become important like never before. If you schedule so many drivers you are wasting money while drive without a scheduled road you are wasting time. The sophisticated custom software designed by the highly skilled professionals of NEMT Cloud Dispatch manages both for you for utmost performance. With such sophisticated software, you will get rid of keeping so many drivers, plus it will plan and arrange the fastest path always, hence you save time and fuel on each ride. If want to learn more about our customizable NEMT software, call us today and talk with one of our experts!