7 Questions to Ask your NEMT Provider
Arizona non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers are not created equal. Each one of us is unique and we come in different shapes and sizes, which is why you should be cautious when engaging a provider or helping a loved-one arrange for transportation. Here are seven questions you should ask your NEMT provider before you hire them:
Q1. Are you licensed and insured?
All NEMT companies must get a license from the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures and display current stickers on all vehicles. In addition, ask to see proof of insurance and make sure it is adequate.
Q2. Are you a member of the Arizona Medical Transportation Association (AZMTA)?
If a company answers NO, ask why not. The AZMTA is a group of self-regulating members who work together to elevate the level of service, ensure public safety and adhere to high standards of operation. Member companies display a valid sticker on every vehicle.
Q3. Are your drivers employees of the company or independent contractors?
Be wary of a company that hires drivers as independent contractors, as it maybe breaking labor and tax laws depending on how it operates, the relationship with the drivers and services they offer. Take the opportunity to ask about hiring practices, criminal background checks, drug screening and training programs. Make sure it is not just on paper!
Q4. How old are your vehicles?
In general, newer vehicles are safer, more reliable and provide a higher degree of comfort compared to older ones.
Q5. How do you personalize every trip?
Get a sense of how the company approaches every trip, how drivers treat every customer and how they attend to their needs. It is also important to understand what level of service you are paying for and what you are getting – here are the basic ones:
curb-to-curb: driver waits by the curb and does not walk with customer to and from door at both pickup and destination.
door-to-door: driver will greet customer at the door and walks side-by-side to the vehicle at both pickup and destination.
door-through-door: driver will walk through the door at pickup or destination – as an example, the driver will walk with the customer through the main door at a doctor’s office, and will come get them from the reception for the return leg of the trip.
Q6. What is your communication strategy?
Communication, communication and communication! Gauge both internal and external company communication. Understand emergency protocols and steps they take if an incident or accident occurs. Understand how drivers communicate with the office to report trip progress and how the company monitors its vehicles – make sure realtime information about trip progress and the vehicle whereabout is available.
Q7. Provide examples of when you went above the call of duty?
This goes to show if they really care. Pay attention to how they handle unique requests and complaints.
Where is the price among the questions above? Glad you asked! While “how much will it cost?” is as equally important, consider it and compare prices once you have confirmed everything else is equal. There are additional questions you can weave in such as: what is your on-time performance rate, number of complaints, etc. However, a company that provides favorable responses to the questions above is bound to score high on these categories as well.
When paying for services we should all strive to get the best value for the money we pay – let’s not settle for “good” – it is not enough! Everyone deserves to get “great” service, let’s make sure we ask for it! Listen to Jim Collins explaining how “good is the enemy of great“.