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How NEMT Should Handle Canceled Trips
Due to the rapid evolution of the NEMT industry, there are new challenges that transportation providers face. One of the challenges is trip cancellation. A trip cancellation can be caused by various factors such as the weather conditions, traffic conditions, or a change in the patient's schedule. It can also affect the service provider's operations.
Trip cancellation can have a negative impact on the service provider's revenue, as well as customer satisfaction. It can also lead to legal implications. To minimize the effects of this issue, it is important that the transport providers are aware of the potential risks. This article explores the causes and effects of trip cancellations.
ARE PATIENTS ALLOWED TO CANCEL A TRIP?
It's the responsibility of the transport provider to accept a client's decision to cancel a trip. If the patient cannot use the service at that time, the provider must accommodate the schedule accordingly. Sometimes, the transport provider has to cancel a trip due to a passenger's or company's decision. However, it's important to consider the reasons behind the cancellation and how it can improve customer service in the future.
Some common reasons for the cancellation of trips are as follows:
- Vehicle problems
- Changes in scheduling
- Passenger no-shows
- Driver issues
- Route planning issues / changes
Patient riders should timely contact the NEMT provider to inform them of any change in plans. The provider will then refund the client the unused portion of the trip, and cancel the trip on behalf of the patient.
Although it's the responsibility of both the passenger and the transportation provider to consider the factors that affect a trip's availability, it's also important to note that some of these factors are beyond eithers control. Understanding the reasons behind a trip's cancellation can help improve the service levels of the company.
HOW SHOULD NEMT TRIPS BE CANCELED?
When patients need to cancel a trip, they should consider the following:
- Let the transport provider know about the cancellation by contacting the person who arranged the trip, or the appropriate person with the ability to cancel the trip. If possible, the patient should let them know about the change at least 24 hours prior to the pickup time.
- If a passenger cancels the trip less than 24 hours prior to its scheduled pickup, they can be charged a fee.
- Once the cancellation has been processed, the passenger will receive a confirmation via text or email, and no driver will be assigned to pick the patient up.
Sometimes, the transport provider has to cancel a trip, which can include:
- Vehicle breakdowns or route changes
- Driver availability issues
- Weather issues
To minimize the impact of a trip cancellation, the transport provider should notify both the passenger and the company immediately. They should also update the system in case the patient needs to reschedule.
Most NEMT providers consider canceling a trip as the last resort. They usually try to find other ways to ensure that the scheduled appointment does not get missed, such as using a backup vehicle or calling other drivers.
FEES ASSOCIATED WITH CANCELLATIONS
Depending on the type of trip and the amount of notice provided, cancellation fees can be charged by the provider.
These fees are charged to cover the costs associated with a canceled trip, such as the driver's time and the inconvenience caused. In some cases passengers are also charged a cancellation fee if they cannot make the trip due to an emergency, last-minute circumstance.
To give clients an opportunity to cancel without a fee, most non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) companies provide a 24-hour grace period. If a client fails to cancel within the 24-hour period, the transport provider can charge a fee.
Usually, a transport company will refund the passenger the full amount of the trip if it has to cancel due to a fault of their own. It is important to note that while the company's policy is to fully refund passengers for trips that are canceled due to a fault of the provider, excessive cancellations can have a significant impact on the company's revenue. When a large number of trips are canceled, it can lead to a loss of income for the company and can affect their ability to continue providing high-quality service to customers.
In summary, canceled trips should be avoided if at all possible. To ensure high-quality service, transportation providers need to use all means necessary to get their patients to their appointments. Likewise, as soon as a patient knows that they need to reschedule, their first order of business should be to notify the transportation provider. Reducing the number of no-shows by all parties increases overall healthcare outcomes while also promoting the success of the business.