How to write a transportation program RFP

Zack Worsham
Zack Worsham
Transportation RFP

Before you start creating an RFP or RFI for medical or non-medical transportation, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have the full picture of the challenge you’re trying to solve. Is your issue more significant than the problem that brought transportation to the top of your agenda? Ultimately, are you looking to solve a specific transportation problem or a much broader systemic failure

If you’re not sure of how far-reaching the problem is, it might be helpful to check these places first:

  • ED: How crowded is your ED? The two most common problems we hear about in EDs are taxi voucher systems creating a substantial administrative burden, and staff having to spend too much time waiting for Medicaid authorizations. If you’re in a rural area, the problem may be further compounded by having too few transportation companies contracted (Tip: Consolidating all of the transportation companies into one ordering system creates competition between companies, incentivizing them to arrive faster).
  • Outpatient: Do your patients show up for their follow-up appointments? Are these patients adhering to their care plans? If patients are consistently missing appointments that cause scheduling errors or loss of revenue, creating a transportation RFP, or requesting a demo for transportation is probably the best way forward.

If you find yourself here, great! Here are some things to consider when writing the RFP:

  1. Budget: How much are you willing to spend to address the problem? Roundtrip works with all payer types: hospital, Medicaid, private insurance, patients, etc. so when you’re writing your RFP, it’s important to consider who will be paying for the rides. If you want Medicaid or other insurers to be able to pay for rides, be sure to ask about a vendor’s ability to accept multiple payer types. The same is true if you would like to allocate ride costs to different facility cost centers or grant programs easily.
  2. Compliance: You need to evaluate your vendors’ ability to consult and advise your development of a compliant transportation program. It takes a knowledgeable partner to navigate insurance requirements, background checks, and data security. This blog on recent legislation regarding safe harbor changes may be a good place to start.
  3. Technology Integration: It’s important to assess the potential workflow impact to decide on the best solution for transportation. How much time and energy is spent by your staff coordinating rides for patients? Are your care coordinators spending hours on the phone trying to find a transportation company to find a ride? Do you want a solution that operates within EHR/EMRs? Do your ambulance companies use dispatch services that a transportation software vendor could integrate with?
  4. Rider Support: Ordering transportation in a healthcare setting is a serious thing. How do you ensure that people get to and from their destination safely? You need to make sure that your transportation option has available support mechanisms in place. We suggest using a 24/7 support center to help monitor rides and speak with patients when something comes up. Healthcare works best when providing a human touch to a technology solution.
  5. Reporting: The ability to get live, unbiased data is a game-changer when it comes to holding your transportation vendors accountable. How important is it to you to gain strategic insight from your transportation vendor? Make sure that any RFP can help you analyze delays in transportation and vendor performance. Patient feedback and transportation company quality metrics are also available through some ride ordering solutions.