NETWORK RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Tennessee Carriers values you as a NEMT provider and the services you perform for the community and our members. Each of you is a vital part of our network and everyone’s safety at the forefront!
Tennessee Carriers, along with all NEMT providers across the country, have seen significant declines in NEMT trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical providers have widely limited seeing patients whose appointments are not considered urgent, and telehealth has been encouraged where possible.
As you are aware, we have made several changes over the last year and a half to our software program. Tennessee Carriers recently implemented a new feature, “Auto-assign,” to our NovusMed platform to enhance trip acceptance across the network.
Send-backs are a challenge for the network and in some cases prevent our members from accessing vital transportation. The Auto-assign enhancement is meant to ensure better, more appropriate access to transportation for our members. During normal operations the Auto-assign feature looks at all providers, their service area, and the number of vehicles and drivers and assigns trips based on enhanced routing preferences. This system automation prevents over- or under-assigning trips to providers and instead assigns trips based on your service area and trip capacity. Once this is fully operational, we will also utilize this feature to rate providers based on performance, complaints, and compliance. We are NOT currently utilizing this feature to rate providers. Before implementation, we will notify providers so that you have time to prepare and fully understand the rating system.
Some of you have been reaching out to the call center and others regarding the “new system” and the decline in trips. While this may have reorganized trips for members that you may have transported in the past, it is not the direct impact of the decline in trips. Auto-assign was tested during optimal normal operations, and no technical issues were reported. With your recent feedback, we have been working with our internal IT team and software developers to ensure that this feature properly supports all providers in the network.
Regarding member requests for specific transportation companies, the network’s top priority is ensuring that all members are transported to/from their appointments safely. While we may accommodate a member’s request for a particular NEMT provider, Tennessee Carriers, Inc. is not required by contract to do so.
We are eager to work with you to find solutions to our network challenges in a respectful and efficient manner. As best we can, we are working to find ways to communicate that are most beneficial to the network, Managed Care Organizations and our members.
Thank you for your understanding and commitment to Tennessee Carriers and our members.
NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTERS NEMT
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation NEMT is any transportation to a TennCare-covered service except transportation initiated by dialing 911.
Tennessee Carriers operates a state-of-the-art Call Center where our well-trained and helpful staff handles more than 60,000 calls per month using the latest technology guaranteed to facilitate prompt service for our Riders.
We help determine whether the Rider qualifies for NEMT services and, if so, the most appropriate level of transportation for the Rider.
We schedule and assign transport to the appropriate NEMT service delivery partner based on the Rider’s medical and mobility needs and geographical location.
We monitor and carefully manage our transportation network to ensure the company adheres to prescribed quality standards to perform the NEMT service.
We regularly examine the price to value relationship of prospective and existing NEMT partners.
We hold our partners to the same high standards of quality that we ourselves maintain. We are partnered with some of the best NEMT Transporters in the business and they share our commitment to quality.
As your customer, we expect you, our NEMT partner, to operate well-maintained vehicles with well-trained, professional drivers who focus on providing transportation that is safe, efficient, and timely. All transporters must meet, maintain, and show compliance with all standards regarding performance, insurance, drivers, and vehicles.
We expect the utmost in courtesy and care for the people who ride with you. We cannot overstate the requirement for sensitivity and respect towards all Riders regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, age, national origin, language, sexual orientation, or appearance.
Along with these important basic requirements, all of our NEMT partners are required to fulfill certain reporting requirements on a frequent basis. These include complaint responses, accident and incident reporting, and other regulatory reporting. We expect all reports to be submitted timely and correctly. These requirements can change unexpectedly from time to time, both in nature and frequency.
Tennessee Carriers operates a safety first philosophy that emphasizes safe operations to protect our riders and employees.
We expect and require our NEMT partners to meet and preferably exceed our minimum standards.
Under the direction of our experienced in-house Safety Director, our comprehensive approach relies on a mix of technology, training, coaching and monitoring that few medical transportation companies can equal. We expect the Safety Directors employed by our NEMT partners to incorporate our minimum Safety First standards into their daily operations.
Our minimum Safety First standards include:
- Comprehensive driver background checks
- Driver Safety
- Initial and on-going DOT physical
- Initial and on-going drug and alcohol testing
- Mandatory use of restraints and or special seating for all passengers regardless of age.
- Defensive driving training
- ADA safety and securement training
- Vehicle inspections covering licensing, cleanliness, safety and maintenance of all vehicles
- Vehicle maintenance records and trip logs
Customer satisfaction, compliance and Safety First starts and stops with continuous training. We expect and require our NEMT partners to incorporate our minimum Safety First training standards into their ongoing employee education programs that incorporate lectures, practical exercises and comprehensive testing into their daily operations.
Driver training shall include, at a minimum, the following:
- Customer service
- Passenger assistance
- Sensitivity training
- Mental health and substance abuse issues
- Title VI requirements (Civil Rights Act of 1964)
- HIPAA privacy requirements
- ADA requirements (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
- Wheelchair securement/safety
- Seat belt usage and child restraints
- Handling and reporting accidents and incidents
- Emergency evacuation
- Daily vehicle inspection
- Defensive driving
- Risk management
- Infection control
- Annual road tests
- Reporting enrollee and provider fraud and abuse
Tennessee Carriers welcomes your interest in becoming a partner within our non-emergency medical transportation NEMT network.
As Tennessee’s largest and most trusted NEMT broker, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of performance and compliance and are seeking partners who subscribe to the same standards and match our ongoing commitment to excellence.
- Request an application by contacting NEMTproviders@tenncarriers.com
- Inaccurate and Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- Not all who apply will be accepted. Tennessee Carriers, Inc. will select new vendors based on network needs, vendor capabilities, experience and location.
Tennessee Carriers is committed to the prompt processing of claims received from our Partners.
Please be advised that payment and satisfaction of all claims will be from federal and state funds, and that any false claims, statements, documents, or concealment of a material fact, may be prosecuted under applicable federal and/or state laws.
Important TennCare Web Links
TennCare Home Page http://www.tn.gov/tenncare
TennCare Online Eligibility https://apps.tn.gov/tcmis/tennessee/Security/logon.asp
TennCare Fraud & Abuse http://tn.gov/tnoig
Other Helpful Links
Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) – Reference
The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) – Reference
Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) – Training
Drivecam/Lytx On-board Cameras, Sensors, and Monitoring – Equipment
TennesseeCarriers, Inc. Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)
UHC Community Plan 1-800-690-1606