For those new to the medical transportation industry, the thought of operating an ambulance business can be downright daunting. Between constantly evolving technology and upcoming changes to healthcare – including the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare –investors may wonder if the medical transportation business is worth the effort.
However, many common buyer fears are based on misunderstandings. For entrepreneurs interested in buying a medical transportation business or expanding an existing business, a little research may be all it takes to debunk the industry’s biggest myths.
Myth #1: There’s Too Much Competition
Despite a recent trend toward growing consolidation, the medical transportation business is still mostly made up of small, independent businesses. But while rivals can create a barrier for brand-new companies, established businesses with solidified relationships and contracts are largely insulated from competition. Since most ambulance companies offer similar services, clients and suppliers are unlikely to switch brands once they find a business that meets their needs. For entrepreneurs who do extensive market research before starting an ambulance business – or opt to enter the market by acquiring an existing ambulance business for sale – competition is often a non-issue.
Myth #2: It Requires Expensive Technology
Whether you run an ambulance company or a non emergency medical transportation business, you will need to stock your vehicles with some level of medical equipment. It’s true that as new technologies are released, business owners will occasionally need to update their gear. However, the most essential equipment is quite common and easy to come by. For instance, NEMT vehicles usually require lifts for wheelchairs, stretchers for transporting patients, and modified interior seating. Ambulances that will be used for emergencies will require more advanced equipment, though needs vary by each state’s Department of Public Safety guidelines. Often times, vehicles that are already outfitted with necessary modifications can be purchased individually or acquired by buying another ambulance company for sale.
Myth #3: The Industry Is Unstable
The medical industry has seen some big changes in recent years and will continue to undergo transformations as Obamacare’s most controversial provision – a law that requires all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty – goes into effect in 2014. But while the health care industry is evolving, the number of people in need of health services, including medical transportation, is growing as baby boomers reach their retirement years. Elderly people and the facilities that serve them make up the majority of the market for ambulance and non emergency medical transportation businesses. Because seniors over 65 already have the ability to rely on Medicare and Medicaid ambulance coverage, they will not be significantly impacted by the requirement for health insurance. However, they may benefit from another provision: the law prevents health insurance providers from refusing or overcharging applicants based on age. As a result, older people may be more likely to seek medical care in the future.
Like any industry, the medical transportation business comes with pros and cons. Unlike many industries, however, it also comes with the potential for a stable market and growing demand. Business owners able to position their companies to take advantage of the ambulance industry’s unique benefits may enjoy steady profits and opportunity for growth for years to come.