Buying an ambulance business can be both intimidating and rewarding. As the elderly population grows, so does the need for emergency and non-emergency medical transportation. However, the ambulance business model differs from many other industries. Here’s what to know before jumping into the purchase of an ambulance company for sale.
It’s a Way of Life
Unless you’re purchasing an unusually large medical transportation business, it’s likely that you will be involved with at least some aspect of day-to-day operations. The most successful transportation business owners are those who are passionate about what they do. When you buy a job in the ambulance business, you should plan on working with customers who are elderly, disabled, and injured, as well as the medical facilities that care for these individuals. You will be dealing with challenges unique to the ambulance industry, such as collecting Medicare reimbursements and training drivers. Having a compassionate personality and some knowledge or interest in the medical field will help you look past challenges to the rewards inherent in the ambulance business.
Customer Retention is Crucial
You can’t operate a successful ambulance business without a market. If the customer needs of a region are already being adequately met by an existing company, breaking into the area with marketing tactics alone may be difficult to impossible. Successful entrepreneurs open ambulance transport businesses only after performing substantial research into a region – or by purchasing an established company. If you are entering the industry through an acquisition, it’s vital to ensure client contracts will be transferred along with the business. New owners may want to hold off on making changes immediately after a purchase to increase the odds of retaining loyal customers.
Regulations Vary by State
As part of the medical industry, it should come as no surprise that the ambulance business is highly regulated. In addition to having multiple types of insurance, ambulance business owners must ensure each vehicle is stocked with certain equipment depending on the vehicle’s purpose (emergency vs. non-emergency) and their state’s Department of Public Safety requirements. While medical equipment is expensive, business owners may be able to lower costs by purchasing used vehicles and locating equipment online. However, the best way to reduce expenses may be through the purchase of an existing ambulance business for sale that comes equipped with necessary assets.
Changing Industry Has Pros and Cons
Some investors are hesitant to enter the ambulance industry amid the changing healthcare landscape. On the one hand, the medical industry is becoming more complex. With more patients falling under Medicare and Medicaid ambulance coverage, business owners must be prepared to spend additional time and energy on billing systems. Meanwhile, rising medical equipment costs and insurance premiums show no signs of slowing.
On the other hand, many of these new challenges are a result of the growing need for medical services. As the nation’s massive baby boomer generation ages, transportation will be required for more events such as doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and clinic visits. More people living in suburban and rural areas means a greater reliance on medical transportation assistance. Investors who purchase an ambulance business for sale with a good safety record, stable market, and steady cash flow can reduce risk and boost the chances of enjoying the increasing benefits of the ambulance industry.