Non emergency medical transportation and paratransit are key to ensuring some of our most vulnerable populations receive preventative care, and prevent transportation barriers and missed medical appointments in an effort to reduce overall healthcare costs. But let’s be honest, we’ve all seen the news, there is a fair amount of fraud and abuse in the paratransit industry. Sometimes it’s at the hands of unscrupulous owners who bill for trips that never occurred, such as what happened in upstate New York. Other times, we see situations like in Cleveland where people were taking unauthorized rides using the paratransit system, stealing money from an already taxed system meant to help the disabled and elderly. In that case alone they found over 2,200 unauthorized rides.
Regardless of the source, it’s unconscionable and a drain on everyone involved, from municipalities to insurers to private transit companies. By utilizing technology, we believe it’s entirely avoidable. With the right implementation, NEMT and paratransit companies can save money and become more efficient in the process.
At the core of these cases is the need to identify that a rider is the correct rider while also accurately tracking activity. This is particularly important as organizations face the challenge of providing paratransit and NEMT service while budgets tighten and ridership increases. One way of solving this problem is by utilizing technology to connect the driver with the customer and authenticate their identity. This is where ultrasonic data transmission can bridge the divide.
Currently, many riders receive text messages when their ride is approaching and when it has arrived. The messages include the name of the driver, the model of the vehicle they are driving, and a phone number to reach them at. While this is incredibly important information, it falls short and assumes the message went to the right phone, or that the phone itself is in the right hands. It forgets the need for driver and rider to seamlessly exchange data and authenticate that the rider is in fact the right person, and the driver is the correct driver headed for the right destination.
Ultrasonic data transmission, or the passing of data over inaudible tones, is an incredibly effective way to allow this to happen. Once a rider enters a vehicle, a unique token can be passed inaudibly between rider and driver that, by utilizing standard smartphone biometrics allows the transaction and parties involved to verify each other. The beauty of this system is that it doesn’t require the use of NFC, Bluetooth, or even wifi. All that’s required is a standard speaker and microphone. As a software solution, LISNR can be built into a company’s existing app and utilize a smartphone’s biometrics as a means of verification.
Bringing a current technology into the NEMT and paratransit sector to combat fraud and abuse is just smart. To learn more about LISNR and its Ultrasonic Data Transmission Platform, please contact us today.