Transportation risks affect just about every industry. Driver shortages are challenging supply chains, product delivery and availability of services, as 2018 experienced 20-year high freight demands.1 From distributors to manufacturers and last mile carriers like Amazon, the need is expected to remain strong.

Issues like distracted driving continue to plague commercial drivers, as does alcohol and drug abuse. DOT drivers - regardless of industry - are required to participate in drug and alcohol reasonable suspicion training. Non-DOT drivers and supervisors in industries from healthcare to agriculture, construction and hospitality, are also now participating in similar training sessions to recognize signs of abuse as prevention is the best defense to protecting company assets.

With auto insurers taking note of the success of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule requiring electronic logging devices (ELD) in commercial motor vehicles, they’re now employing them to monitor drivers across industries in hopes of reducing claims on the roads.

When it comes to healthcare – hospitals, long term care facilities and home medical equipment providers specifically – these issues and a few more will plague the industry. Here’s a look at three healthcare transportation issues that you’ll want to keep on your radar:

  1. The rise of non-emergency medical transportation. As baby boomers move into their golden years – and long term care facilities and nursing homes – they are becoming more dependent on others for their transportation needs. This includes rides to and from their doctor’s office, dialysis centers and physical therapy appointments. Whether the senior is in a wheel chair, or simply does not have personal transportation available to get them to their medical facility, healthcare organizations are faced with an increasing need to get patients to and from their facilities. Some facilities are providing healthcare transportation in house as part of a larger lifestyle offering, while others are using third party providers to transport residents. These outsourced services have been challenged to find competent drivers in a challenging hiring environment that is coupled with limited reimbursements for medical transportation.
  2. Medical equipment deliveries on the rise. The aging of the baby boomer generation and an increase in survival of people with chronic illnesses has led to an increased demand for medical equipment deliveries to private homes and long term care facilities. The rise in hospice care has also greatly increased the need to specialized medical equipment to be provided in homes and long term care facilities. These drivers are not just delivering equipment, but must be able to install and interact with a very fragile population. Companies must consider customer service and empathy on the same level with driving skills when looking to make a hire. Many of these companies have had to build up their fleets because of the difficulties that third parties have with meeting the needs of clients. Insurance carriers have recognized that many of these jobs have high turnover due to the demanding nature of the position and intense competition for good drivers. Insurance companies recognize the dangers associated with driver turnover and scheduled delivery routes. Many are requiring these delivery companies to adopts safety technologies such as telematics to monitor driver safety performance.

Contact your HUB healthcare services specialist to find out how you can transfer your healthcare transportation risks to insurance.