The medical courier industry has seen plenty of growth in recent times, as hospitals and pharmacies require more efficient means of transporting medical supplies. With the advent of the internet and social media, the industry has grown in size and scope, with a number of courier companies and independent contractors available to take on this task.
If you’re considering courier gig work, but want to focus on a niche that actually helps people, becoming a medical courier might be the perfect choice for you.
To help you get started, we’re going to take you through the process of becoming a medical courier.
In most cases, the barrier of entry for becoming a medical courier is relatively low. Many companies simply require that you possess a high-school diploma or equivalency, a clean driving record, and a good attitude.
It’s also typically required that medical couriers possess a medical courier certification, which is truthfully just HIPAA compliance certification and is fairly standard for the medical industry. It’s important to note that it’s illegal for a company to operate drivers that don’t possess a valid HIPAA-compliant medical courier license, and stiff penalties can be imposed if you’re caught.
HIPAA compliance is a two-way street for both the companies and the drivers. While it’s the company’s responsibility to ensure their drivers possess a valid certification, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they remain compliant. This means that it’s crucial that you understand your HIPAA obligations and follow them to the letter.
Because HIPAA compliance mainly revolves around protecting patient data, there are some crucial steps that medical courier drivers must take, especially when transporting PHI (protected health information).
These steps include:
Following specific directions when transporting PHI.
Confirming the accuracy of contents being transported.
Immediately reporting any mishandled samples.
Medical courier companies and independent contractors are in high demand, with plenty of opportunities available. However, it should be mentioned that no two companies are alike, and you should really compare job listings and testimonials before making a final decision.
For example, while courier drivers are often classified as independent contractors, some companies may take advantage of this by requiring you to sign a lengthy contract that gives them a lot of control over your working hours. You may also find that some companies will not reimburse independent drivers for gas and vehicle maintenance.
This doesn’t mean you should only look for medical courier companies that classify their drivers as employees, but you should be careful in choosing who you work for.
Before signing any contract, be sure that you are being offered benefits such as:
Gas and vehicle maintenance reimbursements.
A reasonable hourly wage.
Being a medical courier is a highly competitive job. You need to be extremely flexible and willing to work overtime to make a living, and often you’ll be making long trips between delivery destinations.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should accept mistreatment or poor pay just because a company can “easily” replace you – it’s often companies with that sort of attitude who end up getting into legal trouble, and going out of business.
The best way to make sure you’re going to be happy with your job is to look at reviews and testimonials. Look at employer review sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Yelp. Read the reviews and see what other drivers are saying about the company. If you’re not satisfied with the reviews you’re reading, you should look for employment with another company.