Mich. EMS to Expand 15-County Service Area in Merger

Nonprofit ambulance company Mobile Medical Response Inc.’s already huge service territory will grow even larger when North Flight EMS merges with the company. Munson Healthcare, which runs North Flight EMS as a wholly owned subsidiary, announced the equity partnership agreement Wednesday. Both are working out a transition plan, and Mark Deponio, Munson Healthcare senior vice president and North Flight EMS president, said the deal is effective Dec. 1. Combining the two ambulance services is about bringing in Mobile Medical Response’s vast resources for everything from vehicle maintenance to electronic health records to staff training, Deponio said.

CMS to Expand Ambulance Prior Authorization Model Nationwide

The Trump administration is expanding a Medicare ambulance model nationwide requiring providers to get prior authorization before scheduling a non-emergent ambulance transport for a patient. But the implementation timeline is still up in the air and will depend on the state of the coronavirus pandemic. Repetitive, scheduled non-emergency ambulance transport (RSNAT) is covered under Medicare Part B for beneficiaries who need consistent medical appointments, usually for dialysis. The model, called the Medicare Prior Authorization Model for Repetitive, Scheduled Non-Emergency Ambulance Transport, was launched in 2014 in a bid to cut down on overuse of RSNAT.

Ambulance Providers Strained by Lack of Reimbursement for Treat-At-Home Cases

Commercial ambulance providers in New York are used to a small number of calls for which they treat patients at home who don’t need or want to be taken to a hospital. Such instances have skyrocketed during the pandemic, however, and the companies aren’t being reimbursed for them. In the early days of the COVID-19 public health crisis, commercial ambulance providers moved to help ease the burden on local hospitals by treating and releasing patients when it was possible to avoid a transfer. And many individuals opted to stay at home, even after calling for emergency services, for fear of exposure to COVID. Members of the United New York Ambulance Network note that the cost of business already exceeded the rate of reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare services. The pandemic and the lack of reimbursement for treating and releasing patients have only compounded the financial strain.

Air Ambulance Market Is ‘Dysfunctional,’ Puts Most Patients at Risk for Huge Surprise Bills: Analysis

Most air ambulance services are out-of-network, making them too pricey for most consumers, a new study by authors at Georgia State and Wake Forest law schools, the Brookings Institution and the University of Southern California found. The report, which analyzed insurance claims data from Aetna, Human and UnitedHealthcare collected by the insurer-backed Health Care Cost Institute, found more than 75% of patients transported by air ambulance with commercial insurance did not have coverage for the transport. Forty percent faced a balance bill nearing $20,000. Even in-network charges are pricey, averaging about 3.6 times Medicare rates. Although some state regulators have taken small steps toward curbing high air ambulance bills, the study’s authors said the federal government needs to intervene to ameliorate the issue.

Beaumont Health to Sell Ambulance Company

Beaumont Health, an eight-hospital system based in Southfield, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its ambulance division to Superior Air Ground Ambulance Service Inc. Some 500 employees in Beaumont’s ambulance division move to Superior as part of the transaction, pending approval by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, Beaumont said Wednesday in a statement. Beaumont’s ambulance division includes Community Emergency Medical Service Inc., Parastar Inc. and Beaumont Mobile Medicine. The negotiations with Superior began about a year before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March in Michigan. The sale is expected to close within the next several months.

CMMI Selects 205 Participants to Test Emergency Transport Model

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced Thursday it has selected 205 ambulance providers and suppliers to participate in its new payment model that allows them to transport Medicare beneficiaries to areas besides the emergency department. The model, unveiled last February and called the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model, is an attempt to discourage unnecessary ED use. Under current payment structures, ambulances usually take patients to EDs regardless if it’s appropriate or not because that’s the only way they can be reimbursed under Medicare. The CMS notified the 205 applicants of their selection to participate and will release a final list of participants by this spring. The participants overall represent ambulance suppliers and providers across 36 states. Under the model, ambulances can take patients to a destination other than an ED, such as a doctor’s office or initiate treatment on the scene through telehealth. A beneficiary can still choose to be brought to an ED if he or she prefers.

PatientCare Acquires MedFleet Ambulance, Expanding Its Presence

PatientCare Logistics Solutions (PatientCare), a leading provider of ground-based 911 emergency ambulance and other critical healthcare logistics services has acquired MedFleet Ambulance Service (MedFleet) of New Port Richey, Florida. MedFleet is a leading provider of advanced life support (ALS) and basic life support (BLS) ambulance, as well as stretcher services, primarily related to interfacility medical transports for patients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Polk Counties. MedFleet will continue to operate under its well-known brand and with the same dedicated team of over 130 employees who transport more than 30,000 patients per year. MedFleet represents an expansion of PatientCare’s footprint in the Southeastern United States. This acquisition further strengthens PatientCare’s portfolio which covers a variety of geographies in the Northeast, Central, Midwestern and Southeastern United States.

AmeriPro EMS Continues Southeast Growth & Expansion with Strategic Acquisition

AmeriPro EMS, a leading provider of innovative and high-performance medical transportation and emergency services throughout the southeast, today announced it has purchased Ambulance Service, Inc. based in Jacksonville, Florida and a long-standing independently owned and operated emergency services provider. Details of the transaction were undisclosed. AmeriPro EMS is one of the fastest growing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance transport companies in the United States and is known for its state-of-the-art ambulances and quality service levels. The company started with 10 new units in April 2018 and has expanded rapidly, now operating 60 units within 20 months. Ambulance Service Inc. has been a mainstay in the Jacksonville area for 54 years and is one of the oldest EMS providers in the region.

Medway Air Ambulance Acquires Critical Care MedFlight

Air ambulance operator Medway Air Ambulance has acquired Critical Care MedFlight (CCM), further enhancing its position as a global leader in fixed wing air ambulance service. The combined organization will operate out of Medway’s corporate offices in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and operate fully staffed operational bases at the Gwinnett County Airport in Lawrenceville, Ga. (LZU) and Witham Field in Stuart, Fla. (SUA). The brands in aggregate provide more than 1,800 transports annually, serving industry leading commercial insurance companies, hospital systems, travel assistance and repatriation companies, and governmental agencies.

Springfield Based EMS Service Acquired by Advanced Medical Transport

Springfield based Medics First has entered into an agreement with Peoria based Advanced Medical Transport, Inc. A statement released early Thursday morning by AMT says Medics First provides emergency and non-emergency service in Springfield with its fleet of 11 ambulances, and 40 full time EMS professionals. It has been in an existence since 2008. With the acquisition, Medics First now becomes Springfield’s first and only not-for-profit provider of emergency and non-emergency prehospital healthcare.