EMSA Parts Ways With Ambulance Staffing Company After Disagreements

Thursday, October 29th 2020, 6:19 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

EMSA's board of trustees has voted to terminate their contract with their operational contractor.

In just 32 days, EMSA and the company who has provided paramedics and staff to the company for the past seven years in Oklahoma, will part ways. It comes after EMSA's board of trustees voted to terminate the contract with American Medical Response (AMR) on Wednesday.

"What we're doing now is we're just going to assume the entire operational system so EMSA will have both the administrative role and the operational role," said Adam Paluka, EMSA’s Deputy Chief of Public Affairs

Paluka said the board made the decision as a result of what they call six different contractual defaults by AMR.

"There were some issues with making sure that their employees were properly licensed, response time requirements, paying moneys owed, there were a number of things," said Paluka.

AMR disputes this and said disagreements all started in 2019 when they wanted clarification on their profit cap language.

Tom Wagner is the president of the AMR group that covers Oklahoma.

"Prior to the litigation around the profit cap, none of these issues were brought forward or were a problem," said Wagner.

AMR also said EMSA failed to pay them $16 million starting in April, something EMSA said it's owed by AMR.

Because of that, AMR voted in September to terminate the contract providing a transition date of January 2021, but with Wednesday’s decision by EMSA, that transition date was moved up to November 30.

Both AMR and EMSA said their number one priority is patients and this transition shouldn't impact them.

"Certainly, between now and that date we're going to do everything possible to ensure as smooth as a transition as can be," said Wagner.

There is ongoing litigation between the two companies.

Paramedics with AMR will be able to apply and transition over to EMSA.