Operating an ambulance service has become increasingly challenging for every provider in both the public and private sectors.
For example, Emergency Room “offload delay” times routinely keep ambulances tied up much longer than necessary. Current legislation requires paramedics to transport nearly all patients to Emergency Rooms, when approximately 30-40% of those cases could be handled elsewhere. Furthermore, public and private insurance companies are just barely reimbursing ambulance providers at the cost necessary to do business.
One option toward addressing today’s challenges is for the NCFPD and the County to outsource local ambulance services to the private sector. However, doing so would lead to the following consequences:
- Experts have concluded that the cost of medical transports to residents throughout the region would increase as much as 80%.
- Ambulance response times would increase by several minutes per medical emergency.
- Residents would have no control as to the quality of services that are provided through private ambulance companies.
In addition, local officials would only consider this is a last resort to addressing the fire District’s fiscal challenges.