Air Methods to Close Medivac Bases Across Several States

HardKnocks

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Air Methods will close air bases across several States due to reduced reimbursement rates for air services from Medicaid and Medicare, (Rumor has it approx. 35 bases will be closed).

"...Citing low reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid, Air Method said in a statement that they couldn’t afford the cost of operations. Bases were shut down in Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and New Mexico...."

We cannot afford to lose any Medivac Bases in AZ. Our Level 1's average 3-4 Flights per 8/hr shift in AZ.

Air Methods to Close Medivac Bases
 
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Jim37F

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They also shut down/shutting down their Hawaii operations (which was dba LifeSave KūPono but owned by Air Methods, and the press release for them shutting down is word for word the above).
They had 3 bases (Honolulu, Maui, and Big Island) with 3 planes, and 3 ground ambulances in support.

Idk if those 3 are counted in that 35 or not, but we're left with a sole Air ambulance provider, AMR owned and operated Hawaii Life Flight. And since we're a collection of islands, with most of them being fairly rural, only Oahu has the big specialty centers, so any critically ill patients pretty much need to be flown here, even if the total distance isn't all that much comparatively (and now, other than military medevac, there's no mutual aid systems to help out if something goes wrong with Life Flight...)
 

Aprz

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Old article from 2019.
 
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HardKnocks

HardKnocks

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Old article from 2019.
Here ya go Knucklehead. Next time try to contribute to the post.

I try not to post from an competitor's EMS website (out of respect and used the first media posting for historical value.)

Sept 2022 Air ambulance service parent company to close multiple bases

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Air Methods Corp. is closing several bases throughout the U.S. as a result of monetary concerns.


"A spokesperson from Air Methods told KQ2 in a statement that the closures are due to "tremendous pressures from the No Surprises Act (NSA), unprecedent inflation and significant under-reimbursement from Medicare, which the government hasn’t updated in nearly 20 years."
 

DesertMedic66

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No where near 35 bases were closed. It was a total of 17. Only 1 base in AZ was closed, Gila Bend. All of the bases that were shut down have already been shut down.
 

Summit

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There is a glut of HEMS operators in many markets to the point where I've heard providers complain about subpar hires and skill dilution.
 

Aprz

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On top of lower reimbursements due to the No Surprise Act, there's a problem with staffing due to a shortage of nurses not willing to fly for lower pay than travel/hospitals and pilots just in general. Maybe this will improve staffing and increase in the service rate for bases since employees are likely being moved around. This recent annual purge of bases might be a good thing.
 

DesertMedic66

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On top of lower reimbursements due to the No Surprise Act, there's a problem with staffing due to a shortage of nurses not willing to fly for lower pay than travel/hospitals and pilots just in general. Maybe this will improve staffing and increase in the service rate for bases since employees are likely being moved around. This recent annual purge of bases might be a good thing.
That is a hope along with having more aircraft to replace aircraft with a low ISR and allowing for more spare aircraft. We are also opening more greenfield bases in the near future.
 

Aprz

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That is a hope along with having more aircraft to replace aircraft with a low ISR and allowing for more spare aircraft. We are also opening more greenfield bases in the near future.
Greenfield? Where or what is that? I would be so grateful if they opened a base in Greenfied, CA or something more North, lol.

I don't recognize acronym ISR. I assume it means In Service Rate.
 

DesertMedic66

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Greenfield? Where or what is that? I would be so grateful if they opened a base in Greenfied, CA or something more North, lol.

I don't recognize acronym ISR. I assume it means In Service Rate.
Yeah, ISR are In Service Rates.

The greenfield term is something the company started using a couple of years ago. A greenfield base is a new base of operations. We have a dedicated greenfield team where they will go out, open up the base, start operations, and start building contacts all while the staff members who are assigned/hired for that base are trained up. Then the greenfield team leaves that base and move on to the next base to be opened.
 

FiremanMike

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There is a glut of HEMS operators in many markets to the point where I've heard providers complain about subpar hires and skill dilution.
When I started as a baby emt back in 1998, there was 1 company that covered the central part of my state with 2 aircraft and they were a big effing deal. In order to even be able to apply, you had to have a well established reputation in the area of being good. Medics needed to come from high volume, high acuity 911 departments and nurses needed significant ER or ICU experience from level 1 hospitals. 3 year minimum experience?? Yeah right! After all that, for your app to be taken seriously, someone already working for that company needed to know and vouch for you.

Obviously this led to a clique, but the results were HEMS providers who were ****ing legendary, and everyone knew them by name. The helicopter would land and you knew everything was about to get better, and they were 1,000% bringing a higher level of care to your scene.

Now, there's something like 15 helicopters servicing the same area. 3 year minimum experience hires are the norm now, and hiring is significantly influenced on "oh you work at that department/hospital? We've been trying to get more flights over there, here's a flight suit". The pay has remained terrible, which used to work because the job was badass, but now it's usually silly "mechanism of injury" or barely qualifying interfacility flights to "specialty centers".

I don't mean to dump on HEMS, because honestly I will probably end up trying to get back there once I retire from FD and hit my nursing experience mark, but it sure as hell isn't what it used to be.

At the end of the day, with all of the silliness, it's still pretty damn fun to fly in a helicopter.
 

DrParasite

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When I started as a baby emt back in 1998, there was 1 company that covered the central part of my state with 2 aircraft and they were a big effing deal. In order to even be able to apply, you had to have a well established reputation in the area of being good. Medics needed to come from high volume, high acuity 911 departments and nurses needed significant ER or ICU experience from level 1 hospitals. 3 year minimum experience?? Yeah right! After all that, for your app to be taken seriously, someone already working for that company needed to know and vouch for you.
When I started (odd enough, same year as you), we had 2 helicopters for the entire state of NJ. In 2006, private helicopters were added to the 911 system, increasing the number to 4 for the entire state. When I left NJ in 2014, I think we had something like 11 state wide
 

Summit

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I believe there are now nearly two dozen HEMS rotorcraft that operate in CO, plus a half dozen fixed wing. This is more than double 20 years ago.
 

VentMonkey

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A greenfield base is a new base of operations. We have a dedicated greenfield team where they will go out, open up the base, start operations, and start building contacts all while the staff members who are assigned/hired for that base are trained up. Then the greenfield team leaves that base and move on to the next base to be opened.
This sounds oddly familiar.
 

DesertMedic66

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This sounds oddly familiar.
From the outside it sounds like a good plan. Send out the same 4 nurses, 4 medics, 4 pilots, and 2 mechanics who all are trained on how to open a new base and deal with a lot of the initial headaches instead of having it fall on people who have never done it before.
 
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