Sypherd said the funding model for EMS is fundamentally flawed, with most service providers reimbursed only if they take patients to a hospital or clinic. In rural areas like Washakie County, smaller populations mean fewer calls, and consequently, less money.

"You're reimbursed based on the number of patients that you transport to a hospital so you could get called 1,000 times a year and only transport 750 patients -- those other 250 calls you made no money on," Sypherd said.

Rural ambulance crews are running out of money and volunteers. In some places, the fallout could be nobody responding to a 911 call

jcgrim's picture

The real life outcomes of privatized public services

"A Tennessee woman slipped into a coma and died after an ambulance company took so long to assemble a crew that one worker had time for a cigarette break."

"private equity firms, the “corporate raiders” of an earlier era, have increasingly taken over a wide array of civic and financial services that are central to American life.

Today, people interact with private equity when they dial 911, pay their mortgage, play a round of golf or turn on the kitchen tap for a glass of water."

jcgrim's picture

Link: When your Dial 911 & Wall St Answers

When you Dial 911 & Wall St Answers

Knox County outsourced Rural Metro and this is the outcome:

"For governments and their citizens, the effects have often been dire. Under private equity ownership, some ambulance response times worsened, heart monitors failed and companies slid into bankruptcy, according to a Times examination of thousands of pages of internal documents and government records, as well as interviews with dozens of former employees. In at least two cases, lawsuits contend, poor service led to patient deaths."

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