Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Florida County Allows TransCare Medical Transport to Expand Operation

TAMPA - For the first time in years, the Hillsborough County agency that regulates cars for hire has agreed to allow an ambulance company to expand its reach in Hillsborough County.

Reversing at least two earlier decisions, the Public Transportation Commission on Wednesday removed a restriction limiting TransCare Medical Transportation Service to responding to 911 calls and shuttling mental health patients.

The PTC's 3-1 vote means TransCare can enter the more lucrative market of transporting patients between health care centers, such as from a hospital to a specialist. That service has been the domain for years of two other companies that have consistently and successfully fought TransCare's entry into that part of the market.

TransCare is a subsidiary of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, a nonprofit that helps people in times of distress, whether they're coping with substance abuse or considering suicide. Revenue from TransCare helps underwrite those services.

"The PTC's action means more competition, improved services to our county's residents and more choice for health care providers and consumers alike," said Terence Ramotar, vice president of TransCare.

TransCare has argued for years that there is a need for greater competition in the transport of patients between medical facilities. The company is the first responder to 911 calls in Tampa from people with non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. It provides that service as a backup in unincorporated areas of Hillsborough to the other two main ambulance companies, American Medical Response and AmeriCare Ambulance Service.

But TransCare officials have said they are being forced to respond to a growing share of 911 calls as the other two companies concentrate on transporting patients between medical facilities. That tends to be more lucrative work because 911 calls are often canceled mid-response or serve patients with no insurance or ability to pay.

Attorneys for the two other companies said TransCare failed to show that there was a need for a third competitor in the interfacility transport business. And AMR has said TransCare is bound by a 1996 agreement between the two companies in which TransCare agreed to limit its business to 911 calls and mental health patients.

A Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the PTC was not bound by that agreement. AMR is appealing the ruling.

AMR attorney Seth Mills said TransCare has failed to show that there is a void in the marketplace.

PTC board member Ken Hagan, the Hillsborough County Commission chairman, said TransCare only had to prove its entry in the market would promote a public convenience and necessity.



RELATED ARTICLES

More Rural Hospitals Closing

A growing number of facilities across the country face growing difficulties.

Milwaukee Launches Community Paramedic Program

Pilot program with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looks at follow-up care.

Cherokee Nation EMS Paramedic Training Named Top in Industry

Program is first and only tribe to receive accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Colorado Residents to Benefit in Ambulance Contract Split

Change in contract for Colorado Springs is seen a way for faster response times and increased funds.

FDNY Graduates Over 100 New EMTs

Seven foreign languages are spoken among the new personnel.

Teen Rescued Five Days after Nepal Quake

Victim pulled from rubble of seven-story building.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers