EMSA Services Under Strain, CEO Warns

The number of patients transported has increased by 35% in the past five years


 
 

SHANNON MUCHMORE, Tulsa World Staff Writer | | Wednesday, May 18, 2011


TULSA, Okla. -- As the baby boomer generation ages and health-care costs continue to increase, emergency medical services face a series of daunting problems, the CEO of EMSA said Monday. Federal health reform may spark the discussion to improve the nation's foundering health-care infrastructure, Stephen Williamson said during a Tulsa Press Club Page One luncheon.

The number of patients transported has increased by 35 percent in the past five years, partly because of the growing population of older people who are more likely to have chronic conditions and more likely to need emergency care, Williamson said.

Of the patients transported, 62 percent of them are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, 18 percent are on private insurance and 20 percent are uninsured, he said. For those who are covered, reimbursement rates often don't cover the cost of transporting a patient, he said.

To help save money, EMSA studies call volumes and trends to determine where to position active ambulance crews. Technology advances like electronic health records and global positioning systems also help efficiency, Williamson said. For the emergency health services to continue operating properly, the existing infrastructure needs to change, he said.

"The answer, though, isn't simply more money." Emergency rooms aren't overcrowded with people who have genuine emergencies, but with people who have no other access to health care. They go to the emergency room because they know they will get treatment, and sometimes because they don't have another way to see a physician.

"It's people whose condition worsened because they couldn't get to a doctor earlier," he said.



Related Links:


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, EMSA

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >