As part of a broader re-evaluation of its model of providing ALS and BLS services and leasing paramedics and EMTs to local agencies and companies, WellSpan has confirmed its WellSpan York Hospital has begun notifying ambulance companies that it will no longer offer those services by the end of the year.
The notifications are designed to give the companies sufficient time to make alternative arrangements for their ALS and staffing needs.
The company says the move is possible in York County, because there are adequate numbers of private ALS and BLS to meet existing needs.
Conversely, in Adams County, Pa., WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital will phase its BLS services to multiple other providers during the coming year and likely its ALS services in the next 18 to 24 months. The hospital is currently the only provider of ALS services in that area, so WellSpan plans to work with area fire companies and governments are determing a way to provide those services in the future.
Many EMS providers are skeptical of the move and beleive the changes will lead to gaps in care for portions of the region, longer response times, and decreases in level of care, according to Fox43News, Central Pennyslvania.
WellSpan began offering the services in the region more than 30 years ago. It says the field has evolved to a point where it no longer needs to offer those services and will focus more on hospitalized patients and preventative health care.
It is unknown how many WellSpan employees will lose their jobs with this change and whether companies that currently lease the EMTs and paramedics will be able to hire them.