Administration and Leadership, Industry News

Multnomah County, Ore. Opens Bid Proposals for Ambulance Service

Multnomah County has opened a competitive process today for a new contract to provide emergency 9-1-1 ambulance service across the entire county beginning in 2018.

The county seeks to enter an exclusive contract with a single ambulance provider for the next 10 years.

American Medical Response (AMR) has provided the service since 1995. Selection is expected to take place in December 2017 and the new contract would begin Sept. 1., 2018.

Oregon law requires counties to have an ambulance service plan and grants the counties the authority to contract with ambulance providers.

In December 2016, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved a new ambulance service plan that continues the long-standing practice of a single agency providing transportation for 911 emergency responses across the county, all under a single medical director.

However, the updated plan, and this request for proposals, reflect major changes. The contract includes extensive clinical and equity requirements to improve care across demographics and geography. The ambulance provider will be allowed to subcontract for some 9-1-1 work to address unusual circumstances such as high demand or difficult geography. The contract also anticipates the 911-dispatch system will be improved to better match the medical response to the specific medical emergency.

In developing the request for proposals, County staff has, since late 2015, met with stakeholders, held a public webinar, several public hearings, and an open comment period.

“Our goal is to build on a medical emergency response system that already works well and make it even better’’ said Dr. Paul Lewis, Multnomah County Health Officer.

Multnomah County has an area of 465 square miles and an estimated 2017 population of 790,670. Last year, ambulances responded to about 90,000 calls and transported 67,500 people.

You can read more about the Multnomah County Emergency Medical Services (https://multco.us/health/providers/emergency-medical-services) and find the request for proposal (https://multco.us/purchasing/opportunities/emergency-ambulance-services) here.