Writer Olivia Webb in The American Prospect writes how patients are paying more for emergency medical transportation while private equity firms see soaring profits at the expense of quality service.
The report points to the 2008 Great Recession as a culprit, when investment firms began to buy ambulance companies.
According to The American Prospect report:
Of the three air medical transport companies that have since captured 67 percent of the U.S. market, two are private equity–owned. American Medical Response, the largest provider of ground ambulance services in the U.S., was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Known as KKR, this firm also owns one of the largest air transport companies, Air Medical Group Holdings. Priority Ambulance, LLC, which operates 400 medical transport vehicles, is a portfolio company of Enhanced Equity Funds.
Webb writes while quality medical care is expensive, the actual costs of providing the care is left intentionally blurred.
She suggests several ways to keeping costs down, from forcing these firms to negotiate with all insurance carriers, to regulating companies like fire departments or by introducing more competition into the medical transportation market.