Vince Robbins, President-Elect for NEMSMA, participated live as a guest on Garland Robinette’s “Think Tank” radio show (WWL AM & FM, New Orleans), June 28th, 2016, to discuss the effect of private equity firms investing in EMS in America. Also a on the broadcast was Bren Protess, co-author of a recently published investigative report on the topic in the New York Times, entitled “When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers”. The discussion centered on why private equity firms have been purchasing ownership shares in large ambulance companies in the United States and the effect of several resulting bankruptcies.
Vince commented that these firms probably expected to profit substantially from such investments in the wake of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, they have most likely been surprised that the ACA did little to improve the reimbursement rates experienced by EMS agencies around the country. In fact, the regulatory requirements most ambulance services must meet, the high cost of providing state-of-the-art EMS and the generally low compensation such organizations receive for their services, has made the provision of this public health service extremely challenging financially. Based on these factors, Vince commented, we see an exodus of private equity firms, and their investments, from the EMS market.