Ambulance companies struggle during the pandemic

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CORNING, NY (WETM) – Health care providers have had one of the most difficult years due to the pandemic, and private ambulance companies are facing financial difficulties.

Earlier this year, private emergency medical services (EMS) received $35 million in COVID relief, but that is a fraction of what hospitals got, and that money quickly ran out.

AMR provides services here in Corning, and they say that they have seen an increase in calls this year due to covid related emergencies, but they have not been compensated for many of those calls.

“What’s happening is we are treating more patients in the home, patients are nervous about leaving the home to seek medical care, they are afraid of getting COVID,” said Mike Addario, VP Operations NE AMR. “Unfortunately, the way reimbursements mechanisms in the United States work, we only get reimbursed if we transport, we don’t get reimbursed for just rendering treatment in the home.”

Addario says that they have needed to stock up on personal protective equipment (PPEs) months in advance, adding financial pressure.

“Readiness certainly hasn’t gone down, in fact, it has gone up because we’re had to obviously make a lot of investments in personal protective equipment, not just for today and tomorrow, but we have to think two, three, four, five months down the road and make sure that we have a stockpile,” said Addario.

According to the American Ambulance Association, there are billions of dollars in the Cares Act that has not yet been tapped into that they are pushing to go towards companies such as AMR.

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