September 9, 2020— Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) filed a lawsuit today against American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR) as a result of AMR’s breach of contract and refusal to pay more than $16 million it owes as part of the contractual obligations.
EMSA, Oklahoma’s largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care, is a trust which was established to provide ambulance services to the cities of Tulsa, Oklahoma City and other cities within the regulated service area. EMSA holds the ambulance license with the state of Oklahoma. EMSA owns or leases the capital assets, including ambulances, equipment and other infrastructure, and collects revenues, and has contracted with AMR since 2013 to provide the ambulance services, including staffing for those services.
AMR has refused to pay EMSA the amount due under the Gain Sharing provision in the contract, which allows for a reasonable profit for AMR while ensuring amounts over the agreed-upon maximum profit of 10% are returned to EMSA for the benefit of the public. These amounts are used to provide necessary infrastructure for the system, including ambulances and medical equipment, and keep costs down for the more than 1.1 million Oklahomans it serves and for reinvestment into its emergency medical services.
“While we regret having to take legal action against AMR, we must act in the best interest of the Oklahomans we serve, which includes being fiscally responsible with patient and taxpayer dollars,” said Wiley Williams, Chairman of the EMSA Board. “EMSA’s number one priority remains to provide the highest quality emergency medical care possible, and I want to emphasize that this lawsuit will not result in any interruption to EMSA’s services.”
EMSA’s Board will continue to work toward a swift resolution that is in the best interest of the Oklahomans who rely upon EMSA’s services. EMSA services will continue as usual.
EMSA and its contractor employ approximately 650 people, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, system status controllers, dispatchers, and healthcare billing and information technology specialists. The Medical Control Board, a group of Oklahoma emergency physicians, provides independent medical oversight for EMSA, develops treatment protocols and conducts quality improvement activities.
EMSA has provided advanced life support ambulance service in Oklahoma since 1978. The authority was established as a public utility model and independent trust authority of the city of Tulsa. EMSA expanded in 1990 to the city of Oklahoma City, at which time Tulsa and Oklahoma City became joint beneficiaries of the trust. Today, EMSA serves more than 1.1 million residents in Central and Northeast Oklahoma. Service areas include Tulsa, Sand Springs, Bixby, Jenks, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Mustang, Nichols Hills, The Village, Lake Aluma, Arcadia and Valley Brook.