UPDATE: Please tell me that the TenHaken administration is looking at public ambulances;

It’s unclear if Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration intends to support REMSA’s recommendation, though T.J. Nelson, deputy chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said TenHaken and the city health department will bring a recommendation of their own next month.

“We’re still formalizing what our recommendation will be,” he said.

Paramedics Plus executives could not be reached for comment.

Ultimately, the decision about extending Paramedics Plus’ contract lies with the City Council, which has members who have been critical of service in Sioux Falls.

I have heard from within the SFFD that many of the higher ups support a public ambulance service, and have for years, but have gotten resistance from the former mayor and chief. Maybe this will create a golden opportunity for TenHaken to achieve that goal. Maybe taxpayers will actually get something back from providing the service instead of just subsidizing a private service.

Rumor has it that the Sioux Falls city council was recently informed by the Health Department that PP was looking to renew their 5 year contract early. It isn’t scheduled to expire for another 2 years(?).

I find it a little suspicious with all the talk about public ambulance service and the SFFD training in ALS (Advanced Life Support) that PP is looking to renew 2 years early.

Could they be concerned the city may change it’s service to another company or better yet public ambulances within 2 years? The city could certainly fast-track and have a public ambulance service available within two years.

It will be interesting to see what the reasoning is behind the early renewal and if the city will allow it.

6 Thoughts on “UPDATE: Is Paramedics Plus looking to renew 5 year contract early?

  1. PP is following its current contract by notifying the city in plenty of time that it desires and intends to continue providing services after the end of the current contract. There’s nothing “early” about the notification; it’s entirely on time and according to contract.

  2. Maybe they are looking for some cashflow to cover their recent settlement with the Feds, or extented contracts to convince creditors to help them with their short term settlement need. 😉

    (“Huh, do you guys take ghost payments?”…. “We’ll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a settlement today”…)


  3. D@ily Spin on September 5, 2018 at 9:44 pm said:

    It doesn’t hurt to try. The city is not known for sense and sensibility. PP has recent other cities conflict. Longer contracts might be a way to go for bank limit line recovery.

  4. A public ambulance service would be more expensive but I would rather have trained, career paramedics who aren’t worried about profits providing my care and transport.

    PP has turnover problems due to low pay so their paramedics have little experience. Several who do get experience end up working for he fire department.

    Patient care should come first.

  5. MK, it would probably be actually cheaper and make the city money to boot. Right now over 90% of the calls the SFFD goes on are medical emergencies. They usually show up first and stabilize the patient while waiting the Phantom ambulance to show. Right now we are receiving $0 for subsidizing PP. You are correct, with a public ambulance we would get faster and better care, and I also think it would be more affordable because we wouldn’t be concerned about profits just covering costs.

  6. Right now, we are not paying for the cost of the ambulances, the equipment on them, or for the added personnel cost to staff them.

    Plus the city would stop receiving the kickbacks they get now from PP.

    With only about a 40%-50% collection rate on billing that PP has (assuming a same rate for the city) the city will be in the red for several years just in the capital outlay alone.

    Now depending on the number of personnel added, and the replacement cycle of the ambulances, there will probabaly only be a few years down the road the city would be in the black on the deal.

    The point is patient care, the fire department does it better.

    If you think the department will make a profit, look at some other fire department based ambulances first, it just doesn’t happen the majority of the time.

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