City of San Diego ambulance rates to rise by 24 percent

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City of San Diego doesn’t have its own fleet of ambulances. Like a lot of cities, it relies on a contract with a private company.

In San Diego, the emergency transportation is provided through American Medical Response, also known as AMR, which has had a long time contract with the city.

Although the AMR contract is not over until June of 2020, the company asked the City to adjust its fees in its current agreement.

Because of the steep rise in calls – 22 percent in the last four years – and because AMR says it is receiving less in Medicare, Medicaid and insurance reimbursements, AMR said it had no choice but to ask for a hike in its fees.The council approved a 24% increase

Under the changes approved by City Council, calls for level one emergencies would go from $1,900 dollars to nearly $2,400 next year.

For more advanced life support service at level 2, an ambulance run would go from $2,100 to roughly $2,600.

What’s called a "basic emergency transport" would rise from almost $1,700 to just over $2,000.

Some of the terms that were revised also changed service zones from eight to only four. In another change, the company will face stiffer financial penalties if it is repeatedly late on calls.

The decision which amended the AMR contract allows the City to initiate discussions on a new ambulance contract before the June 2020 contract with AMR expires.

The bidding process for the new contract could take place over the next 18-20 months.

Categories: Local San Diego News