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EMS service to lay off 361 workers in Indiana

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An Arizona-based emergency medical services company plans to lay off as many as 361 employees as it ends most of its ambulance services in Indiana.

Rural/Metro Corp. has notified state officials that it plans to close five locations in Indianapolis, Martinsville, Logansport, Anderson and Richmond, affecting up to 277 employees. The layoffs were expected to take place between Aug. 18 and Dec. 31.

In addition, Rural/Metro plans to lay off 84 employees from a billing operations center at 5750 Kopetsky Drive in Indianapolis. Those job losses are expected to occur Sept. 30, as the company intends to outsource its billing.

Rural/Metro blamed its departure on the growing difficulty in serving rural areas and changes in the health care landscape.

"We were losing millions in Indiana. It wasn't a very good market for us," Mark Lashley, Rural/Metro's east division president, told IBJ on Thursday.

"We've been working hard over the last year to restructure our operations and contracts [in the area], and we didn't make the kind of progress we intended with some of the municipalities and counties," Lashley said.

For example, Rural/Metro struggled with some low-volume contracts in which it had two full-time ambulances covering an area that only generated eight to 10 calls per day.

"We were doing that in eight different locations, and the call volume and revenue didn't cover the cost of the truck, supplies and staff," Lashley said.

The company also was squeezed by a growing number of Medicaid and Medicare patients in the area, who tend to have low reimbursement rates.

“Larger amounts of unpaid indigent care and low Medicaid reimbursement rates within Indiana have created a difficult business environment leading to this decision,” wrote Danelle Kelling, Rural/Metro division general counsel, in a letter to state work force officials.

Rural/Metro operates in several counties and communities in metropolitan Indianapolis. Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard recently said that the firm was ending operations in his city, and the company confirmed general plans to scale back operations in the state.

In addition to metropolitan Indianapolis, Rural/Metro will cease operations in Cass, Wayne and Union counties. The company will continue to offer ambulance services in New Albany.

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Rural/Metro provides private ambulance and fire protection services in 21 states and nearly 700 communities, according to its website.

In late 2013, the firm emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a financial restructuring that reduced its debt by about 50 percent and provided $135 million in new capital for growth.

Lashley said that the company is performing well in other markets. "This was a very localized, Indiana issue," he said.

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  • sorry for mispellings
    mowing grass while texting ha ha
  • Profit over People
    Good Riddance no middleman should be part of civilized society---EypeciallY concerning public saftey.These types are the likes that are destroying our country, statee, community. EMS workers should be a unionized part of publicsaftey-like firefighters and police. Not ran by some fat cat that charges for emeegency lifesaving necessity.
    • Workers?????
      If i was the reporter I would be adking what services, severance, and pay of the woekers was and what EMS is doing to be an ethical corporation to help these unemployed? Plus I looked at a ambulance bill that EMS was a sub and they are making major dollars even if just 6 calls. This is greed pure and simple. Need to get all these corporations out of healthcare. This gh is clearly a piece of sline he is saying because he has to help the poor who he cant screw over like all of us charging 2000 a trip then he is leaving ---good riddance he treated people and geosal underpaid lifesaving workers. In my opinion he is scum.
    • Rural Metro Lay Offs
      Sunstar EMS in Largo, FL also has vacancies for the Rural Metro EMT's and Paramedics. Please go to sunstarems.candidatecare.jobs to fill out an application.
    • Rural Metro Lay Offs
      TRAA would like to invite the Rural Metro EMS employees that are looking for employment in Indiana to apply for positions with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority in Ft Wayne by going to traa.candidatecare.jobs.
    • Jennaisrestored
      Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.
    • Mailman...
      They can always get jobs at the Post office.
    • Nothing to see here...
      "This was a very localized, Indiana issue," he said. As in, Indiana failed to expand Medicaid to cover its poor citizens resulting in the loss of essential medical services, including this EMS company. Well done, Indiana GOP. Here are the real death panels: GOP state governments who refuse to expand Medicaid for political reasons.

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