EMSA contractor threatens to terminate contract

A company that contracts to provide paramedics for Oklahoma City’s public ambulance service said Thursday it had served notice of its intent to terminate the contract as soon as Jan. 31, less than halfway through a five-year deal.

The Emergency Medical Services Authority, a public trust, and American Medical Response are wrangling over $16 million EMSA says has accumulated above AMR’s 10% profit cap. AMR questions the legality of the profit cap.

AMR said in a written statement that it filed papers in federal court in Tulsa in response to a lawsuit filed last month by EMSA. AMR asked that the $16 million withheld by EMSA be placed in the control of the court until the lawsuit is resolved.

EMSA provides ambulance service for about 1.1 million residents in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas.

Withholding the money “while we are in the midst of a pandemic” jeopardizes integrity and stability of the emergency transportation system, and patient care, said Tom Wagner, AMR’s group president.

“AMR will continue to provide the same high-quality, life-saving services with its experienced and highly-trained paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Regardless of the lawsuit with EMSA, AMR will not leave these communities without emergency medical services,” Wagner said.

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