Calif. County's Contract Decision Prompts Meeting

Calif. County's Contract Decision Prompts Meeting

News Dec 05, 2012

Dec. 05--The Merced Board of Supervisors and the public know the county retracted an initial offer to longtime provider Riggs Ambulance Services in favor of American Medical Response.

What they don't know exactly is why.

County staff announced Tuesday they will hold a special public meeting to disclose both ambulance companies' service proposals and answer questions about the selection process.

The board has only seen the raw scores because of confidentiality reasons, said County Executive Officer Jim Brown. "Now they want a little bit more information about the particulars in the proposals," he said. "Are the levels of care the same? Are the ambulance hours the same? Truly, what does the proposal say about any transition of employees?"

The hearing will be held during the next regularly scheduled board of supervisors meeting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 18 at the County Administration Building.

The recent announcement that the county entered into contract negotiations with medical-service giant AMR elicited a significant response from the community, according to county supervisors.

"There's been an awful lot of telephone calls to every number I seem to have, as well as a lot of e-mails regarding this," said Supervisor Deidre Kelsey. "So I know there's a concern about the process."

Some members of the public have expressed concern because Riggs has been with the county for more than 60 years, said Supervisor John Pedrozo. "What I think we should do is put it out for the public so the public knows how the process works, having it sooner than later because the buzz is out there," he said.

State steps in

Some details have come to light.

Continue Reading

The county initially sided with Riggs in April, giving the company preference for being local. However, AMR protested to the state.

The county then withdrew the offer in October, after the California Emergency Medical Services Agency, who must approve the final decision, intervened.

"The state has stepped in and said we cannot provide local preference points," Brown said. "So after that adjustment was made, AMR's score was greater than Riggs."

The companies scored very closely. According to county documents, AMR received a final score of 364.8, compared to Riggs' score of 360.6, after they lost 18 local preference points.

Riggs has asked for the entire process to be scrapped. However, county officials have said state involvement could make starting over significantly complicated.

"They could take the position that you had a perfectly adequate (request for proposals) to begin with," said Public Health Director Kathleen Grassi.The county has been trying to extend Riggs' contract through April to prevent a lapse in service while the selection process plays out, according to county officials. Riggs' existing contract expires Dec 31.

Officials are hoping to have the contract proposal before the Board of Supervisors by early February.

At the same time, it's recently come to the county's attention that the Local Emergency Medical Services Agency director may have to sign off on the final contract award.

"We're trying to better understand specific obligations, and how I would work with the board on this decision," said Grassi, who is also the director of LEMSA.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.

Copyright 2012 - Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)

Source
Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)
Joshua Emerson Smith
The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
One third of the state's record-high 376 overdose deaths that occurred last year were caused by prescribed painkillers.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
One of the paramedics was treated after getting hit with shards of glass after the bullet went through the windshield, but the ambulance is not believed to have been intentionally targeted.
The drones are used to improve scene management by assessing areas that are difficult or dangerous for personnel to reach.
Dozens of firefighters and police officers join the annual week-long Brotherhood Ride to honor 20 first responders who have died in the line of duty in Florida.
The event will be held on August 20, with all proceeds going to Narberth Ambulance, an agency that provides emergency services to 145,000 residents.
Speakers presented on topics such as disaster relief, emerging pathogens, the opioid crisis and cyber security.
The state's Department of Health has established an agreement for UNC and NCBP to collaborate on providing public health data to NEMSIS to better prepare EMS for national emergencies.
State troopers rendered aid before turning them over to responding EMS units and New Castle County Paramedics.
Three people were fatally shot and at least 21 others were wounded in separate attacks from Saturday morning to early Sunday.
Crestline Coach attended the Eighth Annual Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership conference on June 8 to publicly sign the “Mission: Zero” charter on behalf of the organization, its employees and their families.
ImageTrend, Inc. announced the winners of the 2017 Hooley Awards, which recognize those who are serving in a new or innovative way to meet the needs of their organization, including developing programs or solutions to benefit providers, administrators, or the community.