Friday, July 20, 2007

The business of EMS

In my daily research on EMS I have seen several articles about Emergency Medical Services Corporation. EMSC describes itself on its web site as

...the leading provider of emergency medical services in the United States.

They operate two companies you my be familiar with: American Medical Response ambulance service and EmCare emergency medicine.

This article describes a recent acquisition of Abbott ambulance in the St. Louis area as well as Mission Care ambulance of Illinois, a company called Access2Care (a managed transport comany) and IHM Health Studies Center (a paramedic training program).

The usual quotes about opportunity, synergism and expansion followed:

"This acquisition provides EMS entry into a new market in two business lines," said William A. Sanger, EMSC chairman and chief executive officer, "A strong and well-managed company, Abbott will serve as an excellent platform for expansion of our ambulance services in the Missouri and Illinois markets.
"Abbott's managed transportation business, Access2Care, offers us opportunities to expand our managed transportation services into the commercial market. Abbott's IHM Health Studies Center is a strong addition to AMR's National College of Technical Instruction (NCTI), the largest paramedic training school in the nation."

Those happy, work together, pre-merger quotes are sometimes fleeting. I'd love to hear from some EMS providers in the area to get your perspective.

One thing is for certain, EMS (AMR) is a huge corporation--and getting bigger. And not only in the ambulance biz but training as well. The stock market seems to be taking notice. On August 1, 2006 EMS stock closed at $11.75. As of this writing (just short of a year later) it is selling at $42.90.

Should have bought some of that last year.

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