FACT

Acadian Ambulance has been a proud member of the Alexandria community since 1995. With current discussions regarding the potential benefits of adding a second ambulance provider to serve the area, we’d like to provide the following information so that area officials and the general public can make informed decisions on the important topic of public safety and emergency medical transportation services.

MYTH

More ambulance providers means more ambulances.

FACTS

  • Adding additional ambulance providers in a community does not automatically equate to adding additional ambulances to the number already servicing and available to a community. The patient call volume needed for ambulance companies to operate in a fiscally viable manner doesn’t change with additional providers. 
  • Because the ambulance services in Alexandria are not taxpayer-subsidized, providers must operate in a fiscally viable manner in order to pay wages and purchase the equipment and training needed to operate a professional ambulance service.
  • Having more ambulances available doesn’t produce more demand for transports. Because patient volume dictates the number of ambulances needed in any specific community, having additional providers usually results in the same number of ambulances operating in the area but now under separate, inconsistent, systems.

MYTH

All ambulance services the same.

FACTS

  • Acadian is the only ambulance service in Louisiana that has earned the accreditation of both the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). These accreditations signify that Acadian upholds the industry’s highest standards in equipment, training and medical protocols. These rigorous accreditations ensure the public that they are being cared for by the “gold standard” in ambulance services. When it’s your life or that of a loved one, quality matters.
  • Acadian has resources of more than 600 ambulances, 12 medical helicopters, two ambulance buses and more than 3,500 medics, enabling us to quickly allocate extra resources to areas during natural or man-made disasters.
  • Acadian is at the forefront of the newest innovations in the EMS industry, including “Treat In Place” and “Alternative Destination Transports” for non-acute patients. These alternatives save our patients time and reduce their costs.
  • Acadian is the only employee-owned, fully accredited ambulance service based in Louisiana. We are your hometown ambulance company, serving Alexandria since 1995.

MYTH

If one provider has a monopoly, they can charge whatever they want to.

FACTS

  • Acadian’s rates are either set, controlled by, or approved by the licensing authority or by local, state, or federal law. We do not, and cannot, set our rates arbitrarily in those circumstances.
  • In Alexandria, our rates and 911 response times are contractually bound by the city. (They regulate and approve our rates and hold us accountable for 911 response times. 
  • Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers also limit the amount ambulance providers charge. Acadian is enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, and we are also in-network for more lives in the State of Louisiana than any other ambulance provider, limiting the amounts we charge and reducing patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. This is a key point because some other ambulance companies prefer NOT to be “in-network” so they can charge higher rates and secure higher payments from patients through surprise balance billing in addition to what the insurance company has already paid the provider.

MYTH

Competition among ambulance providers improves service and reduces prices.

FACTS

  • It can, but should occur during a formal RFP and bidding process with the goal of selecting a sole provider. That is the right time for competition among emergency response agencies, not on the streets on a patient-by-patient basis.
  • This process allows local authorities to set specific guidelines and requirements for any company operating emergency EMS services. It also allows for strict oversight by the governing authority and direct accountability by the sole EMS provider. 
  • Each given geography has an average number of patient transports. Therefore, if you divide the number of patients between two or more providers, each provider’s ability to maintain its quality or to reduce its pricing is taken away, not increased. The costs remain the same but must be covered by a decreased number of patient transports.
  • In the case of emergency ambulance service providers, the traditionally assumed benefits of competition are replaced with issues and factors that would be detrimental to a community’s ability to access fast, responsible and reliable emergency medical service and prehospital care.
  • Having a single provider allows for strict compliance accountability, operational control and supervision from governing authorities, as well as consistency in care and investment in the community beyond healthcare.

MYTH

Response times are better with more providers.

FACT

  • In areas that have more than one ambulance provider, calls are handled on a rotational basis and do not allow for having the closest or most appropriately equipped unit respond. Therefore, it could in fact increase response times, as opposed to reducing response times to 911 calls.

Contact Us

Paul Fuselier

Director of Business Development

PFuselier@acadian.com