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Mercy releases numbers from first year of EMS operations

By Howard B. Owens

(UPDATED 12:48 p.m.)

It's been a year since Mercy EMS was established in Genesee County, and during that time Mercy has responded to 4,767 calls in the county.

During the same period, Mercy Flight has been put in the air for medical missions 92 times. There were 166 requests for the helicopter.

In the prior 12 months in Genesee County there were 151 requests and 83 flights.

"As you can see there was no significant change in air transports," said Mercy VP Margaret Ferrentino in an e-mail response to a question about comparable data. "This data along with results of our internal system wide utilization reviews supports appropriate use of resources."

In a statement, Ferrentino said: "We are extremely proud of the men and women at Mercy EMS; their commitment to the community and their dedication to our mission has been outstanding.

“We value the partnerships that have developed with the hospital and agencies throughout the county. The resulting teamwork allows us to effectively provide critical service to those who live, work or play in Genesee County.”

Mercy employs 51 people and has seven ambulances and three paramedic cars in service in Genesee County. 

When Mercy EMS launched on Sept. 1, 2009, the organization hired 57 people. Of those, 43 are still with Mercy.

From the press release:

“To support our patient care focus, we continue to add equipment assets and strive to provide the best work environment possible for our employees,” said Douglas H. Baker, Mercy Flight’s CEO and founding president.

Howard B. Owens

So let's say all medical companies become not-for-profit? What about the doctors? Right now, their salary is set by the market, and since medical personnel is probably a major part of any organization's cost structure, how do you control employee expense?

Set salary caps?

Would you want the government saying how much you could make?

I'm just not seeing how across the board "non-profit" is a solution medical expenses.

I mean, unless you're willing to say that you want to somehow limit what people can earn.

Sep 7, 2010, 12:52pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Just because something is non profit,Doesn't mean that those who run it don't make a ton of money...Look at those that run the Red Cross..Salaries in the millions..

Sep 7, 2010, 12:57pm Permalink
bud prevost

Howard, my negative view of the current health care system has nothing to do with doctors and medical personnel, and everything to do with the bloated, fraud ridden entity that is the insurance industry. These are multi-billion dollar industries that net billions of dollars annually. The cost of all that middle management is passed along in the form of double digit percentage increases. And I can personally attest to the constant fight when you are ill. Because they are in business to make money, they want to minimize or deny care so the shareholders are happy. It's a big, vicious greedy circle that needs to be broken, not perpetuated.
Medical suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, private ambulance companies and the home health aide business are all rackets that gouge the insurance companies, the biggest of which is the US federal government(medicaid). The rampant price gouging, makes me sick to think about it.

Sep 7, 2010, 1:53pm Permalink
Dave Olsen

I think the answer, Howard is as I have opined before: either the gov't takes over completely as in "single payer" and then yes, doctors who participate will have their incomes controlled. Or, what I believe is the best solution, open markets allowing anyone to buy insurance however and wherever they can, and doctors and hospitals to charge what their market will bear and collect payment themselves. As long as the onus is on employers to provide it and insurers are regulated, there will be loopholes and the constant battle to reduce cost. It's black or white to me and we are in a constant state of some shade of grey.

Sep 7, 2010, 3:13pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Dave, I can't argue with what you say.

Before, I've proposed community medical co-ops. Groups of say x,xxx people band together and put money in a pool to pay for a medical facility to take care of most medical needs. The co-op owns the building, the equipment, pays the doctors and it's only as good as the community runs it.

Sep 7, 2010, 3:23pm Permalink

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