Study suggests link between ambulance response times and regulations

Study: Deregulation would improve ambulance response times in KY
Updated: Jul. 25, 2018 at 10:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Could deregulation improve ambulance response times? One study suggests it could, by making it easier for more people to go into the ambulance business.

A report released by the Louisville-based Pegasus Institute examined the number of ambulance service providers and response times in multiple areas of Kentucky.

It found the state lagged behind neighbors in these categories and was critical of a process requiring what is called a Certificate of Need before a license is granted.

Pegasus Executive Director Jordan Harris said the problem becomes more acute in large population areas.

"What our research shows," Harris said, "is that particularly in the urban areas that we are ending up with many fewer providers than some of our neighbors and other states in the region."

The average response time for Louisville Metro EMS in 2016 was 10 minutes and 19 seconds. That is more than two minutes longer than the national average.

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LMEMS spokesman Mitchell Burmeister said the response time is better on high priority runs.

"Overall, for all run types, that 10 minutes and 19 seconds is accurate back when it was released back in 2016," Burmeister said. "You look at our 2017 data for priority one responses, which are true lights and sirens emergency responses, we're looking at an 8 minute, 52 second response time."

"I believe we have a very high quality of care that is very comparable to our peer cities," he said.

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