An ambulance company that provides services to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Main Line Health, and Crozer-Keystone Health System plans to close up shop June 30.
The company, Falck USA, an arm of a Danish company that operates in the Philadelphia region as LifeStar Response, blamed low reimbursement rates.
"Without proper compensation from those who ultimately pay for the services we provide, we are unable to sustain providing high caliber ambulance and medical transportation in a timely, reliable and safe manner," Falck USA's regional chief executive, Charles Maymon, said in a letter to employees Monday.
Maymon did not return a call Tuesday seeking more information.
The letter was posted on the Social Medic, a blog devoted to emergency medical services.
Under contract with the health systems, LifeStar transports patients after they are discharged from the hospital to a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or home, but the payments come from government and private insurers.
"We were disappointed to learn of Falck's need to close its Pennsylvania operations," Main Line said in a statement. "They have provided exemplary service to Main Line Health and our patients during our partnership. We have already started our search for a new ambulance solution to carry on providing high-quality transport services to our patients."
Jefferson and Crozer could not be reached for comment on how they will replace LifeStar.
Ambulance operators have complained widely that rates, such as the $120 a ride reimbursement from managed Medicaid companies, are too low and will lead to a collapse of the industry.
The expansion of Medicaid under Gov. Wolf, which added roughly 400,000 people to managed Medicaid membership, has exacerbated the losses.
Falck's decision to leave the Pennsylvania market is a symptom, one industry observer said.
Already in August, TransCare, which provided ambulance services to Main Line and the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, ended operations in the market.
Last week, TransCare Corp., which also had operations in New York, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in New York.