Wednesday, July 23, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;85.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-07-23 20:16:22
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New ambulance service eyes the Nashua market

Another entry has arrived in New Hampshire’s ever-more-competitive ambulance market, getting a foothold in the Seacoast and eyeing the Manchester-Nashua market.

American Ambulance Service of New England, the Massachusetts branch of a Florida-based private ambulance company, recently won the 911 contract in the town of Somersworth, next to Dover. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Another entry has arrived in New Hampshire’s ever-more-competitive ambulance market, getting a foothold in the Seacoast and eyeing the Manchester-Nashua market.

American Ambulance Service of New England, the Massachusetts branch of a Florida-based private ambulance company, recently won the 911 contract in the town of Somersworth, next to Dover.

This is its first such contract in New Hampshire, although it has private non-emergency transport contracts for institutions in Rockingham County, including the county jail and nursing home.

American Ambulance Service has put a bid in for Manchester’s 911 contract and may enter bidding when Nashua’s contract comes due at the end of the year.

“We’re in the process of solidifying the rest of our growth plans. We are moving that way (into Hillsborough County) currently,” said Brendan McNiff, chief operating officer for the company.

American Ambulance is creating a New Hampshire headquarters in Somersworth, with a communication center, billing and other back-office operations, to enable a push in this state, McNiff said.

It will enter a turbulent market, reflective of changes happening nationwide in the ambulance business.

Spurred by the Affordable Care Act, with expected changes in Medicaid payments that make up a third or more of emergency transport income, and the growth in senior citizens as baby boomers retire, the relatively fragmented ambulance industry – more than 3,200 different companies exist nationwide, with more than 30 serving parts of New Hampshire – is seeing more competition and more consolidation.

Industry analyst IBISWorld estimated in an industry survey that ambulance business will be worth $14 billion this year, but that an increase in the number of people with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act may hurt the ambulance business, since a number of uncovered people currently use emergency services as their health provider of last resort.

In general, ambulance firms are paid by hospitals for such emergency services, and hospitals have to cope with any lack of payments from people without insurance.

In Nashua, the 2011 closure of private Rockingham Ambulance provided room for industry giant American Medical Response, the biggest ambulance firm in the country, to win the city’s 911 contract, going along with its emergency contract in Manchester.

Merrimack-based CarePlus is active in the area, as is Lowell, Mass.-based PrideStar, which opened a new Nashua facility in 2012.

Some communities, such as Milford, provide municipally owned ambulance service.

American Ambulance moved into Massachusetts three years ago and has expanded its non-
emergency transport business throughout Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts since then. Somersworth is its first New England 911 contract.

“Southern New Hampshire is a good mixture of residential, industrial, a lot of hospitals and nursing homes,” McNiff said.

McNiff said American Ambulance is working to create a niche market of critical care paramedic service, handling “critically ill and injured in the non-emergency mode” for transfers between hospitals or other facilities.

Nationally, the firm employs about 1,200 workers and answers “just shy of 300,000 requests for service annually,” he said.

The company has “about $800 million in capital that we can spend for the start up,” McNiff said.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter (@Telegraph_DaveB).