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Helicopter Ems Start-up

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looking for info and ideas for starting up a Helicopter EMS operation within the next 5 years. I have a substantial amount of capital, support from the hospital administrators in the area in question, the background as an owner operator in utility operations in the area that I want to service, and the backing of the community leadership and population.


With that said, I would like to know what those of you out there with EMS experience think about the community based model like that of Life Evac (and how to go about starting that type of program) or that of a corporate model like so many others.


The thought of starting this program was due to a huge lack of service in the area and having members of the local physicians board approaching me to help out on a rare case to transport personnel and items for a transplant when no other assets were available.


Thank you in advance for any supportive information you could lend!

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  • 8 months later...

i don't know much about the business aspect but i'm very aware of the medical aspect (i've been in critcal care medicine for 19 years) ranging from EMS to anesthesia provider. I can tell you that on the pre hospital business plan, you have to have all of your eggs in the basket before doing anything. Insurance companies won't pay you even close to your operating costs so you have to have agreements with them in advance. Especially since most of your calls will most likely be trauma calls unless you're a strictly a transport company. (ie, transplant services and hosp-hosp transfers)


As far as being a rural provider, your best bet to overcome the issue of repayment with insurance companies, is to make sure that your service is going to have criteria regarding what's economical and not necessarily what's best for patient care...one harsh thing to remember about health care is the payers and lawyers are never concerned about what's best for the patient over what is going to make the most economical sense.


From a business stand point, your best bet for starting up would be to make some partnership with the local EMS companies, they already have deals with the insurance companies, they have the lawyers, and the personel to fly with. Hate to say this but don't trust doctors...they are really clueless when it comes to the business world.


thus why after 19yrs i'm getting pilot's license



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