The public trust that oversees emergency ambulance operations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and the contractor who provides personnel for it said Friday their split will not affect service in the two cities.
The Emergency Medical Services Authority, the oversight agency, and American Medical Response, which provides paramedics and emergency medical technicians under a contract with EMSA, are at odds over $16 million.
EMSA sued AMR over the money last month; AMR subsequently notified EMSA it plans to terminate their contract no later than Jan. 31 and then countersued.
AMR is asking for the $16 million, which it says EMSA has withheld from payments to the contractor, and for a court decision on whether the contract provision EMSA cites in claiming the $16 million is legal.
Both sides say the dispute and AMR’s decision to terminate the contract should not interfere with emergency medical services. A spokeswoman for the company reiterated on Friday that the company will continue to provide personnel under the terms of the contract until a replacement is found.
EMSA, in a press release late Thursday, said it is authorized to directly hire emergency personnel under such circumstances for up to two years.
Under the current contract, AMR is entitled to its expenses plus 10% of revenue, with anything above that going to EMSA.
That is the $16 million in dispute.
Several years ago, a federal prosecutor in Texas charged a similar arrangement between EMSA and another provider amounted to an illegal kickback scheme. The case was settled without a determination of the so-called “Gain Share” clause’s legality.
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