EMS EmergyCare 101: Staffing and Finances

Amber B

This month's blog post centers around EmergyCare's staffing and financial practices. You may have read that first sentence and thought, yawn, but trust us. The information provided in this blog are things everyone in the Erie community and surrounding areas really should know! With more knowledge comes more power to help us strive to continue finding better solutions to the problems at hand.


  • Who Provides EMS?

Emergency medical services are provided in the county through separate entities such as EmergyCare, Millcreek Paramedic Service and by several of the volunteer fire departments. EMS agencies are required under their state license to be in service 24-hours a day, seven days a week, or notify the 911 Center when they are out of service.

  • What Locations Does EmergyCare Provide Service?

EmergyCare serves parts of seven counties:

    • Erie
    • Crawford
    • Warren
    • Forest
    • Venango
    • McKean
    • Clarion County

EmergyCare has licensed stations in:

    • Erie
    • Millcreek
    • Corry
    • Titusville
    • Warren
    • Kane
  • What is the difference between an EMT VS Paramedic?

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are basic level care providers, whereas paramedics are advanced care providers. This means that EMTs are trained in providing essential treatments, including bandaging wounds, splinting broken bones, oxygen administration, and performing CPR. EMT training is 156 hours in length. Once this level of training is completed, an EMT can then go on to become an Advanced EMT or paramedic. Paramedics undergo an additional 1,000+ hours of additional training which allows them, paramedics can to them to deliver more advanced treatments such as starting IVs, administering medications, and interpreting electrocardiograms. Serious injuries and illnesses require this advanced level of care.


How Is EMS at EmergyCare Paid For?

  • EmergyCare generates the bulk of its revenue through reimbursement for treatment and transportation.
    • This can be Medicaid, Medicare, Auto, Worker's Compensation, Private Insurance, or self-pay.
    • The demographics of the community an organization serves have a direct impact on the financial viability of an organization.
    • The median cost for an Ambulance provider to breakeven is $545.87
      • Medicaid currently reimburses at 44% of costs
      • Medicare currently reimburses at 67% of costs
      • Auto, Worker's Compensation, and Private insurance are between 67-75% of the cost
      • EmergyCare receives very little tax-based funding, less than .00005% of its annual budget.
      • Nonprofit organizations like EmergyCare generate additional revenues through Memberships, Charitable Contributions, Special event fundraising, and grants.

What Can EMS Bill For?

  • Your insurance information and signature authorization are needed for us to bill your insurance. We must be able to bill your insurance to receive reimbursement for our services when they are rendered. This helps cover our expenses. If we did not bill your insurance, the membership fee would have to be significantly higher. Most insurance plans do not cover the entire cost of ambulance transport.
  • If you are a member, no matter how much or how little your insurance pays, the insurance payment will be accepted as payment in full for covered services. However, non-members are responsible for the costs not covered by their insurance.