PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Another Hampton Roads ambulance company has closed its doors. It’s the second one this summer and employees say it’s no coincidence.
Emergency Medical Response in Portsmouth stopped service Wednesday. Mid-Atlantic Regional Ambulance closed in June.
10 On Your Side spoke with an employee let go from both places. Tyler Sevin learned his fate on Facebook.
“One of my friends posted, ‘Hey, lost my job,’ and was like, ‘Hey I work for the same company!'”
An email later in the day from EMR owner Bobby Ward confirmed it. For the second time in two months, Sevin has found himself unemployed.
“It’s definitely not by coincidence,” Sevin said.
A 10 On Your Side investigation earlier this year uncovered ambulance companies are not being reimbursed by medicare as they have been in the past.
A new program aimed at reducing fraud requires patients to get additional pre-authorization for ambulance service.
Ambulance companies told us less than 10 percent of their regular dialysis patients were getting approved. Mid-Atlantic admitted they crumbled because of it.
Ward told WAVY.com that Medicare is some of the reason he shut down, but he insisted he is only suspending his business — not permanently closing.
However, that’s little help or comfort for Sevin, who needs work now and worries about the regular patients he used to drive.
“How they’re going to get to their dialysis appointments how they’re going to get home from the hospital
some of them don’t have family members who are able to take them in their personal vehicle.”