Trending Topics
Sponsored Content

AMR closure: a bellwether of things to come?

GMR’s Brian Henricksen joins Rob Lawrence for a frank discussion on operational deficits

Sponsored by
amr ambulance.jpg

Photo/Alistair Fernandez, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

This episode of EMS One-Stop With Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

On Sept. 12, 2022, American Medical Response announced it is to close its Los Angeles County non-emergency operations over the next 180 days. One of the key reasons is one faced by all ambulance operators at this time – insufficient levels of Medicare reimbursement. Against this backdrop, GMR (AMR’s international EMS division) predicts that its Los Angeles division is on course for an operational deficit of over $3.5 million.

In this episode of the Inside EMS podcast, Brian Henricksen, California-based regional director for GMR, joins host Rob Lawrence for a frank discussion on the issues in LA and they discuss the fact that this may be the bellwether of things to come across the nation.

Rob is also the executive director of the California Ambulance Association and the economics of ambulance service operations in the state are close to his heart. California has not increased its Medi-Cal reimbursement for private ambulance operators since the late 1990s. The current Medi-Cal base rate for private ambulance services sits just above $100, which is far below the cost of providing transport. The State’s Medi-Cal reimbursement rate is one of the lowest in the country, but it also has the highest operational costs for ambulance transports.


Read next:

A roadmap to raising paramedic pay

Chief Paramedic Mark Lockhart shares the 9-month process Durham EMS underwent to significantly increase EMS salaries

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.