Hawaii officials are seeking proposals for ambulance services in two counties

By Kacie Yamamoto
The Honolulu Star Advertiser

HONOLULU – The Department of Health announced Friday a request for proposals for ground ambulance services in Kauai and Maui counties.

The Department of Health announced Friday a request for proposals for ground ambulance services in Kauai and Maui counties.

The request from DOH’s Division of Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System replaces the previous RFPs, which were canceled in October after an outcry over the bidding process.

In September, DOH selected multinational Falck Northwest Corp. as the winning bidder to provide ground ambulance services to Kauai and Maui counties, awarding the company multi-year contracts that would run from last December to June 2027.

American Medical Response, the current service provider, protested the selection. After reviewing the protest, it was determined that the EMSIPSB had not clearly stated in the issued bid requests that current advanced life support staffing levels should be maintained.

“While it was never DOH’s intention to reduce the qualifications of responders, the previous RFPs did not make this entirely clear,” Health Director Kenneth S. Fink said in a news release Friday. “The new RFPs clearly require that each district will have an ambulance with a paramedic and a second responder who is at least an EMT, which is the current qualification and staffing level.”

The new RFPs will bring another ambulance to Molokai, bringing a total of 11 ambulance units to Maui County, including two on Molokai.

The new RFPs will also “emphasize quality and performance,” through new requirements for a quality assurance coordinator and a pediatric emergency care coordinator, and new clinical performance standards, according to the DOH release. There is also an increased focus on disaster preparedness and initiatives focused on “community paramedicine” in the new request.

Aeromedical transport is not included in these RFPs, but DOH said there will be no interruption in current response efforts. DOH is working to expand a countywide air ambulance system during the legislative session, but if the effort is not successful, aero-medical services for Maui County will be purchased separately, the news release said.

DOH’s current contracts with AMR were extended during the procurement process, ensuring Kauai and Maui County residents continued access to ground ambulance transportation.

Honolulu and Hawaii counties operate their own emergency ambulance service systems, while DOH issues contracts for Kauai and Maui counties.

(c)2024 The Honolulu Star Advertiser
Visit The Honolulu Star-Advertiser at www.staradvertiser.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.