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DOH seeks plans for Kauai and Maui ambulance services

In World
April 16, 2024

Apr. 15—The state Department of Health announced Friday a request for proposals for ground ambulance services in Kauai and Maui counties.

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

The request by DOH’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch replaces the previous RFPs, which were canceled in October after a protest arose over the bidding process.

In September, DOH selected multinational firm Falck Northwest Corp. as the winning bidder to provide ground ambulance serv ­ices to Kauai and Maui counties, awarding the company multiyear contracts that were set to run from last December to June 2027.

American Medical Response, the current service provider, protested in response to the selection. After a review of the protest, it was determined that the EMSIPSB did not clearly say that current staffing levels for advanced life support were to be maintained in the issued bid requests.

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

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

The new RFPs also will “emphasize quality and performance, ” according to the DOH release, through new requirements for a quality assurance coordinator and a pediatric emergency care coordinator, and new clinical performance standards. There is also more 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 an air ambulance system across counties statewide in the legislative session, but if the effort is unsuccessful, aeromedical services for Maui County will be procured separately, the release said.

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

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

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