Sometimes you have to cut, but don’t cut too deep

When cutting expenditures, be careful you don’t put your patients and agency at risk

By Anthony W. Minge, EdD

Nearly a year ago, I wrote an article on preparing your department for the next recession. While I’m not tooting my own horn, we seem to be driving our ambulances into a deep financial valley. Although the Dow-Jones continues to perform relatively well, a multitude of economists are predicting that we will be deep in the throws of a recessed economy by the end of 2020, and potentially headed straight into the next depression.

COVID-19 and the recent bust in the oil markets have certainly done their part to cause dramatic financial impacts across all areas of the economy, and relatively no EMS service has been unscathed.

I’ve recently informally surveyed a number of EMS agencies from every aspect of the profession and the majority report that transport volumes have declined significantly over the last few months. When volume goes down, revenue goes down. And when revenue goes down, the natural reaction is to cut expenses. Cutting expenses can improve sustainability when done correctly, however, here’s a word of caution: just like with a tracheotomy, be careful where you cut and don’t cut to deep.

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