Saturday, May 5, 2012

How Much Money Does Keller EMS Take In (Net)?

 Doug Arnold--He May Need Refresher Course in Accounting

If you haven't kept up with the Colbert E-911 ambulance controversy, here's a quick synopsis. Bryan Gibson has founded Shoals Ambulance Company, an entity the City of Muscle Shoals wants to use as its primary responder within its boundaries. The Colbert E-911 Board says sorry, no can do. They award the service contracts and have awarded the sole contract to Keller EMS. Keller has stated that any competition will cause it to go out of business, having lost 2K already this year according to Keller CEO Doug Arnold. Really?

Let's look at available figures for past years. Keller charges a base rate of $440.00 for a service run. It answered 8K calls during the last year for which statistics are available, for a gross income of $3,520,000.00. This amount doesn't include any non-emergency runs.

How many of these 8K emergency runs did Keller actually receive payment for? A source tells us that 70% is a reasonable figure to use. This rate includes both insurance and private payments. How much does insurance pay? A quick check online shows that insurance reimbursement runs around 80%. Some of the remaining 20% in charges are paid by the individual and some are written off.

Using the above figures, the actual gross income for Keller EMS would have been $1,971,200.00. Using these same figures, we could reasonably assume the gross income for the first quarter of 2012 would have been $492,800.00--at least. From this amount would be subtracted utilities, salaries, fuel, ambulance maintenance, fees, and replacement of used/outdated supplies. How much would the net income for Keller be? Since we have no actual amounts for the above expenses, that would be impossible for us to say. What we do say is, using normal accounting practices that pro-rate depreciation, etc., a gross income of almost 493K (and it's obviously much higher due to non-emergency runs) that results in a 2K net loss seems extremely unusual, particularly for a well established company.

Note: If any of our readers have more accurate figures on actual percentages of fees collected and/or reimbursed, please forward them to us. Many thanks.


1 comment:

  1. That $440 is the base rate ONE way. Then they add mileage costs. When I needed one last year to travel to Keller, the cost was $1600, $800 each way.