When you work as a first responder, and specifically in an ambulance, you see changes in our cities’ demographic makeup more directly than most. The fact that our populations are aging will come as no surprise to you, but the impact of these shifts on emergency medical services may.
When “all the boys came home from war” after the Second World War, the United States experienced what is popularly called The Baby Boom. People born between the years of 1946 and 1964 are called Baby Boomers, as a result.
This population is now reaching or enjoying retirement, which often means transitioning from commercial insurance, often provided by an employer, to Medicare for health coverage. Commercial insurers reimburse at higher rates than federal or state fee schedules, so the aging of the Baby Boomer demographic is causing a decline in reimbursement for healthcare providers, including EMS.
At the same time, as we age, maintaining our health can become more complicated, often requiring interventions that we might not have relied on in our youth. Ambulance services can expect to transport people more frequently as they age.
This higher volume of transports at a lower reimbursement level for the aging population will likely impact EMS providers at the Baby Boomers, and subsequent generations age.
While these trends can seem like scary news, EMERGICON believes they are opportunities to know and understand our communities even better. With that knowledge we can support the agencies we serve as they strategically serve their communities in this new dynamic.