STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Partnership between AMR and Mercy Flights breaks down, affecting Josephine County subscribers

Josephine County residents previously had the option of a joint subscription to services from both AMR and Mercy Flights. Now they will have to subscribe to both or hope for the best.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 2:08 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2019 5:06 PM

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — A longstanding partnership between ambulance services American Medical Response (AMR) and Mercy Flights in Josephine County has ended, both organizations confirmed on Wednesday. For customers in the area who previously subscribed to both jointly, the result could be extra costs in the event of a medical emergency.

Private ambulance services can be extremely costly for people in rural areas. The AMR and Mercy Flights relationship offered an alternative to paying exorbitant out-of-pocket costs — subscribing to both services through an annual subscription fee. In the event of emergency, no matter which company provided transport, that fee would cover the cost.

Illinois Valley Fire District's Chief Hoke broke the news on Wednesday that this would no longer be the case.

"I have been advised that AMR has terminated their relationship with Mercy Flights on the Paramed program. What this means is new subscribers to Paramed starting on 1 July will only cover ground ambulance transport. A separate subscription for air transport will have to be with Mercy Flights," Chief Hoke said.

Chief Hoke indicated that current subscribers to the joint service would have their subscriptions honored until the expiration date.

While Josephine County residents can still subscribe to both services, they will now have to do so separately — paying an annual subscription to both AMR and Mercy Flights. At this juncture, the price for each remains the same as before.

AMR is now partnering with REACH Air Medical Services, based in Sacramento. It was unclear on Wednesday whether a Paramed subscription (AMR and REACH) would cost the same going forward as it does at present.

Once REACH begins operating in the area, residents will either need to subscribe to both Paramed and Mercy Flights or risk having to pay out-of-pocket expenses if they happen to receive medical transit from a company to which they are not subscribed.

"Here are some cost facts. Ground ambulance transport from the Illinois Valley is over $1,500 from AMR. Air transport by Mercy is around $20,000. Air transport by REACH is over $45,000," Chief Hoke said. "Having a subscription takes care of the out of pocket expenses."

According to Chief Hoke, Mercy Flights provides 24-hour coverage. At present, REACH has only 12-hour daytime helicopter coverage.

A Mercy Flights representative underlined on Wednesday that they still serve and will always serve the people of Josephine County. This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will continue looking into the details as they emerge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9930

Reported Deaths: 213
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah241769
Marion161047
Washington153420
Clackamas82125
Umatilla7166
Union3551
Lincoln3463
Deschutes2110
Lane2083
Malheur1911
Polk15912
Linn1579
Jackson1470
Jefferson1320
Yamhill1328
Klamath1301
Benton935
Morrow931
Hood River880
Wasco881
Josephine521
Clatsop510
Douglas460
Coos420
Columbia360
Lake210
Tillamook140
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker50
Sherman20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Harney10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 252895

Reported Deaths: 6334
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078263457
Riverside19450479
Orange16191363
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial7039114
Alameda6556140
Fresno585177
Kern513081
Santa Clara5077160
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento400469
San Francisco377650
Contra Costa356481
San Mateo3536108
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271921
Kings260032
Stanislaus253144
Monterey191515
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer82811
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo61325
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4553
Napa3764
San Benito2652
Sutter2433
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1484
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Glenn1220
Yuba1061
Tehama881
Lake870
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono451
Tuolumne430
Inyo331
Amador310
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Crater Lake
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 71°
Grants Pass
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 78°
Klamath Falls
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 71°
Sunny weather continues Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events