Photo Credit: Priority Ambulance
National EMS—the company local hospitals contract with to provide ambulance service in Clarke and Oconee counties—has been sold to Knoxville, TN-based Priority Ambulance, the companies announced last week.
Priority is much larger than Conyers-based National, with 2,600 employees, and consolidation is the name of the game in health care as all the players seek greater resources and leverage. Insurance companies keep merging. Smaller hospital chains seek refuge with bigger ones.
The sale comes at a time, though, when National EMS is under fire for what former EMTs and the activist group Athens for Everyone say are unacceptably slow response times. They’ve called for an independent audit and for National EMS to release its raw data. St. Mary’s and Piedmont Athens Regional, though, recently released a joint statement expressing satisfaction with National EMS.
It’s unlikely that anything will change, at least for now. As is the custom with Priority subsidiaries throughout the Southeast, National EMS will continue to operate under the same name and leadership team.