A major Emergency Medical Services company in Wall Township will begin shutting down after 42 years of operation on April 1.
The shutdown of Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corp. (MONOC) affects 320 employees, according to this W.A.R.N. notice issued by the state Department of Labor.
MONOC, a non-profit company and healthcare co-operative, provides ambulance and other services to 13 acute care hospitals in New Jersey.
In a Jan. 23 letter to company workers, Jeff Behm, MONOC's president and CEO, said the company was closing due to “a challenging financial environment caused by declining reimbursements and increasing payor restrictions.”
MONOC’s hospital clients have gone through major organizational changes including acquisitions that sped up MONOC's demise, Behm said.
The EMS company, including its billing, collections and other operations, will be completely shuttered by the end of the year, Behm said.
MONOC’s members -- CentraState Healthcare System, Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJBarnabas Health -- are expected to fill a gap in EMS coverage to ensure no lapse in paramedic response in the region.
MONOC was created in 1978 to improve health care and reduce costs, according to its website. In 2014, MONOC reached a peak of 800 employees. It served an area of about 1,800 square miles populated by 2 million people.
"We run about 150,000 calls a year," Behm said. "Since 2014, we have reduced our size based on the fact that our member hospitals have had less of a need for MONOC to provide EMS and medical transport services. Clearly, fewer calls for service means less reimbursement, and this has made it harder to cover the costs of the operation."
Two years ago, MONOC's hospital cooperative provided a subsidy to keep the EMS company solvent. But that subsidy ends after the first quarter of this year.
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