Ambulance Service Contract Request for Proposals Released

Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency (SBCEMSA) announces the release of the first Request for Proposal (RFP) for the exclusive ambulance service contract in Santa Barbara County.  At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, this will be the first time the County ambulance contract will go to a public procurement in its 50 plus-year history. The bid process is expected to conclude with an award in November of this year and the new contract starting March 1, 2024.

The role of the ambulance contractor is to provide advanced emergency medical care and transport to all residents and visitors within the County. This RFP emphasizes clinical care which is in line with a national trend to focus on patient-centered metrics, such as clinical performance and value-based clinical excellence initiatives. Since faster response times are not generally associated with better patient care, the RFP focuses on the Triple Aim approach – patient experience, population health, and reducing system cost.

“In the majority of EMS responses, the effectiveness of prehospital care is based on the quality of the care provided rather than the speed with which that care arrived,” says Dr. Daniel Shepherd, SBCEMSA’s Medical Director.

A critical element of this RFP process was incorporating the feedback from over 60 EMS stakeholders and partners, which was collected during our 2018 EMS System Review. In addition to this input, SBCEMSA solicited feedback from the public and local providers in September 2021 and released a draft proposal in November 2021 for potential bidders to provide comment. Based upon the feedback to the draft as well as the Santa Barbara County 2018 EMS System Review, SBCEMSA worked with consultants from Fitch & Associates to develop an industry first Ambulance RFP designed to allow for both public and private organization bidders, with a focus on clinical performance.

“Thanks to our EMS System partners for the collaboration and input during the EMS System Review process which laid the foundation for this RFP. We also want to thank Fitch & Associates for the tireless work on this project, as well as the California EMS Authority and County Board of Supervisors for their support in delivering a clinically sophisticated and innovative Ambulance Services RFP,” shared EMS Director Nick Clay.

To learn more about the EMS Agency, the local EMS System, and the Ambulance Services RFP, visit the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services webpage.


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