Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Richard Brynteson

Reader (Advisor 2)

Laurie Oelsalger

Reader (Advisor 3)

James Stone, MD


National healthcare reform is creating an unprecedented restructuring of the healthcare system in the United States. Just as hospitals must change to achieve the goals of universal access, cost containment, and delivery of a quality product; medical transportation services must begin to transition into models that support healthcare network formation.

The manner in which transportation services will be provided in the future may differ depending on the geographic area and available resources. Rural and urban areas may develop dramatically different medical transportation delivery systems based on the transport needs of each region. What is certain, however, is that medical transportation systems must begin to view themselves as a part of larger healthcare systems, aligning transport service with hospital networks and regional health alliances. A network formation goes hand-in-hand with the concept of managed competition now being implemented in regions and states.

Nearly seventy-five percent of the ambulance services in Minnesota are volunteer. These volunteer services are not paid or minimally paid at best. Recruitment and retention of personnel is extremely difficult. Initial and continuing training is both expensive and difficult to obtain. Financial implications of the Balanced Budget Act are on the horizon and its impact on the small provider is unknown. New and existing mandates continue with little federal, state or local assistance in meeting those requirements.

Large transport services, many of which are integrated into hospital networks or regional health care alliances, can meet many of these above-mentioned issues. The small provider may not or cannot meet all these needs. Administrative training for the small volunteer provider is limited at best. Management seminars and lectures are provided in an inconsistent manner without any comprehensive program. Local providers may have no or limited training in management, especially a volunteer ambulance service.

Small providers will continue to struggle without some type of a comprehensive management training program directed at the volunteer ambulance service. If small town services close, it will be detrimental to health care in rural America. "Concepts in Management for the Volunteer Ambulance Service-A Practical Approach" is a program designed for the small ambulance provider with limited or minimal management training. The program focuses on how to manage a volunteer ambulance service and what resources are available to assist the manager.


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