A Redmond Regional Medical Center ambulance sits next to a Floyd Medical Center ambulance at Floyd Medical center on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. (Paul Halfacre/RN-T)

Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center are expected to issue a request for proposals within the next few weeks to create a single emergency medical services provider in the region.

Hospital leaders have been talking about some sort of merger, or consolidation, or bringing in an outside operator for several months.

Redmond operates ambulance service in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties, while Floyd has designated zones in Floyd and Polk.

The leadership of the two hospitals has sent out an email to current employees asking them to be open-minded about the future of emergency medical services.

FMC President Kurt Stuenkel and Redmond Regional Medical Center President John Quinlivan have confirmed the letter has been sent to their EMS employees.

The email to employees reads in part, “We hope you will join us and commit

to remain diligent and support each other to be our best as we move forward. You are a valuable asset to our community and our organization! During this evaluation process, we are committed to providing regular communication with each of you.”

“We all have to, in the health arena, figure out how to do things more efficiently and cuts in reimbursements are occurring as we speak,” Stuenkel said.

Quinlivan agreed. “It’s really all about finding efficiencies in your operation because there’s tremendous pressure on revenue now with Obamacare,” Quinlivan said.

“We had this idea on Floyd’s side a couple of years ago but we thought that probably the time wasn’t right,” Stuenkel said. “Most recently Redmond came forward. John Quinlivan called, and asked would we be willing to consider this?”

Quinlivan said there are multiple inefficiencies when the two hospitals are operating competing services in the same area.

The hospitals are contracting with H2C (Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC), to develop the RFP.

Both executives said that the talks are still preliminary; however both have expressed a desire to have the matter resolved within six months. “The idea would be that service levels should be constant. There should be no diminution of any service,” Quinlivan said.

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