Reuters has reported that Envision Healthcare has sold American Medical Response (AMR) to private equity firm KKR in an all cash deal valued at 2.4 billion dollars. KKR already owns Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), and its acquisition of AMR will help replace costly medical flights with ground transportation.
This sale of the largest ambulance provider in the United States is not surprising, as I first mentioned it back in March with a followup in July regarding the talks with KKR. What has been interesting is the mixed responses to these reports.
There are those who are instantly filled with fear of losing their jobs, to whom I would say that in all likelihood you don’t have anything to worry about in the immediate future. There will undoubtedly be an introduction period as KKR figures out exactly what it is that they purchased and how it best fits within their portfolio.
There are those who feel that this means nothing and there will be no changes, to whom I would say that in all likelihood you are right for the immediate future. However don’t expect things to stay exactly the same.
After every ownership there was undoubtedly change that followed it, whether you noticed it or not. One of the most notable things that AMR did under Envision (when it was EMSC) was its creation of the Chief Medical Officer position in 2010 and in recent years its infusion in both money and manpower to Community Paramedicine research and practice. Envision had a strong clinical focus due to it’s wide range of medical services, whereas the clinical focus of KKR has yet to be determined due to its limited healthcare involvement. Private equity firms in EMS have a very checkered and volatile past as anyone from TransCare will tell you.
Hopefully KKR will impact AMR, and therefore the EMS industry, in a positive manner. As always… let me know your thoughts in the comments below…