VERSAILLES — The embattled Questcare ambulance service, which recently had all five of its licenses suspended, had four of them reinstated this week.
According to the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services a hearing officer from the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General decided to reinstate four of the five licenses for Questcare EMS that were suspended by the board on August 2, 2012.
However, the immediate temporary suspension of the Questcare license in Martin County remains in effect. The hearing officer found the deficiencies in Martin County continue to be a threat to public safety.
KBEMS officials stand by the original suspension order, saying there was sufficient evidence that the deficiencies pose a significant risk to public safety during emergency medical transport. The board is considering options to appeal the decision.
“The first priority of the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services is to protect the health and safety of Kentucky’s citizens receiving emergency medical care,” said KBEMS Executive Director Michael Poynter. “When set standards and safety regulations are not being met we will not back down and the board will continue to investigate these claims and take the necessary actions to protect the public’s health, safety or welfare.”
A three-member panel was convened July 5 to hear the case of QuestCare Ambulance Services and make recommendations after several violations were found, including a lack of air conditioning in more than a dozen of the ambulances. All but six of the 21 ambulances listed on QuestCare’s license had been parked due to maintenance issues.
The QuestCare ambulance fleet was brought out for inspection earlier this month, following two months of speculation about the company’s future, and following that inspection temporary suspensions were ordered for all of QuestCares licenses in Eastern Kentucky.