Midwest Medical Transport has set up shop in the old Macomb fire station on E. Pierce St. The private company staffs about a dozen employees and operates one ambulance and a medical van.
Station Manager John Munier said the business is helping transport patients in need of specialized care from local hospitals to facilities in Peoria and Springfield.
Munier said they’re mostly moving patients out of McDonough District Hospital but have also done transfers from hospitals in Quincy, Rushville, and Galesburg.
He said Midwest Medical Transport is freeing up hospital ambulances to focus on responding to 911 calls.
“It was not abnormal for a patient to wait at any hospital around here for four to sometime 24-48 hours to get a transfer,” Munier said. “Now, we are getting most of them out of the hospital at the most a couple of hours. Most of the time they’re getting out the hospital within 35-45 minutes.”
Munier said Midwest Medical Transport has been busy since opening in late October. He said it's running 3 transports a day on average, which can take about four hours each round trip.
Munier said even through Midwest Medical Transport is a private transport company, it bills patients' insurance companies just like the hospitals do and he said the cost for the service is about the same.
He hopes to add another ambulance soon and start transporting more people to hospitals from acute care facilities such as nursing homes.
Midwest Medical Transport's home base is in Omaha. Nebraska. The company said it has been expanding rapidly across the Midwest.