UTAH, April 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Intermountain Healthcare has signed an agreement to acquire Classic Air Medical, a leading air medical transport company that serves patients in eight western states.
Classic is headquartered in North Salt Lake, and operates 28 aircraft; 16 rotary-wing and 12 fixed-wing units, said a news release from Intermountain Healthcare. Classic completed approximately 5,000 flights in 2020. It has 22 bases primarily located in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Alaska.
“Classic’s multi-state, community-based operation is distinct and complementary to Intermountain Life Flight’s hospital-based structure,” the news release said. “The addition of Classic will deepen Intermountain’s commitment to rural healthcare and enhance the health system’s ability to serve rural communities throughout the Intermountain West. Specifically, the acquisition will enable Intermountain to expand support of physicians, clinics, and hospitals across the region through additional coordination with telehealth and digital care.”
For example, as caregivers in rural hospitals and clinics use telehealth, they may determine that patients need higher acuity, more specialized care. Classic makes it easier to transport those patients to the nearest medical facilities that are best equipped to care for them.
For Classic, joining Intermountain will allow it to continue to serve more people and more communities, become a critical piece of an industry-leading, value-based care structure, and enable it to work with telehealth and digital solutions to better serve patients, the news release said.
“This will benefit our organizations and the communities we each serve,” said Rob Allen, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Intermountain. “The services provided by Classic augment our ability to care for people in an affordable and convenient way. With a relentless focus on improving value-based care, especially in rural areas, Intermountain and Classic will help make air medical transportation more accessible.”
Intermountain will maintain Classic as an independent group and does not plan to consolidate it with the Intermountain Life Flight air medical program, but both groups will benefit from shared learning, strengths, and best practices.
Classic will continue focusing on patients and communities it serves and the requesting agencies with which it partners. Intermountain plans to retain the Classic leadership team, as well as the approximately 400 Classic employees, most of whom are pilots, flight nurses, and paramedics.
“We’re excited to join with Intermountain to continue to serve patients and communities in our service areas, and ensure they have access to high-value, coordinated care as close to home as possible,” said Tony Henderson, chief executive officer of Classic. “Joining with Intermountain allows us to further enhance our capabilities by adding telehealth access and digital solutions developed by Intermountain to better serve patients.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory review, and the parties anticipate finalizing the transaction by summer of 2021.