Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 9, 2013

EMS deficit is projected at $585,000 for coming fiscal year

System could lose some Medicaid funds

(Continued)

Somerset —

Duncan said he plans to remount one of the EMS vehicles to better equip it for transport of obese patients, and he plans on trading in a vehicle that isn’t used due to mechanical issues to help cover that cost. 
Drug costs increased significantly, and Duncan told councilors that the cost of one advanced life drug — one required by the state to be kept in the ambulances — went up 35 percent. 
And Duncan said the new Health Care Reform Law, slated to take effect fully in 2014, will impact EMS as well.
“It’s just going to get worse,” said Duncan. 
Girdler said he hopes the city can establish some type of board to oversee EMS operations. The board would regularly communicate with city and county officials both to ensure issues, such as shortfalls, are recognized quickly. 
“We will try to establish lines of communication,” said Girdler. 
The councilors praised Duncan for his and his employees’ dedication during the last several months of uncertainty. 
“Even through this confusion and turmoil you all have provided outstanding service and you continue to do so,” said Tom Eastham. “I know it’s stressful on you and your employees, but you have absolutely shown your true colors and I appreciate that.”

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