Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for June 29, 2011
Local Interagency Council and the Community Mental Health Task Force Program
The Local Interagency Council (LIC) and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) joined forces at the June 22, 2011 luncheon meeting.
Kane County Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya spoke about the formation of a local Community Mental Health Task Force Program. Pandya made reference to a meeting held with community leaders in ways to “fill the gaps” in the community’s resources. They hope to address the stigma of mental health issues facing the community by identifying the problems and providing ways to reach the people and where they can go for help. The program is still in the planning/development phase.
State of Utah Department of Health representative Raul Garcia, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Consultant from Salt Lake City, informed the audience about Utah’s statewide mandate base rate for ambulance services, making reference to the proposed Utah Administrative Rule R426-16 currently in the process of being changed to reflect the proposed new ambulance charges. Ambulance rates are not set by each specific county in the state. The Department of Health sets the rates by collecting and analyzing data from all across the state, and then determines what rates should be applied.
According to Allan Liu, Financial Manager Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) & Preparedness, Kane County Ambulance is an Intermediate Level ground ambulance agency. They currently are allowed to charge up to $707 per transport. The financial data shows a rate increase of 6.36% ($752) is necessary as costs: fuel, vehicle maintenance, training, communications, wages/benefits, and equipment have increased, while collections/reimbursements have stayed the same or declined a bit. The earliest this rule can go into effect is July 22, 2011.
The ambulance transport charge is a user charge; charged only when a patient is transported. Rule 426-16: Local governments budgets will not be significantly impacted.
Stuart Willoughby, Kane County Hospital Ambulance Services Manager, stated it is a federal requirement that a Patient Care Report be filed for each incident.
The rate increase enables EMS Service to continue on a 24/7 basis through all the agency’s designated geographic area. Mileage is computed from the point of pickup to the point of delivery. Off-road rates are where the ambulance is required to travel for 10 miles or more on unpaved roads, a surcharge per mile may be assessed.
Another topic discussed was the need for a central location for recycling plastics, etc. Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson agreed.
Volunteer Director Terra Sue Honey stated volunteers are always needed at county events. Anyone interested can contact the Kane County Volunteer Center, 176 South 100 East, Kanab or call 435-644-3696.