Saturday, January 20, 2018

County still looking for new EMS provider

Crittenden County leaders continue to look for a company to replace Batpist Health which is giving up operation of the ambulance service here.

Baptist told county officials a few weeks ago that by summer it will give up operation of EMS.

Local officials contend Baptist Health’s decision to give up its stake in Crittenden EMS will not result in a disruption of service to the community.

The county and hospital have begun discussions with other management services about taking over the ambulance service in Crittenden County. County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom told magistrates just last week that a couple of groups have already been engaged about becoming the provider of ambulance services to the community.

“We are looking at other avenues to make sure the county has a viable ambulance service without any disruption in service,” Hospital Board Chairman Charlie Hunt said recently.

Local government and the hospital have a joint stake in providing health care to the community. The county owns the hospital property and grounds and appoints CHS board members.

Any provider that takes over operation of Crittenden EMS will continue to receive an annual subsidy of $150,000 from Crittenden County taxpayers. In 2012, the fiscal court voted to approve an occupational and net profits tax, in part, to help pay for the ambulance service. At the time and until 2015, CHS operated the ambulance service.

Louisville based Baptist Health is a family of eight Kentucky hospitals, including nearby Baptist Health Paducah and Baptist Health Madisonville. It also manages 250-plus outpatient facilities and Webster County’s ambulance service.