Ambulance fix neededPublished 2:06pm Thursday, June 19, 2014
The ambulance issue in the neighboring municipalities of Hartselle and Falkville is becoming a major concern.
Since the beginning of 2013, both communities are now being served by their third ambulance service provider, after two companies have gone out of business. County EMS was the first provider, but it had a few of its ambulances repossessed, causing both cities to switch to Crossroads EMS.
Shortly after both municipalities dropped the service, County EMS ceased its operations.
More than a year after Hartselle and Falkville adopted Crossroads EMS as their ambulance provider, Crossroads was forced to close its business due to financial reasons.
Thankfully, First Response EMS has agreed to help on an interim basis, but they do not believe they can keep it up on a continual basis.
The main issue that ambulance providers have faced is the changes in Medicare and Medicaid payments since the implementation of Obamacare began. Candi Hayes, owner of Crossroads, said that she had only received one $3,000 payment over the past several months while Crossroads was owed a six-figure amount by the federal government.
One other issue has been the lack of call volume between the two communities. Hartselle has a large population base but doesn’t have a nursing home or hospital to provide stability for the number of calls.
Falkville does have two nursing homes in its jurisdiction to increase its call volume, but their population base is too small to support an office on its own.
The two communities are working together to make sure that they get enough coverage but allow an ambulance service the flexibility to be profitable. We hope that all parties can work out a win-win solution for everyone.