Russell County EMS transition

Posted in the Otis Forum

First Prev
of 3
Next Last
EMS fan

Russell, KS

#1 Sep 12, 2011
Russell Co Commissioners have decided to cancel their operation agreement with Russell Regional Hospital.(who has operated the level 1 ambulance service since 1990). The agreement terminates Dec 31, 2011. A recent Russell Daily News article reports that the commissioners were concerned with the hospitals financial loses. According to the news article, the commissioners have yet to make plans to obtain licensing, pharmaceutical or medical supplies, necessary personnel for billing or oversight. One commissioner was quoted as saying "It can't take that long".
Is this how things are done now? Are these the people who should be charged with running an EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE? I sincerely can't believe that the people of Russell County are not more concerned about this issue. What say you?
EMS fan too

Russell, KS

#2 Sep 12, 2011
While this sounds like a total mess, the issue of separating the EMS service from the hospital might actually be a good idea. For starters there can be many conflicts of interest between hospitals and pre-hospital providers. But like most things attached to EMS people of the public are unaware that such things even exist. That also addresses the issue of people's lack of concern. If they are unaware of the issues that either side faces they would not have reason for concern. However, it seems to me that neither side has the interest of public safety as their concern. To me that is the most concerning issue. The true lack of the experience it would take to run a TYPE 1 service that is shown by both sides is alarming. The issue should be looked at, but done in the right way. A way that is completely open to the public eye, and by people willing to put in the leg work to find out how an EMS system works and what it takes to function. We need to hold the elected officials to a higher standard, from there you would build down and make a service the public could be proud of. But it has to start with education. I have been in EMS for SEVERAL years and am still learning, but that's what it takes to make a great service.
EMSfan3

Russell, KS

#3 Sep 12, 2011
As a long time resident of Russell, I've been treated on the ambulance a time or two. The rates that I was charged by the hospital were ridiculous when compared to what my brother was billed by a nearby county. If the County Of Russell is willing to resume control of EMS, I say we should support the County in it's decisions. I believe that it would be in the best interest of the county to set it's rates at a level equal to, or close to the amounts charged by the other county services. A reduction in rates would benefit everyone. More of the residents of the county would be able to utilize the service provided by the ambulance.
The last time I was on the ambulance, I asked if it were possible to go straight to Hays. The EMT told me that they could take me there, but it would cost $25 a mile to go there. It's not that I mind paying for medical care, but some of the neighboring counties charge between $13 and $15 per mile.
nurse

Russell, KS

#4 Sep 13, 2011
[QUOTE who="EMSfan3" More of the residents of the county would be able to utilize the service provided by the ambulance.
The last time I was on the ambulance, I asked if it were possible to go straight to Hays. The EMT told me that they could take me there, but it would cost $25 a mile to go there. It's not that I mind paying for medical care, but some of the neighboring counties charge between $13 and $15 per mile.
[/QUOTE]
The ambulance isn't a taxi service. Insurance pays for transportation to the closest available facility. There are many guidelines that define this and in the interest of space, I won't go into that here.
Believe me, anyone listening to a scanner knows that the "cost" isn't stopping anyone from utilizing the service. Many ambulance "runs" aren't even billable. Regardless, the primary focus should be on maintaining quality of the service.
I'm not sure that the "county" understands what this entails or the cost associated with same. Although the county SUBSIDIZES the service, the hospital absorbs a great deal of operating expenses. Look for increased taxes and/or declining levels of providers. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen.
citizen

Phillipsburg, KS

#5 Sep 13, 2011
I read the article in the paper and it sounded like the commissioners were planning on dropping the existing method without really having a plan in place. I dont think a whole lot of people really know what this entails and thats why they arent commenting. I am pretty clueless about the whole thing and someone needs to let the public know what is really going on here and what the consequences will be.
rs co taxpayer-nurse

Hays, KS

#6 Sep 13, 2011
Ok so tell me nurse why it is that the county of russell gives the EMS such a large subsidy for a budget when everywhere else is able to operate on a smaller budget? I think apporximately a HALF MILLION dollar budget upon what is reimbursed by insurance companies and medicare is way out of line. So is that quality care or quantity care? And with that why does EMS have to step in and do your job at the hospital manning the ER and such? Would that be why the budget is so high because the hospital needs to utilize the money for making EMS work for them instead of with them? And while on the sevice issue......we have no EMS service in Lucas because of an already declining level of providers due to the way the EMS service is currently run. If I have my numbers correct you lost 6+ EMTs in the county due to current operational non-abilities. EMS isn't the problem here its the administrators of the EMS. Taxes are already high for healthcare as you can see the added 0.5% sales tax when you buy anything in russell because of costs needing to be repaid due to hospital renovation a few years ago. Renovation that was supposed to bring an OB availability and surgical capabilities to russell but to my knowledge we still don't have that do we? I am pretty sure everything on those lines are "taxied" out by ambulance to other counties. In my opinion, Quality of care is what the county commissioners are after here with the EMS transition. If they are able to keep monetary losses down they could hire more personnel, upgrade needed systems, and train more first responders in the county. Thus saving us taxpayers money, the county money, and providing better quality care with more adequately staffed stations throughtout the county. Who wants to wait 45 minutes for an ambulance because their station no longer has the staff to respond due to administrative attitudes and scheduling issues?
anonymous-rs co taxpayer

Manhattan, KS

#7 Sep 13, 2011
I believe it was specifically the LACK OF QUALITY CARE that lead to the loss of some providers in Lucas, as it was presented to the commissioners. I do believe the issue that was brought to the commissioners was the mandating of further training for responders due to patient care mistakes and complaints. While the commissioners at this meeting said (and I'm paraphrasing) They didn't care about their training, as long as they were certified and willing to respond they could. Let's ignore the substandard treatment of patients, as long as there is a warm body responding that's all that matters. Are you sure you can say "quality of care" is their main concern?
anonymous-nurse

Manhattan, KS

#8 Sep 13, 2011
I'm afraid your ignorance of ambulance billing is showing. Just because you are taken to the closest facility doesn't NOT guarantee that insurance or medicare will reimburse it. And by signing the consent form you are saying you will be responsible for the rest of the bill. When your county is subsidizing the hospital with tax money, and you are still the highest billed ambulance service in the state, something is wrong and the cost if passed onto the patients. While the cost is not a concern for certain system abusers, it also effects normal people who could not afford to pay rates that high.
EMS fan

Russell, KS

#9 Sep 13, 2011
rs co taxpayer-nurse wrote:
Ok so tell me nurse why it is that the county of russell gives the EMS such a large subsidy for a budget when everywhere else is able to operate on a smaller budget? I think apporximately a HALF MILLION dollar budget upon what is reimbursed by insurance companies and medicare is way out of line. So is that quality care or quantity care? And with that why does EMS have to step in and do your job at the hospital manning the ER and such? Would that be why the budget is so high because the hospital needs to utilize the money for making EMS work for them instead of with them? And while on the sevice issue......we have no EMS service in Lucas because of an already declining level of providers due to the way the EMS service is currently run. If I have my numbers correct you lost 6+ EMTs in the county due to current operational non-abilities. EMS isn't the problem here its the administrators of the EMS. Taxes are already high for healthcare as you can see the added 0.5% sales tax when you buy anything in russell because of costs needing to be repaid due to hospital renovation a few years ago. Renovation that was supposed to bring an OB availability and surgical capabilities to russell but to my knowledge we still don't have that do we? I am pretty sure everything on those lines are "taxied" out by ambulance to other counties. In my opinion, Quality of care is what the county commissioners are after here with the EMS transition. If they are able to keep monetary losses down they could hire more personnel, upgrade needed systems, and train more first responders in the county. Thus saving us taxpayers money, the county money, and providing better quality care with more adequately staffed stations throughtout the county. Who wants to wait 45 minutes for an ambulance because their station no longer has the staff to respond due to administrative attitudes and scheduling issues?
Okay, so you are obviously from the Lucas area. I understand your emotional investment in this debate, but let's get our facts straight. First of all, EMS does NOT staff the ER. They occasionally help out in the ER, usually for minutes at a time. They are an invaluable resource no matter where they are. I don't believe "nurse" or anyone else is implying EMS should be used as slave labor, I don't even know if that nurse is employed by the hospital. Your attack was uncalled for. Secondly, a "half million dollar" budget is grossly inflated and about less than half of what could be tentatively budgeted for the next year. As far as the 1/2 cent sales tax goes, most county hospitals are supported by mil levies. Perhaps you should research this topic and find that Russell County taxpayers pay far less then their surrounding area counterparts for supporting their hospital and healthcare system. I don't know anything about renovations OB or surgery, but do know that the volumes were low and competency is difficult to maintain with ANY task if you are doing it sporadically. This also accounts for your staff that was "lost". I believe everyone wants quality service, but doubt very seriously that this is the answer to your prayers.
I know that many people, over a long period of time have worked very hard to bring the EMS service to the level it is today and feel that it is EXTREMELY sad that it has disintegrated to the point where the commissioners and hospital administration can't find a mutually acceptable solution. I would greatly hate to see a rash decision made that can have long term negative consequences for the county, the hospital and the EMS service. I believe our current EMS system is exemplary and wish to keep that level available to all county residents. I fear this won't be possible. Once it is gone, it will be a nightmare to return to the standard of quality we seem to be taking for granted. I hope the people of Russell county will intervene, or at the least be fully informed of all aspects of this decision.
Another taxpayer

Great Bend, KS

#10 Sep 13, 2011
[ This dummy is so full of it, must be the present administrator who could not manage a a nose bleed
tax

Smith Center, KS

#11 Sep 13, 2011
EMS fan wrote:
Russell Co Commissioners have decided to cancel their operation agreement with Russell Regional Hospital.(who has operated the level 1 ambulance service since 1990). The agreement terminates Dec 31, 2011. A recent Russell Daily News article reports that the commissioners were concerned with the hospitals financial loses. According to the news article, the commissioners have yet to make plans to obtain licensing, pharmaceutical or medical supplies, necessary personnel for billing or oversight. One commissioner was quoted as saying "It can't take that long".
Is this how things are done now? Are these the people who should be charged with running an EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE? I sincerely can't believe that the people of Russell County are not more concerned about this issue. What say you?
People running a $15 million budget just thought of doing this because they just wanted to change thinks up a bit. You seriously need to think before opening your mouth.
tax

Smith Center, KS

#12 Sep 13, 2011
EMS fan wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, so you are obviously from the Lucas area. I understand your emotional investment in this debate, but let's get our facts straight. First of all, EMS does NOT staff the ER. They occasionally help out in the ER, usually for minutes at a time. They are an invaluable resource no matter where they are. I don't believe "nurse" or anyone else is implying EMS should be used as slave labor, I don't even know if that nurse is employed by the hospital. Your attack was uncalled for. Secondly, a "half million dollar" budget is grossly inflated and about less than half of what could be tentatively budgeted for the next year. As far as the 1/2 cent sales tax goes, most county hospitals are supported by mil levies. Perhaps you should research this topic and find that Russell County taxpayers pay far less then their surrounding area counterparts for supporting their hospital and healthcare system. I don't know anything about renovations OB or surgery, but do know that the volumes were low and competency is difficult to maintain with ANY task if you are doing it sporadically. This also accounts for your staff that was "lost". I believe everyone wants quality service, but doubt very seriously that this is the answer to your prayers.
I know that many people, over a long period of time have worked very hard to bring the EMS service to the level it is today and feel that it is EXTREMELY sad that it has disintegrated to the point where the commissioners and hospital administration can't find a mutually acceptable solution. I would greatly hate to see a rash decision made that can have long term negative consequences for the county, the hospital and the EMS service. I believe our current EMS system is exemplary and wish to keep that level available to all county residents. I fear this won't be possible. Once it is gone, it will be a nightmare to return to the standard of quality we seem to be taking for granted. I hope the people of Russell county will intervene, or at the least be fully informed of all aspects of this decision.
Sounds like someone hit a nerve on that one. "Lost" lets try ran off or fired.
tax

Smith Center, KS

#13 Sep 13, 2011
nurse wrote:
<quoted text>
The ambulance isn't a taxi service. Insurance pays for transportation to the closest available facility. There are many guidelines that define this and in the interest of space, I won't go into that here.
Believe me, anyone listening to a scanner knows that the "cost" isn't stopping anyone from utilizing the service. Many ambulance "runs" aren't even billable. Regardless, the primary focus should be on maintaining quality of the service.
I'm not sure that the "county" understands what this entails or the cost associated with same. Although the county SUBSIDIZES the service, the hospital absorbs a great deal of operating expenses. Look for increased taxes and/or declining levels of providers. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen.
For a nurse you sure are quick to talk about the EMS field that you probably dont know anything about.
tax

Smith Center, KS

#14 Sep 13, 2011
anonymous-rs co taxpayer wrote:
I believe it was specifically the LACK OF QUALITY CARE that lead to the loss of some providers in Lucas, as it was presented to the commissioners. I do believe the issue that was brought to the commissioners was the mandating of further training for responders due to patient care mistakes and complaints. While the commissioners at this meeting said (and I'm paraphrasing) They didn't care about their training, as long as they were certified and willing to respond they could. Let's ignore the substandard treatment of patients, as long as there is a warm body responding that's all that matters. Are you sure you can say "quality of care" is their main concern?
Pretty easy to figure out who you are.
tax

Smith Center, KS

#15 Sep 13, 2011
citizen wrote:
I read the article in the paper and it sounded like the commissioners were planning on dropping the existing method without really having a plan in place. I dont think a whole lot of people really know what this entails and thats why they arent commenting. I am pretty clueless about the whole thing and someone needs to let the public know what is really going on here and what the consequences will be.
They know more than what everyone else thinks. They are just fine tuning everything. This has been looked into for alot longer time than most people know.
anonymous

United States

#16 Sep 14, 2011
tax wrote:
<quoted text>
Pretty easy to figure out who you are.
Take a shot.

So your position is that responders should not be held responsible for their actions? And for the record I agree that the hospital and EMS service being under the same administration is a conflict of interest. A county based service could be great. Could being the key word. I would love to see a seperate EMS service. But a 'putting warm bodies into positions' attitude is only going to limit the possibility of improvement.
tax

Smith Center, KS

#17 Sep 14, 2011
anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
Take a shot.
So your position is that responders should not be held responsible for their actions? And for the record I agree that the hospital and EMS service being under the same administration is a conflict of interest. A county based service could be great. Could being the key word. I would love to see a seperate EMS service. But a 'putting warm bodies into positions' attitude is only going to limit the possibility of improvement.
There was only a certain few people in that meeting hard to figure out. I never said again about the rest of this. By the way you didnt listen to what you were told because your paraphrase isnt even close to what was said in the first place.
dazed and confused

Russell, KS

#18 Sep 14, 2011
tax wrote:
<quoted text>
They know more than what everyone else thinks. They are just fine tuning everything. This has been looked into for alot longer time than most people know.
How wonderful! How about they share it with the rest of the world and enlighten us all?
anonymous

Des Moines, IA

#19 Sep 14, 2011
tax wrote:
<quoted text>
There was only a certain few people in that meeting hard to figure out. I never said again about the rest of this. By the way you didnt listen to what you were told because your paraphrase isnt even close to what was said in the first place.
Well please inform me exactly what was said. Since I wasn't at the meeting, I went ahead and drew from the comments a commissioner made in public, about the level of care not being important as long as there were certified people willing to respond that's all that matters. So I assumed since that was his opinion in public it would be the same in the meetings, but apparently I was wrong. So what was said in the meeting reguarding the substandard care?
quality_care

Hays, KS

#20 Sep 14, 2011
we are in a rural area. training and education create a competent care system. KBEMS is the state level licensing office. EMS is in the middle of transitioning to National certification standards statewide. EMS workers are trained to do their jobs within an EMS system. Our 911 dispatch does not even use medical protocals and the countywide EMS is ran by the hospital. Another comparable system (County/ not within Fire Department) is Ellsworth County EMS.(The EMS protocols determine what can be done and who can do it.) EMS worker's operate under medical direction /protocols determined by their medical director/service guidelines. The county is a big enough area and affects enough people, that a "system" should be in place. A lot of things that go on in this area are a conflict of interest or affected by "relations". Maybe it just needs to be worked out for the greater good to ensure that when someone calls 911, the ambulance that is dispatched knows what situation they are going into in the first place, and that quality care is available by competent certified personnel.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 3
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Otis Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
tooth ache (Jun '14) Jun '14 Jay 1
Rhiannon Marie Young 1980-2013 (Oct '13) Mar '14 Cassandra 5
Bill Thomas - Hoisington resident (Nov '13) Nov '13 Still Very Sorry 1
Great Bend dentists speak out (Feb '13) Oct '13 Del 2
gay sex meet in russel kansas anyone??? im 16;) (Jun '13) Sep '13 bassam 2
Debate: Gay Marriage - Otis, KS (Jan '12) Jan '12 Julia Dawn 1
Otis Water Tower 1 mile SE of Town? (Aug '09) Nov '11 chris 3
Otis Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Otis People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Otis News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Otis

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]

NFL Latest News

Updated 4:00 am PST

Bleacher Report 4:00AM
Broncos vs. Bengals: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
Bleacher Report10:01 AM
Emmanuel Sanders Illness: Updates on Broncos Star's Status and Return
Bleacher Report11:04 AM
Peyton (Thigh) Questionable vs. Bengals
NFL11:07 AM
Peyton Manning (thigh) questionable vs. Bengals
NBC Sports11:54 AM
Knighton takes on bigger role in Denver this season - NBC Sports