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by Patty Cheffey
The Marion County Ambulance District will not only soon have a couple of their new ambulances, but will have new cots to put in the ambulances.
The MCAD board approved the purchase of seven new cots from Stryker during their meeting last week, at which they also received an update on the ambulances, learned about an issue with some medical transfers, discuss insurance and heard an update on re-licensure.
While not planning on replacing cots, Chief John Nemes reported the maintenance program runs out on the current cots in about a year, and the current cots will no longer be eligible for the maintenance plan through Stryker.
However, new cots will be covered under a maintenance plan of $9,000 for eight years. The current maintenance plan was for five years.
Noting the batteries on each cot can cost $1,500, Nemes said the maintenance plan is well worth the money.
The district will only be trading-in seven cots as two of the current cots don’t qualify, Nemes said, noting those cots will be used for training.
Total quote from Stryker for cots and maintenance is $330,053 or about $66,010.60 over a five year period.
However, the district will be getting a credit back on the existing maintenance agreement, lowering the cost to about $58,000 per year.
“It will just depend on when we receive them, which should be about four months,” Nemes said.
He noted the district did the same process when purchasing their Zoll cardiac monitors a few years ago with Zoll financing them over five years.
In addition to approving the purchase of the cost and maintenance plan, the board approved allowing Nemes to enter into an agreement with Flex Financial, the company used by Stryker, for the financing.
In other business, Nemes reported the first ambulance is in the process of being remounted at Braun Industries, despite there being some dispute on repairs.
“We’re bickering about some repairs that were supposed to be done last year,” he said, noting they are currently working with Braun to identify any issues with the box that will need to be repaired beyond what was already discussed last fall.
With the release of the other chassis from Ford, the district will be sending the next unit to be remounted once the new trucks are in service, Nemes said.
He added the district is still waiting for the AliArc bumper to be installed, and then the new trucks will be ready for graphics. That should take about two weeks.
Nemes reported Professional Billing is working with Hannibal Regional concerning the process of non-emergency patient transfers who are on MO Medicaid.
Since those transfers have to be pre-approved by Modivcare to be eligible for reimbursement, and since Hannibal Regional had some transfers which were not pre-approved, Modivcare denied payment, and the ambulance district had a loss of several thousand dollars, Nemes said.
“We are hoping to create a more streamlined process and provide some training to personnel so the hospital has the approval done prior to contacting the district to arrange transportation,” he said.
MDAC has also suggested to Hannibal Regional they reimburse some of those fees.
“They are willing to do that, but we haven’t determined an exact amount yet” Nemes said. “Half of what Medicaid would have paid is what we’re currently discussing.”
The district has also met with the risk management personnel at VFIS, their insurance carrier, for an annual review of policies, procedures and guidelines.
Nemes noted VFIS made no new recommendations and said MCAD was well within the standards of the industry and beyond in most areas.
“They were very happy with us,” Nemes said, noting the insurance did include cyber security.
While the insurance company was happy with the district, a volunteer firefighter in the Laddonia area is not, Nemes said.
According to the person, one of the district’s trucks was speeding in that area. Division Chief Eric Murfin will be contacting the individual to get more information and verify it was a Marion County ambulance.
Nemes also reported he and Chief Medical Officer John Clemens have been working on the ground ambulance re-licensure for both Marion and Ralls county ambulance districts over the past couple of months.
“Our ground ambulance license is up for renewal every five years,” he said. “There area few new items added to the process, such as a virtual tour of facilities and equipment.”
However, he added, everything is being done online, so he is hoping to be completed by mid-July with the process.
MCAD answered 551 calls for emergency service in May with Base 1 (2711) handling 145 calls; Base 2721 handled 144 calls; Base 2, 159 calls and Base 3, 87 calls.
The board voted to not hold a meeting in July due to the large number of events during that month, but will be meeting again on Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. in the administration building in Hannibal.