With an April 1 deadline looming for emergency medical services to end, the Long County Commission on Monday approved another extension with current EMS provider Liberty Regional Medical Center.
During a called meeting, the commission voted unanimously to have LRMC continue providing EMS for two months, from midnight March 31 to midnight May 31. Commission Vice Chair Kent Hall said LRMC’s fee for the extension will be $66,000, or $33,000 dollars per month.
“(LRMC CEO Scott) Kroell and the folks at Liberty Regional have been gracious enough to work with us, so the matter is once again temporally resolved,” Hall said.
He also said that despite the matter being temporarily addressed, the commission still is looking at all possible avenues to establish a long-term solution.
In an earlier report, Hall said that the reason the commission is looking at making a change is because the county cannot afford to have LRMC continue providing the service. He said that when he and the other commissioners took office in May 2013, the approximate monthly cost for EMS services was $10,000 a month. Shortly after this, the per-month cost increased to around $20,000, and the final proposal offered by LRMC was $33,000.
Liberty Regional EMS Director Robyn Todd said in an earlier report that the increase was necessary to offset higher service-provider costs stemming from health-care reform and less revenue being collected from Medicare, Medicaid and medical-insurance policies.
The county’s original contract with LRMC expired Dec. 31, but arrangements were made to have services continue through March 31.
In addition to Hall, commissioners Gerald Blocker, Dwight Gordon and Willie Thompson were present at Monday’s meeting. Chairman Robert Long didn’t attend.