FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Ambulance services across the board are becoming more expensive in our area. On Wednesday, the Executive Committee for Central EMS approved a 15% increase after with cash flow problems.
The highest fee increase is about $129, making an ambulance ride close to a $1,000. According to Becky Stewart, the Chief of Central EMS, less people have insurance and are unable to pay their ambulance bills. This has caused a decrease in reimbursements coming in for ambulance transports the first half of the year. At least 80% of the revenue it collects is from the cost of transport.
“EMS is an essential service for any community and the people of Washington County can be assured that EMS will be there for them when they have an emergency, they dial 911, they will get an ambulance. It will be the same level of service the same quality EMT’s and paramedics that they have become accustomed to,” Stewart said.
Central EMS is a government entity with 12 ambulances and 10 stations across the county. Delays in reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid have also impacted prices. Stewart says this is a situation that is being felt across the nation in the healthcare industry.