The Monroe County Commission has appointed a committee to study the way emergency medical services are currently being provided and funded in Monroe County. According to a press release from the Monroe County Commission, the commission has asked the committee to provide the County Commission with a written report of their findings. In addition, the county commission asked the committee to report on how emergency medical services should be provided in the next five and ten years and how should these services be funded.
This committee was formed after representatives from Union Rescue came to the Monroe County Commission and advised they were in serious financial trouble and didn’t know how much longer they would be able to provide services. These representatives advised the county commission that Medicare and Medicaid has reduced the amount they reimburse emergency service providers that transport those covered by either Medicare or Medicaid and this was having a catastrophic financial effect on the squad, the press release said.
One component the committee will also explore is the idea of implementing a county-wide ambulance service. West Virginia Code authorizes county commissions to enact an ordinance that will allow a fee to be placed on each residence in the county to pay for such service. The county commission wants to make it clear that this is just one idea the will be discussing. No ordinance has been adopted at this time and no fee has been assessed by the county commission.
Peterstown Rescue, which operates primarily with volunteers, serves the southern area of Monroe County. They have advised the county commission that they don’t support a county-wide ambulance authority.
The next meeting of the EMS Committee is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Lindside Methodist Church Family Life Center.