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Ambulance districts across rural Missouri are facing more than medical emergencies, with potential budget cuts in their forecast. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes reports.
Ambulance service providers in rural Missouri say that low tax revenues and cuts in Medicare payments are the two biggest disadvantages for many ambulance districts in the state.
Bob Patterson, president of the Missouri Ambulance Association says although the budget crisis is new to Missourians it could lead to rural ambulance districts being forced to make job cuts.
Patterson also says that federal funding is given to emergency medical service providers through a billing process that’s based on the needs of each particular ambulance district.
The Missouri Ambulance Association says federal health care legislation was created to prevent major cuts in Medicare reimbursements for ambulance districts. With the legislation stalled, the trade group says many ambulance districts are feeling a financial pinch.
For now, officials say the biggest worry for Missourians is a decrease in staff which also means a decrease in the quality of service rural ambulance districts are able to provide.
For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.