Star Valley Health EMS anticipates funding gap
Star Valley Health EMS Director Bob Clark says it is seeing funding losses and is set to lose $1.1 million in the budget.
He says they are continuously working with legislators and other government officials to see how funding can improve. He says one issue is they don’t always see money come in when they respond to a call.
“We get a report of an accident,” Clark said. “Well, minor injuries, we might bandage somebody up a little bit, take some vitals, and then they sign a refusal, and we don’t transport anybody. We get no money for that.”
He says with diesel fuel prices being the way they are, that also contributes to the money woes. He says they also do go out and help with fires in case anybody needs treatments, including the firefighters.
“So, we’re doing public safety work,” Clark said. “But really, all the funding comes out of the hospital’s budget.”
He says Star Valley Health receives gross revenues from patient care of $88 million. Of that only $760,000 comes from the current mill levy.
“So that’s not enough to one, fund EMS,” Clark said. “We’re going to lose $1.1 million. So, we have some challenges.”
He believes this is a legislative issue as well as he believes 9-1-1 needs to be funded “in perpetuity”. He also says right now EMS is not considered an essential service.
“Legitimately, if we’re dispatched, we don’t have to go,” Clark said. “I mean that’s weird right? So, that’s legislative challenges we’ve got to address.”
He says they are continuing to look for ways to address the funding issues and see if they can tackle it from a legislative standpoint. Despite the challenges, he says he is grateful to the leadership and board of Star Valley Health for all their support for the program.
Editor’s Note: In the November 23 edition of the Star Valley Independent, a story regarding EMS funding for Star Valley was published. The story was taken from an interview that previously aired on SVI Radio. In the interview, EMS Director Bud Clark explained some of the funding sources for Star Valley Health and EMS. The written story incorrectly explained the amount of these funding sources, and was misinterpreted from the radio interview. Star Valley Health receives gross revenues from patient care of $88 million. Of that only $760,000 comes from the current mill levy. The mill levy does not provide $88 million in revenue to Star Valley Health, as the article incorrectly stated.
The full radio interview with Bud Clark can be found online at SVInews.com/radio and on the SVI News App.