Genesee County is dealing with a shortage of available ambulances, which could increase response times for crashes and medical emergencies.
Emergency dispatchers are working to address this problem, but a big factor is money.
Right now, EMS reimbursement rates average about $178 per life support transport for Medicaid patients. That’s well below the actual cost of each ambulance service run, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The Michigan Association of Ambulance Services and the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs are urging the State Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to increase EMS funding by $10 million to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates. “The levels of reimbursement have not gone up to meet the increase in costs, so we’re upside down,” said Joe Karlichek, the chief operating officer for STAT EMS in Genesee County.