The Warrick County Commissioners approved a rate increase for St. Vincent Warrick EMS services.
The commissioners approved the increase in their regular meeting on Monday, June 22. St. Vincent Warrick EMS Manager Tony O’Neil said the increase amounts to about 10% with basic life support, the most commonly used service, increasing from $385 to $424.
O’Neil told the commissioners that the rates were within the 18th%ile of the national standard and was causing the service to fall short in funding each year. He said St. Vincent Warrick EMS invested $1.3 million in capital expenses for equipment and vehicles, but finished 2019 around $450,000 in the red.
“They’re still continuing to put money into the service and making sure equipment and ambulances are up to par,” he said.
Commissioner Dan Saylor said he thinks the service does a good job for the county and has been working harder than before with the recent increases in population. He said a rate increase is necessary for the service to continue.
“We all hate price increases, but we understand that your costs are not going down,” he said. “I know when we call 911 we definitely want an ambulance there when we need them. The last rate was 2016, so that’s an average of 2.5% to 10% so I think that’s extraordinary.”
Commissioner Terry Phillippe agreed and said he is taking note of the equity put into the program despite operating at a loss.
“I think it should be pointed that they are operating at a loss. There’s a lot of excuses to stop doing business and we don’t want to see that,” he said.
The Warrick County Commissioners will meet again on Monday, July 13, at 4 p.m.