BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's Manatee County Commission workshop, board members received an Emergency Medical Services Fee Resolution Update. Not since June of 2008 has Manatee County EMS implemented a user fee increase. Yet from 2008-12, the number of calls have increased by 12 percent; the number of responses by 11 percent; and the number of transports by 19 percent.
Of the surrounding counties, Manatee has remained the best mile for mile deal. Basic Life Support Non-Emergency has remained at $323 since 2008.
In Hillsborough and Lee county, the same service is $400; in Sarasota $575; Pinellas $560; Polk $600 and Collier $700. Manatee EMS is proposing to raise the cost of their services $77 to $400.
Emergency and Advanced Life Support services also remain below that of other counties, and the average total cost for services remained lower as well.
Manatee County EMS provides ambulance service to the residents and visitors of Manatee County and is funded exclusively through ad valorem taxes, general revenues and user fees. To minimize the impact of the entire EMS fund on the county's residents, users are charged for services.
For FY2012, total expenses to operate Manatee's EMS System came to $12,256,109. The net revenue collections totaled $8.5 million, requiring a $3.8 million contribution from the general fund.
The percentage of uncollected debt has been steadily dropping over the past few years, reducing dependency on the general fund, and a five dollar fee for records transferring and release would produce additional savings.
Public Service Director, Ron Koper says the county is working to adopt billing and collection procedures, records and information storage, as well as advanced technologies in order to make any changes as painless as possible.
Kopler suggested looking at additional revenue from extended care facilities. Inter-facility transport may be provided, based upon availability, to take patients from one facility to another, or home after their hospital stay if special care is needed.
Koper said his department is drafting a resolution that will adopt new user fees and will present it to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration.
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