City and hospital make tentative agreement on ambulance transfers

After years of discussion, the City of Clarion and the Iowa Specialty Hospital are coming close to reaching an agreement regarding ambulance transfers. The City of Clarion used to handle ambulance transfers for the hospital, but they were forced to quit in the spring of this year when they could no longer cover the expense. 

                “For 20 years, we’ve provided an ambulance for the hospital. But when finances started hurting, that’s when it came to a halt,” said Steve Hennigar, police chief and director of EMS services. “(The Public Safety Committee) said ‘We can’t keep losing money this way. ‘“

                Clarion lost $128,000 in revenue last year on ambulance transfers, and $143,000 the year before. The Iowa Specialty Hospital had a total of 202 transfers out of their emergency room last year, and 196 the year before.

                Clarion’s Public Safety Board held two meetings last week, where city council members and representatives of Iowa Specialty Hospital discussed possible solutions to the ambulance transfer problem. On Sept. 26, the board suggested a proposal that will be submitted to the city council sometime in the near future. 

Read the full article in the Oct. 3 WCM.