Cut backs lead to budget crisis for SEMO ambulance services

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) - Some Missouri ambulance services are dealing with budget cuts as medicare reimbursement is being cut.

Most Missouri counties will lose between 17-27 percent of their Medicare funding because southeast Missouri is being classified as super rural.

The controversial federal health care bill will prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursement but it's stalled in the House with little movement being made. Local ambulance districts are now dealing with a budget crisis.

Brien Fugate with Rural Metro Ambulance says, "This is one of the worst cuts we've ever had."It totals about $3.5 million a year statewide. Then it will be about $20 million over the next five years if something's not done soon."

Fugate said he doesn't expect any of the counties to lose ambulance service, but thinks some areas may have layoffs.

©2010 KAIT All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.