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Funding issues impact ambulance services

((Source: KAIT-TV))
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 8:40 PM CST
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KARK) - Paramedics met before Arkansas lawmakers in a joint-committee meeting on issues impacting them.

According to KARK, the Arkansas Ambulance Association Secretary/Treasurer Ken Kelley said paramedics and EMTs keep things to themselves because they do not want to alarm the population.

“We’re taught to handle emergencies, or talk to adapt, to overcome, to improvise. But today, we must sound that alarm, " Kelley said.

The ArAA said that transports have decreased by 36 percent while calls increased by 24 percent.

Ambulances are reimbursed for taking someone to a hospital, based on federal law.

Officials said they don’t get much funding from cities or counties for providing services.

The services have tried to get funding through the coronavirus relief bill, and the American Rescue Plan but have been unable to.

“While hospitals have received millions of dollars to fund critical staffing and increase bed capacity, ambulance services have received nothing and we are providing the volunteer labor,” Kelley said.

The ArAA is seeking a waiver from DHS to allow for billing even without transporting someone to alleviate the funding issues.

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