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Archive for Thursday, February 8, 1996

LMH REPRESENTATIVES ABSENT FROM AMBULANCE DISCUSSIONS

February 8, 1996

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A proposal to fold the Douglas County Ambulance Service into Lawrence Memorial Hospital got little response from county commissioners Wednesday night.

Ted McFarlane, DCAS director, told commissioners the projections for boosting revenue by upwards of $1 million a year assumed that Medicare reimbursements could be improved under federal procedures that give hospitals an advantage in obtaining payment for services.

McFarlane said the Medicare program has been targeted in congressional budget battles.

``All of it is in a state of change, and we just don't know where it's going to end up,'' he said.

Commissioners accepted the report but didn't indicate any interest in pursuing the options outlined.

Under one scenario, DCAS would become a nonprofit organization under control of the hospital; under another, the ambulance service would become a department of LMH. A third option would establish an ambulance taxing district with its own tax levy.

LMH commissioned the report, which was prepared by Fitch & Associates, a Platte City, Mo., consulting firm.

However, no hospital representatives appeared at Wednesday night's meeting to discuss the report with commissioners, and County Administrator Craig Weinaug said the hospital wasn't advocating any of the options outlined.

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