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Stockdale-area ESD resolves $25K county contract issue
Emergency Services District No. 3 Director Carlos Salazar (center) reviews data provided during the April 3 meeting of the board. Salazar is flanked by Director Todd Lawson (left) and Stockdale Emergency Medical Services Director David Rice.
STOCKDALE -- A contract between Wilson County and the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services (EMS) appears to be resolved. This issue has been at a standstill since January, when Wilson County officials said they would not dispense a $25,000 disbursement to the EMS until the Emergency Services District No. 3 (ESD) board provided an audit of its account. The Stockdale EMS is the service provider contracted by the ESD.
“It is harder for the ESD to meet the requirements,” said Wilson County Health and Safety Officer Edwin Baker during the April 3 ESD board meeting. Baker said the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department and EMS provided the necessary paperwork jointly.
A check was subsequently issued by the county, payable to the EMS, for the disbursement. After much discussion, the ESD board agreed to proceed with the check, as presented by the county.
Also related to finances were outstanding payments.
Rice said for the 15-month period January 2013 through March 2014, the EMS billed $884,000, with only $131,000 in payments received. Another $378,000 was written off, Rice said, due in part to Medicare Part B claims.
For the 115 Medicare Part B claims, the billing amounted to $276,465. The EMS received $51,000 and wrote off $187,000. Rice reminded the board that these government payments are final; the EMS/billing agency cannot pursue patients for any remaining outstanding amounts.
In other matters, Rice told the board that the EMS response time fell below 90 percent in March for the first time. He said 30 calls were received in March, with four calls taking more than 15 minutes for arrival of the EMS to the scene. These were received from the F.M. 1347 and F.M. 1681 areas.
In a related issue, West questioned if the ESD’s boundaries and emergency-service numbers had been resolved. The board has received a number of complaints from taxpayers not serviced by the Stockdale EMS, yet paying taxes to support it.
Rice said the data was forwarded to the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) for completion and suggested this might have to be changed on the local level.
In other business, the board elected officers, delayed by the recent resignation of August Moczygemba and the appointment of Carlos Salazar as his replacement.
Officers are President Lynn Ray West, Vice President Carlos Salazar, Secretary Teri Wolff, Treasurer Kirby Urrabazo, and Assistant Treasurer Todd Lawson.
The next meeting is set for Thursday, May 1, at which time the board will address if the group will attend a May 3 conference in New Braunfels to earn continuing education units.
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