Emergency medical services in Moffat County could be hurt as result of a state management power shift of trauma services, Moffat County Emergency Management Director Tom Soos said.
Within the year, Soos said, medical oversight for EMS services will be transferred from the Board of Medical Examiners to the Colorado Department of Health, the full effects of which have yet to be seen.
One potential shift could be the licensing of ambulances taken away from county control and placed in state control. Another change is the possibility of EMS agencies being required by the state to be accredited before annual re-licensing.
Either way, Soos said, the changes will cost money to the county or providers.
Soos outlined those concerns, which were discussed during the Moffat County EMS council meeting April 6, to the Moffat County Commission on Tuesday.
The EMS Council is drafting a letter to send to the Northwest Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council asking for an investigation into the ramifications of state licensing and possible ambulance accreditation.
The concerns stem from a study conducted by the American Counsel of Surgeons on the current trauma system in Colorado.
One suggestion made by the ACS was that the state should switch the control of EMS and ambulance services from the Board of Medical Examiners to the Department of Health.
However, that switch could mean less local and county control, Soos said.
The current system of localized control of EMS services, he said, “works just fine,” especially in rural areas where services are customized to meet unique community needs.
Another ACS suggestion was that EMS services in Colorado become accredited, which, Soos said, is a process many providers don’t have time for.
Currently, accreditation is voluntary in Colorado and only three services in the state have gone through the process, Soos said.
Although the suggestion was not considered high priority, Soos still is concerned the requirements could arise.
If the state were to require EMS agencies to become accredited, it would cost the providers or Moffat County, Soos said.
Soos estimates that full accreditation for all county EMS services would cost the county about $30,000.
If licensing were switched to state control, it would hurt EMS services financially, as well.
Currently, the county EMS council handles licensing issues and makes recommendations to the county commission, a process that keeps costs to a minimum, Soos said.
If the state were to control licensing, however, it would need to expand staff and the money to do so could come out of grants given to providers, he said.
The grants are funded by license plate fees and are put back into local EMS systems to fund upgrades, among other measures.
“Most people’s heartburn is that they went to bat for this legislation to raise the fee and what they told everybody where that money is supposed to go is toward provider grants, not to build a bigger bureaucracy,” Soos said.
Soos said requesting the study of potential state licensing and accreditation ramifications is part of the EMS council’s goal of staying proactive in the medical community.
Once information is gathered about the impact of the issue, Soos hopes to share it with other area trauma services and local governments in hopes of avoiding burdensome state regulations.
Also at its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:
• Approved, 2-0, warrant resolutions for April totaling $330,847.87.
• Approved, 2-0, a core services contract with Timberwolf Drug Testing for substance abuse urine analysis not to exceed $3,000.
• Approved, 2-0, a contract with Roger Reynolds of Steamboat Springs for the core services mental health program not to exceed $4,000.
• Approved, 2-0, a contract with Anthony Nobel of Craig for the core services mental health program not to exceed $25,000.
• Approved, 2-0, a contract with Steven Walls of Craig for the core services mental health program not to exceed $20,000.
• Approved, 2-0, an addendum to the five-county core services mental health program contract to increase the contract with Steven Wall from a maximum of $15,000 to $20,000.
• Approved, 2-0, a contract for the construction of restrooms at Loudy-Simpson Park with Behrman Construction totaling $71,985.
• Approved, 2-0, a grant agreement between the Craig/Moffat County Airport and the Colorado Department of Transportation.
• Approved, 2-0, a road and bridge department credit application with A & E Tire Inc.
• Approved, 2-0, second quarter reimbursement claims for Office of Emergency Management expenses totaling $13,349.03, $6,674.51 of which will be federally reimbursed.
• Approved, 2-0, a resolution which approves the City of Craig clean-up weekend for May 15 and 16. There will be no charge to residents for tires taken to the Moffat County Landfill.
• Approved, 2-0, a monthly treasurer’s report.
• Approved, 2-0, a facilitating agreement pursuant to Colorado House Bill 04-1451 for families receiving child welfare between Moffat County Social Services, the 14th Judicial District Probation Department and Moffat County Commission.
• Approved, 2-0, 9News Health Fair vouchers at no cost to county employees and half price for employee spouses.
• Approved, 2-0, a budget supplementation from the Moffat County Fairgrounds, the parks and recreation department and Craig Cemetery to pay for lawn mowing services provided by C&K Lawn Care at no change to the contingency.
• Heard a presentation from Ted Lindtveit from Colorado Technical Services, Inc., about county property insurance.
• Heard an emergency medical services council report from Moffat County Emergency Management Services Coordinator Tom Soos.
Note: Commissioner Tom Gray did not attend the meeting.
For a recap of Tuesday’s commission meeting, read Wednesday’s Craig Daily Press or www.craigdailypress.com.