February 21, 2012

Ambulance announcement coming soon

Hospital says ambulance staff shouldn’t lose jobs

by Jason M. Rodriguez

LOGANSPORT — Cass County and Logansport Memorial Hospital might have struck a deal to provide ambulance service, though mum’s the word on details.

What is somewhat clear is whether the ambulance service’s 15 full-time and about six part-time employees will lose their jobs.

“They shouldn’t,” said hospital CEO Dave Ameen. “There should be jobs for everyone.”

County Commissioner Dave Arnold told County Council members Friday that an announcement about the ambulance service should come this week or next. Ameen confirmed that timetable.

“We’re working together with the county to come up with a solution,” he said.

Ameen would not comment on what that solution would be.

A call to Arnold’s cell phone Monday was not returned.

George Stebbins, County Council president, said any statements about the service would come from Ameen or County Commissioner Jim Sailors, who has been charged with working with area governments, the hospital and even private firms to provide ambulance service.

Calls to Sailors have not been returned for more than a week.

Stebbins confirmed that the council, which controls the spending for the county, had not been approached.

“They haven’t asked anything from us,” he said.

Currently, Logansport Memorial Hospital provides the ambulance service. But the hospital says it has been losing money on the service for years, mainly due to denial of coverage by insurance carriers and lack of ample reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Ameen has said the ambulance ran about $500,000 over budget for the first 11 months of last year. The hospital was looking to the county to make up about $50,000 of that loss.

• Jason M. Rodriguez is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or