Ambulance transfers continue to be a steady income for the Starke County EMS Department.
Clerk Mary Lynn Ritchie reported to the county commissioners last week that 34 percent of the ambulance runs are transfers from Starke Hospital. The dedicated transfer unit at the hospital helps in the statistics.
Ritchie said the revenue situation is an incredible contrast from last year’s figures. The county was losing revenue due to a dedicated transfer unit from another entity at the hospital. Less than 20 percent of the county’s ambulance runs last year were transfers which hurt the revenue stream. Now with Starke County EMS staffing a transfer unit at the hospital 12 hours a day for the past three months, officials are starting to see larger numbers.
Ritchie reported that revenue is up in the first six months of the year.
“We’re up $31-grand and now we’re up for the first six months really so about $143,000,” said Ritchie. “The transfer unit is just a win-win for the community and for the county.”
EMS Director Travis Clary noted that the hours of operation for the transfer unit depends on the call volume, but it typically runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We continue to branch out of the 50-mile radius of the county,” explained Clary. “We recently took a transfer to Chicago. We’ve been going to Fort Wayne and Indianapolis – areas we weren’t going before. We’re working closely with the hospital to meet their needs. We were commended at a recent meeting with the CNO and department directors. Everything has been going smoothly and they’re really happy with our services. We’ve actually been getting calls from other facilities wanting us to transfer people out! It’s just a need across Northwest Indiana trying to find ALS transport vehicles.”
The dedicated transfer unit at Starke Hospital has been in operation since the county’s reception of a new ambulance in March.