Heartland Health To End Ambulance Service

Heartland Health logo
St Joseph and Buchanan County leaders will meet next week to chart a new course for ambulance service here, after Heartland Health announced it would no longer be the service provider here next summer.

In an announcement Friday, Heartland officials noted they have subsidized losses from operating the ambulance service for many years. This year, that subsidy will amount to $1.7 million.


Heartland Health is also faced with a substantial cut in reimbursements from the federal government for health care.

Heartland officials they can no longer sustain a subsidy of that magnitude and will not be able to continue as the service provider for the city and county. The Heartland Board of Trustees has committed to continue providing ambulance service until July 1, 2014.

City officials say Heartland will not take public subsidy for ambulance service from a public safety tax. Heartland Health Dirck Clark said they applaud the city’s consideration of a public safety tax to bolster the community’s fire and law enforcement system.

The St Joseph City Council will hold a work session next week with Buchanan County Commissioners to discuss plans to replace ambulance service to the community.

  • dranders

    I been saiding for years The fire dp will run the ambulance service

    Current score: 2
  • Aaron

    Whatever happened to a business operating for the good of the community?
    Why is every business profit driven? Why try to maximize all of your profits?
    Surely $1.7m a year doesn’t bankrupt a monopoly such as Heartland.

    They work the city council to ensure they are the only hospital in town, reap all of the profits, and then lead us to believe they re-invest in our community when they really don’t. If it doesn’t benefit the tax books to donate, they wont. If it costs money to help, they wont.

    If you owe $150, they will sue.

    Profit driven. Heartland is the devil in disguise.

    Current score: 12
  • Huh

    Maybe if they managed their money better than they do,they wouldn’t be in this position.. Going out and buying 5 new ambulances in the last 2 years,might be what we call….um stupid?

    Current score: 2
  • http://stjoepost remorse_4_medics

    What about the employees??? Some Heartland Paramedics have worked there for over 15 and 20 years plus. What about them? Is the public aware that the paramedics have not had a raise since April of 2008. Cost of living yes…. but in general…. no raises. These are the people that covered Heartland and put out the fires back in the day when the there were only 3 ambulannces during the day and 2 at night. A single ambulance might run 10 plus calls in 8 hours. Thats unheard of in this industry. That entire ambulance service has been a disaster since hiring an outside firm to manage. 6 years of politics and sexual misconduct, including adultry. Btw,,, that firm comes with a huge cost!!!!

    What about the employess???? All I can say is if you need an ambulance and that staff ain’t friendly and cordial… now you no why!!! Shame on Heartland, the City of St. Joseph, as well as the county!!!.

    This situation defines all 3. But look on the bright side. atleast we have a sidewalk that goes from Hyde Park all through the city. Lets hope one of the walkers or joggers don’t have a heart attack.

    Current score: 2
    • me

      They don’t care who or how long any1 has worked there.. I know of someone who worked there for 30 yrs and closed her floor and had no place for her, and she had to retire a year early. Which means no ins for a year till SSI Ben kicked in. She was on meds she needed and couldn’t take. Now tell me they care for there employees..

      Current score: 1
      • LED

        You don’t care because you’re a putz….

        Current score: 0
  • Sweet Daddy

    So Mr. Bill Brinton thinks we need a ambulance tax well how about just eliminating his smoke & mirror job then take that money & use it for ambulance service what u say about that Mr. Bill.

    Current score: 1
  • rhi

    wow, an ambulance tax? ive been wondering why i have a bill for a thousand dollar ride to the hospital last year. i had always thought that there must already have been taxes in effect, as to provide the service, for the greater good, yada yada. if the hospital cant offer emergency transportation, what can we expect them to cut back on next? sterile needles?
    i dont know how this works, anyone you talk to around st joe can recite heartland horror stories. its a big joke, but not so funny considering its our hometown hospital.
    gee whiz

    Current score: 1
  • LED

    How much of that 1.7 million was claimed on taxes? They aren’t hurting as bad as they like to cry – this is just another excuse to outsource (some one has made a back alley “drug deal”). The loss comes from transferring all the indegents in St. Joe who panic and don’t care because they have “free” healthcare. Get a cab you puke! Wait till Obamacare happens – you’ll have to call joetown cab because NO ONE will want to run this service.

    Current score: 0
  • JL

    How about we give incentives and allow another hospital to come into town, I bet they’d compete for service then.

    Current score: 1