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.