SHELDON—The ambulance rates provided by the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team will see a slight increase.
A resolution implementing the new rates, which would be effective on June 1, will be on Sheldon City Council’s contest agenda for the meeting at 4:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, May 18).
The new rates were recommended by SCAT and represent the new Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield reimbursement rates that were released on April 1. The Wellmark rates were last adjusted in 2020, which is the last time SCAT had its rates adjusted by the Sheldon City Council.
“This step is necessary due to the rising costs of service, the challenges of billing and the difficult realities of running a service with part-time/volunteer labor,” said Sheldon city manager Sam Kooiker in a memo. “This rate adjustment may be followed by additional changes as we continue to review our service and processes.”
Some of the rates for services provided by SCAT will remain the same. Mileage will stay at $13 per mile, paramedic assist at $275, standby at $60 an hour per ambulance and lift assists at $125.
Advanced life support nonemergency will see a reduced rate compared to two years ago, falling from $550 to $465.
The rest of the rates will see an increase. Advanced life support emergency will go from $720 to $735, basic life support nonemergency will go from $379 to $387 and basic life support emergency will go from $607 to $620. Advanced life support 2 emergency will go from $1,043 to $1,065 and specialty care transport will go from $1,232 to $1,258.
The rate increases will be implemented as SCAT continues to see an increase of calls compared to a few years ago. SCAT received 351 calls in 2006. The number ticked above 400 in 2008 and then passed the 500-call threshold in 2014. SCAT fielded 625 calls in 2018 and two years later, SCAT took a record 745 calls — 516 from 911 and 229 for transfers.
In 2021, SCAT responded to 711 calls with 482 being for 911 and 229 for transfers.
While calls are up, the revenue collected by SCAT is down so far in the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ends on June 30, compared to previous. As of March 1, SCAT has collected $252,414.15, which is less than half the amount of $527,275.58 collected in 2020-21.
The expenses through March 1 are at $249,042.87 and with benefit/levied expenses of $47,446, it puts SCAT at a net loss of $44,074.72.
SCAT received $37,500 from the O’Brien County Emergency Management Agency for 2021-22, an increase of $15,000. SCAT will receive $47,500 from the county for 2022-23.
SCAT also will hold its annual fundraiser 5-7 p.m. today (Wednesday, May 18) at the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center. The freewill donation supper will include a taco in a bag or a tavern, potato salad, dessert and a drink.
Other items on the council’s agenda today include:
- A proposed Jinkinson Third Addition on East Ninth Street.
- A 2021-22 budget amendment hearing and approval of amendment.
- The second reading of an ordinance amending sewer rates, effective July 1.
- The first reading of an ordinance amending the code of ordinances by amending provisions pertaining to the Sheldon Fire Co.
- The first reading of an ordinance amending the code of ordinances by amending the Sheldon Airport Commission chapter.
- An update on the sewer collection system improvements.
- Setting cleanup days to begin Sept. 19.
- Submittal of an application for an Iowa Department of Transportation airport funding grant.
- A 2023 highway safety contract for “Click It or Ticket” and impaired driving enforcement.
- An agreement with Centers Against Abuse & Sexual Assault for 2022-23.
- Pay request No. 5 for Crossroads North Phase II in the amount of $107,643.08.
- Pay request No. 5 for sewer collection system improvements in the amount of $118,854.50.
- A liquor license renewal for the west Casey’s General Store on 504 Second Ave.