PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the Cabinet for Health and Family services drafted a State of Emergency declaration to combat inadequate ambulance services in six Kentucky counties, the Appalachian News Express reported.
The State of Emergency, filed with the Legislative Research Commission on Sept. 25, states that it was filed to “meet imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare,” citing that a “public health crisis exists in counties without adequate services to treat medical emergencies with urgency and the respect of patient choice.”
The regulation aims to encourage more ambulance services and providers in underserved Kentucky counties, the newspaper said.
According to documents, Pike County is one of six counties in Kentucky have one Class 1 ambulance service (Trans-Star Ambulance in Pike County) that is not owned or operated by a public organization (a county or city government entity). Other counties include: Bullitt, Jessamine, Laurel, McCracken and Warren.
The statement cites a report released by the Pegasus Institute in July 2018, which showed that Kentucky has a shortage of ambulance providers. Putting certain ambulance Certificate of Need (CON) applications into non-substantive review will streamline the process of approving additional providers also helping to increase competition, protect patient choice and alleviate ambulance shortage, the statement said.
Last year, the City of Elkhorn City learned that a CON it had submitted to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in an attempt to bring an ambulance service that would serve the city and its surrounding areas had been denied.
“I think this is a great thing for our area, Pike County and Kentucky,” said Elkhorn City Mayor Mike Taylor, referring to the State of Emergency issued by Gov. Bevin.
Taylor said he is planning a trip to Frankfort as early as next week to meet with representatives from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to discuss the city’s Certificate of Need and to figure out the next steps in the process of bringing an ambulance service to Elkhorn City.
“Our application is already on file there. We’ve already paid the $1,000 (fee),” said Taylor. “I’m wanting to get our own CON so that we can contract, and get someone into the city to offer this service.”
Taylor said the plans include providing services to surrounding areas including: Grapevine, Parkview Nursing Home and the Shelby Valley area, as well as Elkhorn Creek and Marrowbone.
Taylor told the newspaper he has talked with numerous ambulance providers in the past about locating to the city and said he does not believe the city will have a problem locating a provider. He said he hopes to get an ambulance service in Elkhorn City as soon as possible.
“I’m not going to stop working on this,” said Taylor.