Charleston Hospital Backs Plan for Statewide Medical Command Center


 
 

Eric Eyre | | Friday, January 25, 2008


CHARLESTON, W.V. -- Charleston Area Medical Center leaders are supporting a plan to establish a statewide medical command center in Flatwoods, where dispatchers would route emergency vehicles and helicopters to hospitals.

The new command center would replace existing centers in Charleston, Beckley, Huntington, Parkersburg and Morgantown. CAMC houses a 14-employee medical command center at General Hospital.

The dispatchers field calls from emergency medical personnel who need to know where to take victims of accidents, heart attacks and other sudden illnesses.

"There should be a centralized medical command center, and it should be funded by the state," said Bob Whitler, vice president of government and community relations at CAMC. "It will improve [emergency] health care."

The individual command centers also have become a financial drain on the hospitals that house them, hospital executives say.

Last year, state lawmakers distributed $100,000 for state emergency officials to start planning a statewide medical command center. The center would be located at Braxton County's 911 center, Whitler said.

Hospitals would share the costs of the dispatch center with the state for two years before the state would exclusively fund the facility, Whitler said.

Whitler listed the command center as one of CAMC's top priorities for this year's legislative session. CAMC leaders unveiled their legislative proposals -- all involve requests for increased state funding -- at a Wednesday morning Board of Trustees meeting in Charleston.

Other priorities:

-CAMC wants the state Medicaid office to increase funding by $1.5 million the amount it reimburses hospitals for "safety net" services, such as trauma, pediatric and newborn intensive care.

CAMC lost $32 million providing the specialized critical-care services last year.

"We are the safety-net hospital for this whole part of the state, but it comes at a huge cost," Whitler said.

-CAMC leaders are urging state lawmakers and Medicaid officials to support the city of Charleston's "home rule" plan, which would allow the city to tax Charleston hospitals and transfer the funds to the state Medicaid office. The money would be used to reimburse hospitals for care provided to Medicaid patients. The federal government is expected to triple the revenues with matching funds.

-CAMC also wants lawmakers to increase funding for West Virginia University's graduate medical education programs by up to $1 million. CAMC spends about $5.5 million a year to subsidize WVU's medical school program in Charleston.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Austin-Travis County Community Health Paramedic Program

Overview of program provides operation and referral details.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Flight Paramedic’s Perfect Weekend

Carilion Lifeguard Flight Paramedic shares what would make his perfect weekend.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Honolulu EMS Pilot Program

New program tests change in shift schedule for EMTs and Paramedics.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >