Air Ambulance Insurance Considered

Craig Loveless, CEO of Prowers Medical Center

Craig Loveless, CEO of Prowers Medical Center

Prowers Medical Center, Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless, outlined what could be a low-cost means of providing air ambulance coverage for residents in Prowers County this past Tuesday, July 28. Loveless met with the Prowers County Commissioners and discussed a proposal with a commercial service, REACH, to headquarter a medical response helicopter in La Junta which would service six area hospitals.

“Their program would cost about $40,000 a year for premiums which would cover every resident in the hospital district,” he said. The response time for a helicopter call is greatly reduced with the central location and the program eliminates waiting times to determine if the helicopter should be used. “If they’re in the air and the decision is made not to use them, they just turn around,” he explained. Loveless said private insurance can be extended for a family or individual who has traveled outside the primary coverage area from between $35 to $65 for an annual premium, depending on circumstances. He said this level of coverage can appeal to a commercial company planning to locate to the area.

The hospital director suggested that if the county is interested, one option would be a joint venture with the City of Lamar and the hospital. He listed another option, “Prowers Medical Center hasn’t asked for a mill levy increase in about 20 years and the premium costs would come to just $10 per household per year.” Commissioner Ron Cook said the county is developing the 2016 budget at this point and the proposed concept would be considered.

Loveless said the hospital renovation project, begun this past spring, is about 10 to 11 days behind schedule, all attributable to weather delays from the spring and summer rains. “We have built in some weather days in the construction project, but we expect the outdoor work to be completed when it turns colder and we’ll finish most of the renovations for indoor projects through the winter months.” He expects the work to be completed by late March or early April. Two primary areas that will benefit include an expanded operating room theater and emergency room services with patients being delivered from the ambulance indoors for the first time.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCountyEconomyFeaturedHealthLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyTransportation

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