“How do we keep some level of care, even if it’s just stabilizing care, in these very small communities?” Randy Kuykendall, interim director of EMS for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told the Denver Post. “It’s an ongoing battle.”
The Post says fast-aging rural communities rely more on Medicare payments, which are being trimmed by the sequestration and other measures. Small hospitals must work harder to recruit doctors and other providers who can bring in revenue. Ambulances see declining payments from Medicare and Medicaid, with rising costs for fuel, equipment and staff benefits.