Bates County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) has submitted applications to Bates County Commissioners Office requesting funding through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for replacement of two aging ambulance units, and reimbursement for revamping the hospital’s central registration area to enhance infection prevention measures. BCMH seeks this funding in response to COVID-19, a disease that continues to pose a threat to Americans’ health. These funds would be used to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 to the general public:
1. A request for $600,000 for the replacement of two aging ambulances with an estimated cost of $300,000 per unit. (In 2021, BCMH replaced a 2010 model ambulance with approximately 300,000 miles; the new Unit 1 ambulance was purchased for approximately $265,000.) BCMH provides 911 ambulance services for Bates County residents without any subsidies, and currently operates four ambulances to meet the needs of the county. Due to the significant cost of an ambulance, the replacement program for these vehicles is staggered. Two of the hospital’s ambulances will need to be replaced soon. The need for replacement has been expedited due to the increased mileage related to transfers going further out when hospitals in Kansas City were full due to the pandemic. The investment in these vehicles is important and truly benefits all residents of the county.
2. A request for $146,883 for reimbursement for revamping the hospital’s central registration to address infection control guidelines, a project completed in 2021. This project was developed with private, individual glass registration offices with physical barriers, accomplishing social distancing and privacy for patients and staff. BCMH would not have allocated or expended funds toward this project had it not been necessary to address the infectious nature of the COVID-19 virus.
Both requests made by BCMH fall under eligible use for ARPA funding, and “ambulances” are specifically listed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under “Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF): Overview of the Final Rule”, page 14, a part of the American Rescue Plan.