El Cajon To Use About $900,000 From Reserves To Cover Unanticipated Emergency Medical Costs
El Cajon will take about $900,000 from its reserve account to subsidize its emergency medical services budget, including ambulance costs, for the current year because of "unforeseen costs," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. In 2003, El Cajon spent an average of $494 per person for ambulance transportation costs, but average payments from Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurers and people who pay their own medical expenses amounted to about $402 per person. City officials anticipate average costs per person will be about $528 this year, while they say payments from all sources will average about $389 per person. The city plans to hire a consultant to help bring costs for emergency medical services in line with the budget. City Finance Director Michael Shelton said that the city this year increased the emergency medical services budget by about $300,000, adding that the rest of El Cajon's $97.3 million budget "is on track," the Union-Tribune reports (Neely, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.