San Diego County Supervisors Approve $4.3M for Local Emergency Medical Services
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to distribute $4.3 million from the county's share of the national tobacco settlement to 19 area hospitals to help with the rising costs of providing emergency medical services, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the supervisors' vote is part of a plan to "improve the region's ability to respond to disasters and terrorism." Board member Dianne Jacob said, "Emergency medical care in our region is dangerously insufficient." The Union-Tribune reports that the funds will be divided among the facilities based on a state formula that accounts for the number of emergency room visits and licensed beds and the amount of care not covered by insurance or the state. Each hospital will receive between $40,000 and $1 million. Last October, supervisors provided $8.8 million to the local medical system, part of which was used to upgrade the computer system used by county emergency workers. After announcing the latest round of funding, Board of Supervisors Chair Ron Roberts "cautioned" hospital officials "not to expect more financial help" from the county. Roberts said, "I hope that all of those who are recipients of these funds also know that they've got some work to do to get this system running right because these dollars are not going to be there in perpetuity" (Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/16).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.