Updated: Ambulance/Emergency Vehicles and Transporting patients-where? (2019)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas
And Glen Rose Medical Center no longer a trauma level 4 hospital
Updated: Ambulance/Emergency Vehicles and Transporting patients-where? (2019)
26 April 2019 at 3:24:55 PM
I wanted to sort out, for myself, the specific procedures used by the Somervell County Fire/EMS Department regarding what happens when someone gets hurt in the county, say, as part of a wreck on Hwy 67. I went down to the firehouse, and conversed with 4 people who were there. One I recognized because some years back I went to a CPR training that was conducted at one of the education buildings at Fossil Rim and she was one of the presenters ("YOU! Dial 911!") Anyway, I had several specific questions in mind and it was great to not only get answers but chat with professional, friendly people. Before I go further, if I have any part of this wrong or incorrect, or something needs to be expanded upon, please feel free to comment or you can send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
First, at some point in the past Glen Rose Medical Center contracted with Pecan Plantation to send ambulances but that contract or agreement apparently no longer is in effect (if Pecan Plantation sends out an ambulance to Somervell residents, those residents get a bill, whereas now that SomCo is running a business with own ambulances, IF the ambulance is from Somervell County, the residents are zero billed, according to both Brian Watts and Mark Crawford- see Feb 11 2009 SomCo Commissioner meeting) . Instead, Somervell County, through that budget, has beefed up vehicles that are used as ambulances (I suspect I had a semantics issue with using the word "ambulance" as it might refer to people in EMS as a specific type of vehicle, but the point is that there are transport vehicles that are owned by the county and used to transport ill or injured people to the hospital of their choice). The dispatcher at Somervell County makes the determination, with advice from the EMS personnel, of what type of entity to call out. For example, it may be that a person needs to be air-helicoptered to a hospital due to injuries. The dispatcher would be the one to call up, say, Careflight or Air Evac. I had heard the other day that one of the city council people was injured by apparently being run down by someone slse and was careflighted to a hospital in another town, for example. (Adding that according to Mark Crawford in the Feb 11 2009 Somervell County Commissioners Court, Som Co regularly runs 3 ambulances -see the video for Feb 11 2009 elsewhere on the site and on Youtube. )
Somervell County residents don't pay for the transport, and will be taken to any hospital they choose, although it it not clear to me if there is any type of charge once the county lines are crossed; according to one of the Fire Dept personnel, any time a Somervell County resident crosses county lines, he or she is billed for the service. This applies whether it is the initial choice of the injured person or whether, if taken to Glen Rose Medical Center, GRMC then determines that the person needs to be transferred to a different hospital. Because the ambulance is crossing county lines, the person will be billed for that. This is with the exception of a Pecan Plantation ambulance being called. Example: Suppose you and another resident are in a wreck and, because of the circumstances, your friend is taken with a Somervell County ambulance to GRMC and, because there isn't a Somco ambulance available, a PP ambulance is called. Even though you are a Somervell County resident, you will be billed for the ambulance and the billing service is through PP, not Somervell). Other people that are not residents are charged for the entire transport, including mileage, and again are taken to the hospital of their choice. (That might include being taken to Waco or Fort Worth). It happens, then, that the costs of transporting the sick are ultimately recouped, although that might not happen immediately. The county contracts with a 3rd party billing entity for this.
EMS personnel will make a determination, based on the severity of the injuries, whether it would be best to take the injured to Glen Rose Medical Center or to another hospital. Of course they listen and will do as the patient requests, assuming he or she is not unconscious, but it might be, in EMS judgement, that the person would be worse off or possibly not survive if they don't first go to Glen Rose Medical Center. But no one is apparently forced to have to go to Glen Rose Medical Center.
Glen Rose Medical Center, although it has been for some years, is not currently certified as a Level 4 Trauma hospital. From the DHHS site. Notice that, although the license information, confusingly, says status is Current, it also shows that the license expired in 2013.
How about Lake Granbury Medical Center? Also current BUT expires in 2021.
Is Glen Rose Medical Center still a Trauma Level 4 hospital? No
But Lake Granbury Medical Center is
I cannot find where I wrote about this before, but I believe this is something that Gary Marks spoke about in one of his dog and pony shows regarding the first time the hospital district was attempted to pass (and failed). The idea was that it was a requirement of Comanche Peak to have a trauma level 4 hospital nearby to handle potential accidents, and this was used as a justification for keeping a hospital here. It may be that Comanche Peak no longer uses Glen Rose Medical Center but rather Lake Granbury Medical Center, which is right up the road on Hwy 56.
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