LPPJ moving ahead with Pafford deal; City could lose $400 thousand in EMS insurance revenue

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury is moving forward with negotiations that will likely lead to a contract with Pafford Medical Services to provide emergency medical ambulance service to residents outside the city limits of Ruston, it was said at last night’s meeting of the jury.

Several sources with knowledge of the matter told LPNO that if that deal is made, about 40% of the revenues from insurance billings would go to Pafford instead of Ruston EMS. That number is the approximate percentage of emergency calls that are outside the city limits of Ruston, and will no longer be handled by Ruston EMS after January 1, 2023.

According to the latest figures we have available from the city’s buget, Slightly over $1 million was collected by Ruston EMS from various insurance carriers (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance) on behalf of emergency patients handled by the agency.

Forty percent of that figure would amount to about $400 thousand.

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker had demanded that the police jury pay almost $650 thousand/year to continue rural emergency ambulance service outside Ruston’s city limits. That proposal was voted down at last month’s jury meeting.

Lincoln Parish Ambulance Committee Chair Charlie Edwards told the jury that negotiations with Pafford are ongoing and should be ready to present to the jury’s legal advisor within a short time.

Said Edwards, “I expect to see a contract by the end of this week, give it to the committee at the next meeting, and possibly also have it to Mr. (Assistant DA Lewis) Jones for his review.”

“If somebody on January 1 needs 911 and an ambulance, they will get it, one way or another,” he added.

Edwards said the cost of the subsidy to Pafford is $360 thousand, and would provide for Advanced Life Support (ALS) units staffed with a paramedic. He also addressed the issue of standards, saying that Pafford operates under state law and standards set by the Louisiana Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.

Edwards is a retired engineer with Claiborne Electric and now operates a company that provides communications equipment for public agencies and utilities. He also serves on the Ruston/Lincoln Fire and Police Civil Service Board.

Also addressing the jury on the issue was Pafford Chief Operating Officer Shane Davidson.

Davidson noted that since their company operated all over North Louisiana, response times in outlying areas of Lincoln Parish could be quicker than that presently provided by Ruston EMS, as they have units stationed in towns close to the parish border, like Arcadia, Bernice, or Famerville.

He also said that if Pafford had the ambulance service for the city, no subsidy would be needed, as the insurance billings from those calls would provide enough additional income to cover the costs.

Said Davidson, “If we were running this entire parish, and Ruston city decided ‘hey, we’re not going to run ambulances any more, we’re going to let you do it, Pafford,’ we wouldn’t charge a subsidy. Because we would be picking up all the volume for the city calls, and we wouldn’t need a subsidy.”

Several area taxpayers spoke during the public comment period, including local restaurateur Chris Garriga.

Garrida questioned why no action was taken by the police jury when over a year ago the city offered the jury a long term contract for $120 thousand, and that last month the jury should have followed the recommendation of the ambulance committee and taken the city’s $650 thousand offer.

Bill May questioned why all of a sudden the city is short of money for ambulance operations.

Said May, “I don’t understand why suddenly all of this needs to be addressed, and all of this extra money needs to be provided. It doesn’t really pass the smell test to me.”

35 Responses to “LPPJ moving ahead with Pafford deal; City could lose $400 thousand in EMS insurance revenue”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Bill May, it’s all about getting all the money you can out of taxpayers!

  2. Realist Says:

    At least the citizens of Ruston have already made provision for the loss of revenue by adding $5 to every electric bill inside the City each month.
    Sure glad they aren’t having to subsidize the rural ambulance any more. That’ll show ‘em.
    Maybe they can add another $5 or so to support losses at RonnieWorld…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The money quote here: Pafford stated they could provide ambulance service for the entire parish with NO SUBSIDY; billings alone would be sufficient to operate it.
    Runnie can, too, but he needs money to subsidize the playground.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Yep; interested to see the upcoming City budget and how they arrange for the loss of ambulance revenue from two sources: billing for outside the City and the police jury cash contribution.
      Also wonder when the new tax to subsidize operation and maintenance of RonnyWorld (ball park) is coming before the City voters?

      • Anonymous Says:

        “Yep; interested to see the upcoming City budget and how they arrange for the loss of ambulance revenue from two sources: billing for outside the City and the police jury cash contribution.”

        Ruston benefits getting out of the parish. 30k doesn’t even pay for 1 FF. Medicare and Medicaid are a joke on paying. The amount of money they will save and coverage they will add for Ruston citizens is going to be much better. People in parish forget they were paying pennies for ems and rescue. 30k a year is laughable

        • Anonymous Says:

          And you forget that Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance were billed for calls both outside and inside the City. Assuming similar ratios of collection, the $30,000 remittance by the Police Jury , combined with collected billing, likely substantially covered it.
          But then, there’s the playground, losing money hand over fist…

          • Anonymous Says:

            “And you forget that Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance were billed for calls both outside and inside the City. Assuming similar ratios of collection, the $30,000 remittance by the Police Jury , combined with collected billing, likely substantially covered it.
            But then, there’s the playground, losing money hand over fist…”

            Pennies, and 30k a year is basically free, laughable. Parish has been getting away with thievery for decades.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    This is good news for the city. They don’t have to hire more personnel and buy another ambulance to continue running out in the parish. The cost of running ems and rescue in the parish is more than 400k. Good on both sides. My only concern is Pafford couldn’t even handle Grambling alone a few years back, RFD had to continue covering even though Pafford had the contract. We will see how it all works out. Parish about to pay much more than Ruston requested. Ambulance and rescue isn’t free.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Get the clowns out of office and see how much better it all works.

    • Anonymous Says:

      People be stupid; they’ll never accept that government isn’t Big Sugar Daddy; the populist god that makes their every dream come true. It only makes hollow promises, takes their money and freedom, then blames them when the promises collapse in a cloud of reality dust.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    People be stupid. They allow someone else to tell them what the right thing to do is.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Well, the Leader had a front-page article about the ambulance issue and failed to make one mention of the statement of Pafford’s representative, that they could cover Lincoln Parish and Ruston without any government subsidy; with only revenue from billing. If they can do what Ruston is doing now, with only the revenue from billing, why can’t Ruston do so? Mismanagement?

      • Anonymous Says:

        Ruston wanted money beyond paying for the service; they want money they can divert to other projects.

      • Anonymous Says:

        “Well, the Leader had a front-page article about the ambulance issue and failed to make one mention of the statement of Pafford’s representative, that they could cover Lincoln Parish and Ruston without any government subsidy; with only revenue from billing. If they can do what Ruston is doing now, with only the revenue from billing, why can’t Ruston do so? Mismanagement?”

        Pafford has non-emergency contract with LP, that’s where all the money is. RFD only has emergency contract, they got out of non-emergency probably 25 years ago. Every non-emergency call is paid for and paid for at the maximum. Only 50% of emergency calls are paid ON not necessarily paid for fully.

        When Ruston offered 120k initially Pafford told LPPJ to accept that as that’s steal extremely cheap. LPPJ played politics and games and Ruston pulled the offer after several threats. Ruston is happy leaving that extra 400k to someone else if it means they can appropriately cover their city.

  7. YY Says:

    This is good for all sides. LPFD now has a chance to get more money from the parish and break into the rescue service. They have been helping Ruston out when needed, for instance multiple wrecks at once, or a really bad wreck needing 2 rescue trucks. Pafford also has a chance to keep their foot in the door for the parish. They will not get Ruston as Ruston has a no compete clause. Even Hollingsworth tried to get RFD out of the ambulance service put public pressure shut it down, also at the time Acadidan being unable to get Ouachita parish from AMR helped. RFD can or will be able to next year keep their FFs in their city which is what I’m sure the citizens of Ruston would prefer.

    • YY Says:

      Also, the FFs of Ruston from what I’ve been told are fully expecting to still respond both rescue and ambulance in the parish even after next year. They 100% believe Pafford will do fine at first but like usual, will eventually drop an ambulance and struggle to keep medics, those calls will start flowing into RFD. They are told to just go regardless and let the administration worry about the back end of all this. LPPJ or Pafford will have to pay RFD for each run if it becomes a problem. Which is typical for most agencies outside of mutual aid. Mutual aid is 3-4 times a year though, not 3-4 times a day.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I’ll take Pafford over runnie any day. Someone needs to tell the Ruston fire and ambulance workers: this is not anything about the value of your work nor the quality of your work. This is a dispute between the city leadership and the pj. It is well-known the mayor is scratching for money anywhere he can find it, and what his plan is: to use the ambulance service to lever cash out of the pj to subsidize the ball park. The budget and audit numbers support this suspicion.
        The pj is resisting this. That’s all there is to it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    What are the numbers regarding the sports complex? Isn’t funding basically through the hotel & restaurant tax? Are the $$ not coming at the level anticipated? if not, how far off the mark? Some of you must know to keep mentioning “the playground.”

    And what about all y’all that were saying Postel was in Ronny’s pocket & would do his bidding? Where are y’all now?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Look in the City audit, FY ending 9/30/2021, and City budget docs. All public record.
      Playground was built with bonds supported by a tax. Cost of operation and maintenance come from the income it generates; if it loses money the City has to come up with the difference from somewhere.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Postel will be leaving soon anyway; maybe runny will hire him.

      • Anonymous Says:

        We knew he would. Since he didn’t have a complete pension from the state because he didn’t stay at Choudrant and then was fired by Delta…he needed the pj to complete his state pension.

    • Anonymous Says:

      He will. And does. He attempts to convince as much as he can . Some pj members don’t bite.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Postel benefits from Ronnie and the sports complex. He owns that sad ass concession stand/restaurant. Whatever you want to call it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Postel is triggered.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Summing up: whatever LPPJ does now is going to cost taxpayers more in taxes. If LPFD takes over rescue, I guarantee in less than 2 years, they’ll be asking for an increased tax for fire/rescue. You can bet on it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      They should as for more money, running rescue services ain’t cheap

    • Anonymous Says:

      Ruston City administration started the entire bru-ha-ha. Rather than approaching the Police Jury with a reasonable increase in the annual contribution toward the ambulance service, to cover whatever extra costs the City incurred by providing the rural service, they went for a larger amount. The budget numbers don’t support even the initial request, which is likely why it was rejected by the PJ. They understand the search is on for financial support for the ball park.
      Even if the requested increase were justified, the PJ would have to come up with it from somewhere, that somewhere being taxes, of course.
      At least the PJ can remain independent of Ruston, by going elsewhere for ambulance service. Don’t forget, though, that Ruston started this, not the PJ.

      • YY Says:

        Ruston offered to do ems/rescue for 120k back in spring of 2021. According to the fire chief, LPPJ was playing games and Ruston threatened to take proposal off the table if they didn’t give a yes or no answer after several meetings.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    What ever rescue and ambulance cost IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY. Stop griping and go watch these professionals both LPFD & RFD risk there lives for a total stranger 98% of there call. I’ve been there and worked alongside both departments for over 35 plus years. Great job guys.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Their ability is not the issue; the issue is we could have gotten out of this without a greater financial burden on taxpayers.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Wonder what individual or individuals in Lincoln Parish or Ruston City government will benefit from this. This is the question we should to be asking.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    “Edwards said the cost of the subsidy to Pafford is $360 thousand, and would provide for Advanced Life Support (ALS) units staffed with a paramedic”
    But paramedics are NOT in the draft contract. Without it in writing, Pafford could use EMTs with much less training and ability.

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