Med-Care holding the line for 2018 budget

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MEXICO — The Med-Care Ambulance board of directors has voted to hold the line on its 2018 budget.

Directors last month approved a $1,827,333 budget, or $24 per capita — the same as 2017 for the 11 towns comprising the Northern Oxford Regional Ambulance Service.

Board President Steve Brown said the budget is actually down from the $1,949,173 budget for 2017.

“We wanted to make sure that the budget for this year would align with our projected revenue,” Brown said. “The billing revenue is hard to project with the changes in the health care payment methods, but we’re holding the per capita the same.”

He said about 20.6 percent of Med-Care’s budget will come from the per-capita assessment.

Med-Care Executive Director Dean Milligan said: “We basically do the whole budget, look at all the expenses, take into account the medical-billing revenue, see if it’s red or it is black and see if we have to do anything with the assessment. Most generally, that’s kind of a taboo. We don’t want to touch that. We go back, sharpen our pencils and find where we can cut more expenses.”

He said the number of calls responded to by Med-Care in 2017 exceeded 4,000 for the first time.

And when asked to describe Med-Care’s financial condition, Milligan said, “We’re holding our own.”

Brown said holding the line also means no planned major capital purchases for 2018.

“We’re paying on two remounts for ambulances right now,” he said.

He said the population figures for the 11 towns has dropped by 35 to 15,682 people. As result, there is a drop of $840 in total assessment money.

Med-Care is using the same figures that the state uses to determine its cost-sharing, Brown said.

The town assessments for 2018, which are up or down by less than 1 percent, are: Andover ($19,656), Byron ($3,480), Canton ($22,704), Carthage ($13,488), Dixfield ($59,112), Hanover ($5,664), Mexico ($62,880), Newry ($7,920), Peru ($37,416), Roxbury ($8,664) and Rumford ($135,384).

Milligan said the 10-year interlocal agreement with member towns expires June 8, 2018. So far, seven of the 11 towns have already approved a new, 10-year agreement. Towns that still need to vote on an extension: Roxbury, Newry, Hanover and Byron.

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The Med-Care Ambulance board of directors has voted to hold the line on its 2018 budget. From left: Jim Pulsifer, Steve Brown and Dean Milligan. (Rumford Falls Times file photo)

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