Letters to the Editor week of 9-22-11

359

Outstanding bills

Starting this Fall, Switzerland County EMS will be utilizing a collection agency to recover outstanding bills. Currently our billing company sends three bills. If the third bill is unpaid the balance is written off. Starting immediately, if the third bill is not paid it will be turned over to collections. The collections agency will collect full amount owed or set up a payment plan. If the amount is not paid, it will go against your credit rating.

We regret having to take this course of action, but are forced to, in order to survive. It costs us nearly $600 per ambulance run. We are a private not for profit entity and are not interested in (or allowed by law) to make a profit. We just need to break even. When we collect on a bill it allows us to restock for the next run. With prices of everything soaring and our billing returns decreasing, we must generate additional funding.

Currently, we receive $42,500 per year from the County Commissioners and approximately $415,000 from the County Council on casino revenues. The balance of approximately $500,000 is generated from billing returns. It costs nearly $1 million a year to operate Switzerland County EMS. Last year we made 1,540 runs. This year we will exceed 1,600 runs. Our run volume increases every year and we expect that trend to continue.

Switzerland County EMS is a paramedic service and brings the emergency room right to your doorstep. We are fortunate to have a very talented group of emergency workers with a blend of education and experience.

Switzerland County EMS was founded on May 14th, 1969, and has strived to provide the best emergency medical service ever since. You may call Randy See, Director with any questions at 427-3750.

Randy See, Director

Switzerland County EMS

Accomplishments

Nationwide, in 2009, 4.3 million people aged 12 or older (1.7 percent of the population) received treatment for substance use disorders, and 30.2 million adults aged 18 or older (13.3 percent of the population) received services for mental health problems, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

September is National Recovery Month, and Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Lawrenceburg, joins mental health services providers in Indiana and nationwide in marking this important celebration of the accomplishments of people in recovery.

The nationwide observance of “National Recovery Month: Prevention Works, Treatment Is Effective, People Recover,” is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), within the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). National Recovery Month raises awareness of substance use and mental disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of treatment and recovery services providers.

Recovery Month spreads the message that behavioral health is an essential part of one’s health and overall wellness, and that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover from substance use and mental disorders. The month highlights the importance of communities nationwide to promote prevention, treatment and recovery services not only in September, but throughout the year.

In spite of all the positive information relating to the benefits of treatment, there still exists a considerable amount of stigma and discrimination directed at individuals with substance use and mental disorders. Stigma and discrimination continue to present a barrier for people who want to access and obtain treatment. Stigma related to admitting a substance use or mental disorder and being identified after this admission and during the treatment and recovery processes often present difficulties for the individual within their community, sometimes within their own family. Work is ongoing every day to minimize or eliminate such stigma and to encourage those in need of treatment to take the first steps toward reaching out and beginning the recovery process.

Community Mental Health Center, Inc. offers programs for individuals who want to begin the recovery process. Treatment is available for individuals of all ages. To inquire about services at Community Mental Health Center, Inc., please contact CMHC’s South Region Outpatient Services Dearborn County office at (812) 537-7375, or CMHC’s North Region Outpatient Services St. Leon office at (812) 576-1600.

All services of Community Mental Health Center, Inc. are provided without regard to race, religion, disability, gender, color, age, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, sexual orientation or political belief.

Kevin Kennedy