Anderson County Council approves EMS rate increase


By Stan Welch
Anderson County Council approved a rate increase for EMS providers Tuesday night. Medshore operator Greg Shore explained to the Council that the projected increase, which will amount to approximately six per cent, will not affect those clients on Medicare or Medicaid.
“This will affect those with commercial insurance, and those involved in automobile accidents. Those on the government supported programs will not be impacted at all. We haven’t seen a rate increase in four years here in Anderson county, while all the costs associated with providing EMS services have continued to rise.” Shore was speaking on  behalf of all the providers in the county, as public safety committee chairman Ray Graham was quick to point out.
The Council also approved a request by the Pelzer Rescue Squad and several others to employ the same billing agent, in order to obtain the most favorable rate for the service possible. “As one result of the EMS study we did last year, it was recommended that all the squads come under the same billing organization, and this is clearly a good step in that direction. The Iva squad is talking to this same agent now. Medshore is a bit more complicated, since they are a commercial entity, but we encourage this action by these squads,” said Graham.
The Council also authorized county staff to negotiate with a local company, Realty Link, in consultation over what type of building to construct on the site of the old Bailes Building just behind the historic courthouse. Realty Link was one of four companies to respond to the county’s request for qualifications. After the council appointed ad hoc committee interviewed and evaluated all four of the applicants, Realty Link was chosen.
The Council is also studying the issue of simplifying the process of conducting a traffic impact study in reference to new developments in the county. Involved in the study is a review of the various standards used in the various states which  trigger such studies.
Projected increases in traffic are the most common standard used. The intent of the Council review going on now is to make the implementation of a traffic impact study (TIS) a case by case decision, rather than an arbitrary figure. The change in emphasis will have a large impact on the planning challenges facing the Powdersville area currently.