Fort Worth, Texas — In a pivotal decision on Tuesday, the Fort Worth City Council greenlighted its 2024 fiscal budget, earmarking a notable sum of $4.2 million for MedStar’s transitional funding. This allocation, drawn directly from Fort Worth’s financial reserves, is yet under scrutiny as the city manager, David Cooke, shared that dialogues persist with neighboring cities falling under MedStar’s coverage, regarding their financial participation.
“They all want to participate,” Cooke said, adding that it’s just a matter of the details being worked out.
MedStar, an eminent ambulance provider, extends its services to a cluster of 14 cities nestled in Tarrant County. This cluster encompasses notable names like Fort Worth, Haltom City, White Settlement, Saginaw, and Sansom Park, as delineated on the agency’s digital portal.
City of Fort Worth wants other North Texas cities to help MedStar financially
Earlier in August, Assistant City Manager Valerie Washington confirmed the pivotal financial arrangement. She highlighted that should partner cities decide to financially participate, it would consequentially diminish the fiscal weight on Fort Worth’s shoulders, while MedStar’s allocated budget remains static.
Significantly, Fort Worth, in conjunction with its member cities, refrained from extending financial aid to MedStar since the dawn of the decade in 2010.
Addressing the funding’s necessity, MedStar’s spokesperson, Matt Zavadsky, drew attention to the amplified operational costs, especially post the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. With medical technicians and paramedics’ retention becoming pricier and juxtaposed with dwindling reimbursements from insurance enterprises, MedStar finds itself navigating monetary deficits, resorting to tapping into its reserve funds.
Washington accentuated the transitory nature of this financial boost, a bridge to ensure MedStar’s unobstructed operations. Concurrently, Mayor Mattie Parker’s Ad Hoc Council Committee on Emergency Medical Response is delving into a comprehensive re-assessment of MedStar’s modus operandi and juxtaposing it against alternative EMS frameworks.
By April 30, 2024, the committee is slated to conclude its assessment and delineate its recommendation concerning the “optimal trajectory for Fort Worth’s Emergency Medical Services,” as articulated in Mayor Parker’s statement to the Fort Worth City Council.
While the fiscal blueprint for 2024 earmarks the transitional fund under its non-departmental category, Washington stated that an additional council endorsement will be imperative before the earmarked $4.2 million is funneled to MedStar’s coffers.