The board of the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District received an upbeat report on its audit during the July meeting.
Dawnata Hopkins, with The CPA Group, presented the audit report. The district's overall finances showed a significant improvement over the year. The proprietary fund ended the year at $998,588, up from $898,947 the previous year.
Operational expenses were down by 4 percent with less depreciation and $15,000 less spent on salaries and wages. The number of unpaid customer bills were up by almost $8,000, insurance was up $8,000 and fuel costs were up by almost $8,000, almost all of which was offset by a reduction in spending on supplies.
Hopkins noted the board has aggressively paid down its debt to enhance future cash flow. During the 2011 fiscal year, the board paid off all its existing debts, which will save $96,500 in interest payments over the next 10 years.
A breakdown of district income showed 68 percent comes from private billing, insurance and collections. A quarter comes from the district's property tax in Barry and Lawrence counties. Seven percent comes from Medicare and Medicaid payments.
Ambulance crews had their busiest April in seven years, making 237 runs, compared to 167 a year earlier. In June they made 249 runs, again the most in seven years.
The increase was enough to boost the run total for the first half of 2011 by 10 percent over the 2010 pace.
Of the runs completed in April, crews took 55 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 65 to Springfield hospitals, seven to Joplin hospitals, four to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and two to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Twelve went to helicopter landing zones.
In May, crews took 46 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 78 to Springfield hospitals, 13 to Joplin hospitals and seven to St. John's-Aurora. Eight went to helicopter landing zones.
In June, crews took 64 patients to Cox Monett, 76 patients to Springfield hospitals, three to Freeman in Joplin, eight to St. John's-Aurora, two to St. John's-Cassville and 10 to helicopter landing zones.
Four additional runs were picked up in April for other services. Two patients were taken to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, and one each to St. John's-Aurora and Freeman West in Joplin. Three runs were turned over to other services, two because both on-duty rigs were busy and one involving an overnight transfer to St. Louis.
In May, crews made 12 mutual aid responses, all but three of which resulted in patient transfers. The response on May 22 to help after the Joplin tornado entailed 12 patient transports. The other responses entailed five patient transfers to Springfield, two to St. John's-Cassville and one to a helicopter.
Seven staff members took an advanced cardiac life support class in May. All employees were trained on American Heart Association's new CPR guidelines.
The office manager's report showed excess overtime has been reduced in recent months. In addition to the regular 160 hours of overtime scheduled for each two-week pay period, the district paid only four and a half hours in overtime in April and none in June. Almost 63 hours for standby service, paid by the client per event, were logged in April and 30 hours in May.
In May, paramedic Clay Pannell was promoted from on-call to full-time duty.