The cost of medical examiner services is rising, and Livingston County’s Emergency Medical Services is still working out how they’ll make up the difference.

Medical examiner and forensic pathology services are mandated by the state, and Livingston County EMS has received those services from Sparrow Hospital for the last five years. The contract with Sparrow nears expiration at the end of August, and Director Jeff Boyd says EMS was caught “a little off guard” to see the cost in services was going to increase by about $250,000.

EMS went out to bid for the services and the University Of Michigan Department Of Pathology came in as the low bidder. Boyd says they only had two bids because it only makes sense in terms of transportation to work with contiguous counties. Still, the cost of services is going to rise, even by awarding the contract to U of M, by about $120,000.

The county’s Public Safety & Infrastructure and Development Committee unanimously approved a three-year contract with U of M on Monday, sending it forward to the Finance Committee for approval. Boyd says he’s not sure how EMS will recoup the cost, but they’re looking into their options. He says as surrounding counties will also be seeing an increase, they’ll investigate what their plan of action is and look for similar opportunities. (DK)