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Yes, currently similar programs have been implemented within Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Charles County, Maryland. The City of Fredericksburg and Caroline County are in the planning phase of implementing this type of program.
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Please refer to our Ambulance Fee For Service page.
The Ambulance Fee for Service Program will start on August 1, 2007.
The billing company will have customer service representatives to address your questions. If you are not satisfied with this response or wish to speak with someone locally, you can contact the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services at 540-775-7995 or email your questions.
The Compassionate Billing Policy includes:
Insured patients, who are residents of King George County, are not responsible for any ambulance transport service fees not paid by their insurance carrier or carriers. All other patients are responsible for ambulance transport service fees not paid by their insurance carrier or carriers unless otherwise waived as provided in the Compassionate Billing Policy.
Patients are not responsible for any amount of the ambulance transport service fees adjusted by insurance carriers as a result of state or federal regulations or by agreement with King George County.
Several billing vendors advised that this should not occur, as most if not all policies do not have a limit on emergency transports related to EMS service. If this did occur, the County could decide to waive some or all of the charge for residents based upon the circumstances. Under King George’s Compassionate Billing Policy, additional fees may be waived.
King George County’s billing company will not pursue payment recovery through a debt collection agency without the expressed authorization of the County Administrator or his designee.
It is the intent of the County to utilize the Office of Inspector General (OIG) opinion for County residents, so the out-of-pocket expense for the co-pay will not need to be paid by County residents.
Ability to pay will never be considered when providing service. When residents need emergency assistance, they should call 911 without hesitation. Also, based upon the localities we have contacted, they have all reported that there has not been a decrease in call volume and in most cases call volume has increased.
No. If you or family members are not transported, there will be no bill for services rendered. Ambulance fee for service is based on what is termed "loaded service," whereby someone is actually transported.
Staff has estimated that approximately $300,000 to $400,000 in revenue may be generated for the full first fiscal year.
Many automobile insurance policies and homeowners' insurance policies provide some form of coverage if the insured was injured and required transport by ambulance, per information provided to staff by several billing companies. County staff recommends that citizens review their insurance coverage to verify their limits of coverage under each policy. In speaking with the billing contractors, they routinely bill health insurance first, and then auto, and lastly any other form of insurance.
King George County contracts this service out to a private company to handle the billing process. After patient care is provided, insurance information will be obtained routinely, often at the hospital. King George County will waive co-payments and deductibles for county residents. Non-insured residents will receive an initial statement from the billing company, while insured residents will receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from their insurance company. All patients may apply for the hardship waiver, if needed.
Yes, only County residents will have their co-payments and deductibles waived.
Unfortunately, health insurance premiums continue to rise regardless of whether or not a community decides to bill for EMS transports. Such factors as prescription-drug coverage, litigation, technology improvements in the medical field and depressed insurance company investment returns have resulted in escalating health insurance premium costs. However, ambulance transport costs represent less than 1% of health care expenditures. Many other local governments in Virginia have implemented a revenue recovery program for ambulance transport fees, and they have reported no evidence that EMS billing increases health insurance premiums.
Persons using the Emergency Medical Service are asked to provide any insurance information you have at the time of service, whenever possible. Attending to the patient’s medical needs will always be the first priority.
If your insurance information is not available at the time of service, the billing company will attempt to obtain the information at the hospital. If the information cannot be obtained, you may receive a letter asking you to provide the information. You can contact the billing office to provide the information. When the billing office receives the information, your insurance will be billed. You will not receive any further correspondence or bills until the insurance company has made a determination on your claim.
King George County will be using Medical Accounts Receivable Systems (MARS)/Ambulance Medical Billing (AMB) for billing services. They can be contacted 800-749-7026 or on the web.
You can visit Ambulance Fee for Service page.