Most Frequently asked Questions in Ambulance Billing
When it comes to emergency medical services (EMS) there are a lot of questions people ask. In most cases folks do not follow up because, after all they are in some sort of emergency and tend to forget about the questions popping up in their minds once the emergency is passed. Here are a few such questions complied with the answers comprising the FAQs in EMS or ambulance billing.
1. Is it absolutely necessary for the District to charge ambulance fees?
In order to provide uniform services to all the residents by keeping the cost of emergency medical services affordable. It is the Fire and EMS Department that has been charging uniform rates of ambulance fees for the past so many years (with periodic increases where applicable). This was done so that the tax costs could be kept down to benefit all residents and visitors equally. Taxes play an important part in funding such services, and the rest is taken care of by insurance companies. However, taxes can never be used as the only source of funding for such services.
2. Is there any particular type of transport? What are the prescribed fees?
The Fire and EMS Department all over the country have to follow the fee schedule fixed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as prescribed in the Federal Register. The variations will be there when additional services like providing oxygen. Otherwise, it is the same for providing basic life support services. The fees charged will be slightly higher when advanced life support services are provided. When Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedure and multiple medications are provided, the service extended becomes advanced life support at a different level, and the charges are proportionately higher.
3. If a fire truck comes along with the ambulance, is there an extra charge?
The answer is an emphatic no, the Fire and EMS Department is supposed to charge only for ambulance services, and that is what it does. Fire trucks respond to calls reporting a fire, which is usually conveyed through a 911 call, hence no fee is charged for such services. Even after summoning an ambulance a person responds to emergency treatment and chooses not to travel by the ambulance, he or she is not charged.
4. Does one have to reveal personal details to the ambulance crew?
The ambulance crew will definitely ask for personal information, which can be revealed by you. The reason this information is asked is to establish your identity and to ensure no fraud occurs. As the Fire and EMS Department charges fees the ambulance crew is expected to verify the identity, which includes name, social security number, home address, telephone number and birth date as well. If the crew asks for insurance details or employment details if the situation warrants it, you need to provide the information.
5. Will the ambulance fee be paid by the health insurance company?
In most cases the health insurance pays for the ambulance charges. People who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid will never incur out of pocket expenses in relation to ambulance charges. However, those who are covered by private healthcare insurance may have to pay co-pay or at least deductible expenses. If not covered by insurance the full ambulance fee has to be paid.
These are some of the answers to questions that can help you sail through the ocean of Ambulance Billing and assist in ensuring flawless billing process.