Illinois City Council Proposes Ambulance Fee Increase to Minimize Deficit

New charge for refusing advanced life support upon the arrival of emergency responders also is proposed.


 
 

TARA GARCIA MATHEWSON, Chicago Daily Herald | | Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Higher ambulance fees may be the latest way to recover costs and minimize Elgin's projected budget deficit, which could be as high as $13 million next year.

City council members will consider a revised fee schedule Wednesday. The fees have not been adjusted since 2001, prompting officials to increase charges to better match costs.

"It has been identified that we are grossly undercharging for our services, especially to nonresidents and those who submit to their insurance company for payment," Fire Chief John Fahy wrote in an Oct. 4 memo to City Manager Sean Stegall.

Ambulance fees differ by treatment from basic life support to two levels of advanced

life support. The resident fees would increase by about 25 percent, and the nonresident fees would increase by 50 to 70 percent.

If approved, the city also will begin charging a fee of $10 per mile from the call address to the hospital. According to an ambulance user fee survey of 138 Chicago area emergency medical service providers, most departments already charge for mileage.

Fahy said Medicare and Medicaid recipients would not be affected by the higher fees, but people with group health insurance plans who pay 20 percent of the total bill would see an increase of about $20.

"It would be a minimal impact on the residents who use our service," Fahy said.

People without insurance still would be responsible for the entire bill.

A new charge for refusing advanced life support upon the arrival of emergency responders also is proposed. For nonresidents, the charge would be $400 each time. For residents, the charge would be $300 after the third occurrence in a 12-month period.

The increases would bring the fire department closer to covering vehicle costs from ambulance calls, but Fahy said that is a small portion of the total expense of running the department.

If council members approve the proposed changes Wednesday, an official vote will take place at the following council meeting with implementation toward the end of the year.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, ambulance billing

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >