N. Baltimore tries to cure EMS billing PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 10 January 2014 10:30
NORTH BALTIMORE - A three-year analysis of the village's EMS service has shown the department has been billing patients for less than one-fourth of its runs.
The discovery, shared with council members Thursday night by EMS Chief Eric Larson, could potentially mean thousands of dollars in unbilled revenue for the village.
Larson, who was first appointed as interim EMS chief last summer before being given the official title, has been working to reform the village's EMS billing and staffing structure.
Standing before council on Thursday, Larson said the department didn't bill for 82 percent of its runs in 2010, 88 percent in 2011 and 89 percent in 2012.
"It's something that needs to be addressed and fixed," Larson said.
The lack of billing, Larson said, is largely due to not having insurance information for patients.
However, several council members expressed dismay the department was not more aggressive in following up on obtaining a patient's insurance information in order for the EMS department to be paid for services provided.
"So one of our people pulls the bill out and sees it's unpaid and it's OK," council member Bill Cameron questioned.
"You still have the address and phone number and those type of things. Somebody should be calling 'Mrs. Smith' and asking her for her insurance information," Cameron said.
Council member Rich Rose added, "I agree something has got to be done. You can't run a business like that."
"Billing for ambulance runs is an art form itself, which is why I suggested you go with the billing company," Larson said.
Council has previously voted to move forward with outsourcing its billing and to move to an electronic reporting system.
"Once we are able to implement the electronic reporting and we are doing everything through this billing company, this should be rectified," Larson assured.
Larson said the billing company has a 70 to 72 percent rate of return on collections and the company has told him they think the department should be able to collect between $84,000 and $108,000 annually for services provided.
Larson estimated the department was reimbursed about $43,000 for services provided in 2012.

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