|Weston will continue to provide EMS service to Milton Center|
|Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Friday, 05 July 2013 09:08|
WESTON - There was considerable discussion at Monday night's meeting of the Weston Village Council focusing on emergency medical services provided by the Weston Fire Department to Milton Center.
Though the Advanced Life Support Services contract with Milton Center was sent in November, it remains unsigned. There has been some discussion between the parties over the last months and Milton Center recently sent a revised contract to be signed by Weston.
Kathy Heyman, chief of Weston EMS, was not happy with some of the language changed by Milton Center. Heyman said Milton Center is one of six entities served by her department and all the other villages and townships use the same standard contract.
Despite the lack of a contract Heyman said they will continue to provide services to the residents of Milton Center.
At issue is the payment for unpaid runs. All the entities served by the department are responsible for paying for runs within the respective jurisdictions which are not paid by insurance or the patients. The revised contract provided by Milton Center included the language that it would not be responsible if "due diligence" was not practiced in an attempt to get those runs paid for.
The term due diligence was not received well by Heyman. She said she was "insulted" by the term.
"Due diligence is something we practice every day," she said. "We pride ourselves in keeping our rates low and providing quality medical care."
Heyman explained to council that she and other first responders to an incident have a primary concern upon arrival for patient care, not insurance or billing details. She said her department gets its billing information from the face page from the hospital where the patient is transported. They base their billing on that information gathered at the medical facility.
"Our job is to get the medical information needed to for life saving," she said.
Council members voiced similar concerns and showed no interest in allowing one entity to change the contract. Though no formal vote was taken, the consensus was they did not wish to have each township or village wishing to alter its contract. It was decided the safety committee would meet with the Milton Center officials and offer them the original contract to sign, along with a secondary contract with an alternate payment form as used by at least one of the other entities.
Though the contract has the same verbiage, the choices are to pay $625 per unpaid run or a flat $2,500 fee for the year to cover any or all unpaid runs.
Heyman noted even the Village of Weston operates under the same contract. Milton Township has also signed its contract, though Milton Center, despite its location within Milton Township does operate with its own contract.
It was suggested of the possibility of not providing services should the situation continue without a contract. Heyman said that would not happen as the department is covered by liability insurance for anything which should occur when they are paged out.
Heyman also provided for council a detailed listing of billing procedures followed in an attempt to collect fees for services provided. That list includes insurance filings, billing notices and collection procedures.
Council members also shared how the damage and problems from two recent windstorms were handled well by everyone involved including the residents. However, because of the recent storms, the fire department found they did not have the necessary chain saws to handle the volume of trees and limbs that were downed. Council approved purchasing four new chain saws at $299 each.
The council also set a public hearing on Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The hearing will focus on a proposed ordinance regarding the regulations of having livestock within the village.
Council is also considering establishing a tree assessment fund to cover the costs of both routine and emergency tree removals.
|Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 09:35|
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