Medina raises ambulance rates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 January 2016 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The Village Board is raising the ambulance rates for the Medina Fire Department by 3 percent, and increasing the mileage rate by $3 to $33 per mile.

The new rates are right in line with ambulances in the area, said Eric Dodge, client relations executive for MedEx Billing, Inc.

The village in October 2014 raised the ambulance mileage rate from $20 to $30.

The Village Board this evening approved the 3 percent overall increase in ambulance bills. Medina billed an average of $570.79 per call in fiscal year 2013-14 and $553.41 in 2014-15, according to the report.

The village uses MedEx for is billing. Dodge compared the revenue for the ambulance from the two fiscal years. The amount paid for ambulance services increased from $999,253 (from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014) to $1,063,610 (from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015).

The Fire Department is seeing less revenue per call on average as more patients are on Medicare, rather than private insurance. Medicare pays at a lower rate. The total Medicare patients increased from 1,233 in 2013-14 to 1,458 in 2014-15, according to the ambulance report.

“What you guys are experiencing is pretty much what everyone else is since the Affordable Care Act,” Dodge told the Village Board.

The number of patients on private insurance dropped from 340 in 2013-14 to 196 the following fiscal year.

Medina was able to increase the percentage of calls that were paid from 88.3 percent to 91.1 percent. That helped boost the total revenue for the ambulance service.

Dodge said Medina has a higher collection rate than the typical ambulance provider. He suggested the village use a different collection agency that sends outstanding bills to credit agencies, affecting the delinquent payers’ credit score. Right now the collection agency doesn’t send that report. Dodge said some people may need that incentive to pay their bills.

Some insurance providers send the bill to pay for the ambulance service to the patient, who should turn those checks over to the Fire Department for the ambulance service. In 2013-14, there were 133 checks kept by patients, and 123 in 2014-15.