Billing Questions

Mills Fire Department utilizes an outsourced company for all of our Emergency Medical Services Billing. Because we charge for ambulance transports, if you are transported, unless contracted otherwise, you will be billed for services rendered. Below are commonly asked questions by patients about the billing process. You may view the billing company’s Q&A HERE or continue reading below.

Understanding Your Billing Q & A

The following are a list of common questions asked by patients. If you have additional questions, please submit your question to Leslie Vaughn.

How does the billing work?

The ambulance service in your area has contracted with EMS Billing Services to handle the EMS billing. The insurer, whether Medicaid, Medicare or a private company, will receive the bill. While it is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to file his or her own private insurance claims, we do that on behalf of the patient as a service to you. Patients will not be billed until all insurance options are exhausted.

How do I make my payment?

Please make your check payable to the emergency medical service provider that transported you (the name at the top of your statement) and mail to:

EMS Billing Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 641880
Omaha, NE 68164

You may also pay your bill online HERE.

Will insurance generally pay of my bill?

This depends on what plan you signed up for with your insurance company. If your insurance company pays, you are responsible for any co-pays or deductibles. We will accept cash, personal checks, money orders and credit cards.

If you have a balance to be paid on my bill, will I be refused ambulance service?

Mills Fire Department will not deny ambulance service to those with delinquent accounts or those who have refused service through 911. This will not affect the ambulance service provided to anyone regardless of insurance coverage or any other factor. Emergency responders will have not knowledge of who has paid and who has not paid.

Will my health insurance premiums increase as a result of this billing?

Unfortunately, health insurance premiums continue to rise regardless of whether or not a community decides to bill for EMS transports. Such factors as prescription drug coverage, litigation, technology improvements in the medical field and depressed insurance company investment returns have resulted in escalating health insurance premium costs. However, ambulance transport costs represent less than 1 percent of health care expenditures.

What if I don’t have insurance?

If you do not have insurance, our staff members will work with you to determine a payment plan. We can accept credit and debit card payments. You will NOT be denied medical care from Mills Fire Department.
 
What if Medicare denies my claim?
 
Medicare will pay for transports that are reasonable and “medically necessary.” The term “medically necessary” means that the symptoms that are reported at the time of transport fall into Medicare’s specific criteria. If you claim was denied as “not medically necessary,” it does not mean that your should not have called the rescue squad or ambulance! If your claim was denied you certainly have the right to appeal the claim. You should gather as much information as you can about your medical history, your care during your hospital stay, your diagnosis, and supporting paperwork from the attending physician if possible and submit it to Medicare’s Appeal Department. Please contact us if you need assistance or you can call your local Medicare SHIP office.
 
Why did my insurance company mail the check to me?
 
Some insurance carriers operate through contracts. Rescue services cannot possibly be contracted with every insurance carrier in the United States. Sometimes this causes checks to be mailed to the patient instead of the health care provider. If this happens, you may simply endorse the check over to the medical service provider and mail it to us.
 
Why didn’t I get a bill?
 
EMS Billing Services, Inc. submits the vast majority of the paperwork for insurance claims for the patient. We are frequently able to process payment in full without burdening the patient with the claims-filing process. If that is the case, you may not receive a bill. If you would like a copy of the bill for your records, just let us know and we will happily mail it to you. Tip: You should receive an explanation of benefits from your health insurance carrier.
 
What are billing rates for EMS service?
 
Costs will vary depending on the care provided. The rate depends on variables such as vehicle costs and maintenance, building costs, equipment maintenance and cost of replacement. The mileage rate is note equated to gas prices but is determined by a governmental-established formula that includes the service of the EMTs as well as well as a mileage rate. The mileage rate covers not only gas, but also encompasses vehicle maintenance, repair and replacement costs. An ambulance can cost up to $120,000 to replace.
 
I pay taxes for these services, don’t I?
 
While the Mills Fire Department is generally funded by your tax dollars and receives a small portion of them, it is not enough to support the cost of providing emergency medical services. It is common place across the United States for fire departments that provide ALS transport to the sick and injured to bill for those services.
 
What are these charges on my statement?
 
Base rate is the charge for the care of the patient and for the continual training expense of the emergency medical technician that is required by the state health department. Mileage cost is estimated to defray some of the costs of buying and maintaining the vehicle in which the patient is transported.
 
Why do ambulances charge user fees?
 
If your ambulance service is tax-supported, these fees help reduce the monetary burden on taxpayers. User fees are considered fair because only the citizens who use the service pay for it.
 
How do you protect the privacy of my health information?
 
EMS Billing Services and Mills Fire Department abides by a federally acquired Health Insurance Privacy Protection (HIPAA) Compliance Program that protects your health information.

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