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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ShaversFork's Avatar
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    Default Billing for Fire Rescue

    OK the dead horse has entered the room...
    We bill for EMS and we bill for refusals but we do not bill for HazMat, Vehicle-X and illegal burns. Do you?
    If your engine, truck or rescue responds to assist EMS and your medic does their thing do you get reimbursed for the care rendered until the EMS transport arrives?
    Do you submit a bill to the individual? Most homeowners policies have coverage for up to $500.00 for "fire dept. service charges". Have you ever submitted a bill to the insurance companies?
    Thanks
    "If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
    Smokey
    Local 4124


  2. #2
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    We bill for EMS transport. We donot bill for refusals. (Why would we we didn't do anything)we will also get a small stipend if one of our medics goes in with another transport agemcy. We bill for Haz-Mat. We donot bill for fires or extrications. We also bill for AFA's after a certain number. If we fly someone the company that runs our bird does the billing and keps the $$$.

  3. #3
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    Default Fire-EMS Fees

    Our organizations does not bill for medical calls. Our state attorney general has an opinion out that if a county levies a mill levy for EMS, the ambulance services that recieve the EMS funds cannot bill for services. Most ambulance services still bill, but if you do not pay, you are not taken to collections. A nearby ambulance service had to write off $70,000 in uncollectible billing. They cannot force anyone to pay, since they recieve mill levy funding.

    For fire calls, we bill for "runaway" grass, brush and/or field fires. If someone sets a ditch on fire and burns down half the countryside, they are billed per hour, fuel and replacement cost of any lost equipment (shovels, etc.) and used supplies (foam, etc.).

    We have a rate set up for hazmat emergencies. If we have one of these incidents, particularly with one of the pipelines here, we would bill. Most likely, the FD would sit on standby on the scene until a hazmat remidiation contractor cleaned up the leak/spill. Since you would be on scene for up to several days, you should have some type of hourly charge for apparatus and manpower on scene. Most industries involved in hazmat incidents (railroads, pipelines, etc.) are willing to pay for your services, if you send them a reasonable itemized statement. If a train derailed or a pipeline leaked, the railroad or pipeline company is going to pay you, as they are very cooperative. They will be sweating, since they will have to deal with EPA, etc. and want the FD on scene during the spill/leak cleanup.

    Our state has a statute where a person who sets a fire may be criminally responsible as "endangerment by fire". Our standing to bill is a state statute that states a firesetter is liable under civil law to pay for damages.

    Best to research any state statutes that your state has, before billing for services. This is important in EMS, as Medicare billing can be a touchy issue.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ShaversFork's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JMac73 View Post
    We bill for EMS transport. We donot bill for refusals. (Why would we we didn't do anything)we will also get a small stipend if one of our medics goes in with another transport agemcy. We bill for Haz-Mat. We donot bill for fires or extrications. We also bill for AFA's after a certain number. If we fly someone the company that runs our bird does the billing and keps the $$$.
    We bill for refusals as we provide a medical service to the patient, once improved the patient then signs a refusal. Most of these patients have been "working" the system for years. A typical example is the respiratory patient who needs a breathing treatment and had allowed their prescription to run out or does not want to undergo the trouble of a ED visit. Just call the FD guys, they will arrive shortly and give me a breathing treatment or two (free!) and I can go back to my vices. This and diabetic calls are the two most frequent billable refusals. We do not send a bill for lift assists, etc. The three AM drunk well thats different each time so mostly we hang out with LEO.
    "If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
    Smokey
    Local 4124

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaversFork View Post
    We bill for refusals as we provide a medical service to the patient, once improved the patient then signs a refusal. Most of these patients have been "working" the system for years. A typical example is the respiratory patient who needs a breathing treatment and had allowed their prescription to run out or does not want to undergo the trouble of a ED visit. Just call the FD guys, they will arrive shortly and give me a breathing treatment or two (free!) and I can go back to my vices. This and diabetic calls are the two most frequent billable refusals. We do not send a bill for lift assists, etc. The three AM drunk well thats different each time so mostly we hang out with LEO.

    I wish we could bill for refusals. Might cut down on some of the BS. Doesn't matter though they problally wouldnt pay anyway.

  6. #6
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    We bill for EMS transports, vehicle extrications, and even clean-up of minor PDAs.

    Most of the MVAs in our area are due to people who live outside our township, so we need to recoup our expenses somehow.

  7. #7
    Forum Member mdcook's Avatar
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    Post Billing for services

    Our department does bill for any services performed at a MVA. We use a company called Certified Ambulance Group that bills the insurance company(s) of the vehicle(s) involved. We get the check from the insurance company and pay a 12% fee to CAG. The dollar amounts depend on what we do. We do not do EMS, so we don't have that headache.
    Under New York State law, we are allowed to bill the spiller at any haz mat incident. This bill can include the replacement cost of any supplies we use at the scene and have to dispose of afterwards. This can include the speedi-dry we use at a MVA and now the cost to have the speedi-dry properly disposed of at a hazardous waste company. We can also bill for the cost of operating our vehicles, at a hourly rate, during the haz mat incident. Even if we were a career department, we are not allowed to bill for salary/cost of our personal.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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