New Year Brings Ambulance Billing to Hburg

Jeremy Aldrich -- December 30th, 2009

As reported on WHSV and previously on hburgnews, both the city and county will begin billing for ambulance rides in the new year.  WHSV reports that the change is expected to bring in $700,000 for the city.  The measures allowing billing and setting the fees passed unanimously in August.

City residents may not even notice the change; residents with insurance (presumably including Medicare) will have their insurance company billed and will not be expected to pay any copay.  Residents without insurance will not be billed.  It is unclear from the ordinance how insurance information will be obtained, but billing will be handled by an outside contractor.

Non-residents will be billed according to the fee schedule, whether they have insurance or not.  If they can show financial hardship, fees may be waived.

The fees are as follows:

  1. Basic Life Support (BLS) Non-emergency: $255
  2. Basic Life Support (BLS) Emergency: $410
  3. Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 1 (any support services beyond the scope of a basic EMT) Non-emergency: $310
  4. ALS Level 1 Emergency: $485
  5. Advanced Life Support Level 2 (needing a defibrillator, intubation, central venous line, cardiac pacing, chest decompression, intraosseous infusion, or administering three or more medications): $705
  6. Specialty Care Transport (emergency care provided during transport between health care facilities): $835
  7. Ground Transport Mileage: $9

5 Responses to “New Year Brings Ambulance Billing to Hburg”

  1. I wonder if “city resident” includes or excludes college students.

  2. seth says:

    what about the helicopter rides….
    (never have gotten over missing out on that)

  3. After a DNR headline this morning said “Officials: Nobody Charged for EMS” I sent some questions to city Public Information Officer Miriam Dickler. She was kind enough to fill in some of the blanks. Here’s what she shared:

    1. In this case, residence is “where you live”, so college students, people living with relatives, and nursing home residents who have a semi-legitimate claim to living in Harrisonburg would not be billed directly.

    2. Non-residents WILL be billed, first through their insurance companies and then if necessary directly.

    3. City residents will not be charged by the county, and vice versa.

  4. Karl says:

    Thanks for sharing the info Jeremy, but I understood that city and county “residents” wouldn’t be charged because the assumption was that they were paying taxes, thus already funding the rescue squads. Are students paying taxes or just residents so they can cast votes? Another grey area in my mind.

  5. Lowell Fulk says:

    Simple me, but I would just set a fee and charge it…

    There is a cost to operate, and that cost is shooting through the roof for Emergency Services due in no small part to mandates from above, and local governments are quite restricted in how they can raise funds, and the state government has no intention to adequately fund the level of expenditure they demand, and the federal government is otherwise occupied…

    If we want a service, and I think these dedicated public safety folks provide a vital service, then we must be willing to pay the costs… If people don’t want to pay a tax, then pay a direct fee…

    I don’t mind. When Dianne fell several years ago and was knocked unconscious, and I and the girls were scared to death (during the Terri Schiavo days) , those wonderful folks from Broadway were there in what seemed like just moments, very professional and were capable of saving the day.

    Again, I don’t mind paying taxes for public safety, and I wouldn’t mind paying a usage fee.

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