Providing pre-hospital ambulance care is a very expensive undertaking. In the early years ambulance services were limited in the actual care they provided for the sick and injured. The service they provided was basically a means of transportation to the emergency room. Today, ambulance services bring the emergency room to you. In order to do that they are equipped with extremely expensive advanced life support equipment and medications. The crews are also highly trained and are required to continually train in order to maintain competencies in all aspects of emergency medicine.
No, the ambulance service is supported 100% by the users of the service. The ambulance service was initially set up as a "not for profit" enterprise fund under the umbrella of the Morgan County Government and continues to operate as such. This means the service is self supporting and receives no tax benefits.
No, because of declining reimbursements by Medicare/Medicaid and commercial insurance carriers, the ambulance service has only been able to collect 35%-40% of the total billed. This inherently impacts the fee for services.
Our ambulance rates are set by the Board of County Commissioners who work closely with the Ambulance Director. There are many things that affect our rates. Our rates are based on our expenses and are not designed with a profit margin in mind. The level of care we provide to our community directly impacts our budget as does reimbursements, the costs of supplies and equipment, vehicles and maintenance, salaries, etc. Our rates are monitored closely and compared to other services in the region.
It depends on your insurance company and the level of coverage you carry. Many carriers and their plans vary greatly. It's best to check with your insurance representatives.
Unfortunately no, as a non-profit government agency and an enterprise fund, we depend solely on the fees collected for our services. We do not receive any funding through tax payer dollars. As a community service however, we do offer a membership into our Annual Subscription Plan which offers tremendous savings to the members. For more information, feel free to call us or go to the Subscription Plan page.
If you're a Medicare/Medicaid patient, under Federal law the ambulance service must accept what Medicare pays as payment in full, minus any co-pays and or deductibles. Medicare reimburses the ambulance service approximately 30% of the amount billed and in most cases the balance has to be written off. If however, you're insured by a commercial insurance company or find yourself uninsured, we do bill and expect payment for the outstanding balances.
Our EMTs and Paramedics are trained professionals who are committed to giving you excellent treatment and care. They take the time to obtain vital information and monitor and treat all patients equally. Because your care is not being discounted or reduced in half, we do not therefore discount or reduce your bill by half. All parties being transported to the hospital are billed the same. As a courtesy to you, we do reduce the fees charged for mileage, dividing that among those transported.
There are many ways to get started. We offer a Cadet Program for those toying with the idea of making this a profession. In order to obtain state and national certification however, everyone must attend an accredited school for their basic EMT training. Ask your local community college for more information or visit the Cadet Page.