Council OKs EMS fee increases

By Dale Hogg
Great Bend Tribune – April 21, 2014

The last time ambulance fees for Great Bend Emergency Medical Services were adjusted was in 2009. Much has happened since then and Fire Chief Mike Napolitano told the City Council Monday night a change was in order.
The Council agreed, approving increases across the board for EMS ambulance charges. The new rates are based on current reimbursements allowed by Medicare and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, as well as fees from area EMS departments.
“We were behind quite a ways,” Napolitano said. The changes bring the city in line with standard rates.
Here is a run-down the new fees:
• Basic life support (this is emergency medical care treatment, or basic first aid), non-emergency – up from $225 to $375.
• Basic life support, emergency – up from $350 to $450
• Advance life support (this is paramedic-level care), non-emergency – up from $250 to $425
• Advance life support, emergency – up from $400 to $475
• Advance life support II (a higher level of care) – up from $575 to $700
Mileage charges will increase from $10.75 per mile to $13.50.
There is also a $100 fee charged for each ambulance run either inside or outside the city limits where treatment or medication is given, but the patient refuses transport. This cost will remain the same.
 In addition, there is a $50 fee charged for each ambulance run either inside or outside the city limits where the patient only needs some physical assistance (such as after having fallen down), but refuses transport. This will also remain unchanged. 
A patient will be allowed three such visits per year before being assessed the $50 fee.
Great Bend EMS will work with patients in setting up payment arrangements if necessary.
Napolitano said Great Bend isn’t alone in adjusting its rates. Other EMS providers in the county have already made the change.
Great Bend EMS gets about 80 percent of its funding from service fees. The rest comes through taxes. 

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster