Violet Township to bill insurance agencies for EMS transport
(by Alexa Libert, staff writer - April 19, 2010)
In an effort to postpone asking voters to pass a levy in the immediate future, Violet Township is trying to exhaust all other revenue generating options, including charging for EMS transport.
One of those options involves the implementation of the EMS revenue recovery program.
Violet Township is one of the last municipalities in Central Ohio to engage in such a program, explained Assistant Fire Chief Doug Barr during Pickerington's April 14 finance committee meeting.
The resolution, which was approved March 3, permits the Violet Township Fire Department to bill an individual's insurance company if he or she is transported by an EMS squad, he explained.
According to Barr, Pickerington and Violet Township residents will never receive a paper bill. Residents will only see on their explanation of benefits form that their insurance has been billed for a transport, which is known as "soft-billing."
Barr explained that all insurance policies pay for such services.
Residents outside of Pickerington and Violet Township will have their insurance billed as well. However, they will also receive a paper bill for their co-pay and any amount remaining that is not paid for by the insurance, he said.
Uninsured residents in Pickerington and Violet Township would not be billed at all, but all others uninsured would be for the entire amount of the transport.
Those residents will be billed at 30, 60 and 90 days, otherwise known as "hard-billing."
After that time, no other action would be taken, Barr said.
Tough economic times have forced the township to implement the practice, which is commonplace, he added.
"Back in 2002, is the last levy we had presented to the voters of the township and the city," Barr said. "At that time we told them it would be five years and we would probably have to go back to the voters again. Now we're working on eight years on that levy, and we contribute that to good spending on our part."
Barr added that the revenue recovery program is another tool to that end.
It is expected that revenue recovery program could generate as much as $500,000 to $600,000 annually, Barr said.
That money would be used for fire department needs, such as to purchase new supplies and equipment.