Friday, August 6, 2010

With Volunteer Support, Prince William County, VA Passes Emergency Medical Transport Revenue Recovery Initiative

Program Mirrors Montgomery County’s EMS Reimbursement
Which Strengthens Fire and Rescue at No Cost to County Residents

Prince William County, VA this week approved, with the support of its volunteers, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) billing program like the one that was approved by the County Council and signed into law this year in Montgomery County.

Both counties have programs that recover the costs of emergency transports from individual insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid and use those proceeds to save lives – at no additional cost to County residents.

Nearly all local jurisdictions have successfully enacted EMS transport reimbursements including Fairfax County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, the District of Columbia, Arlington County, Anne Arundel County and the city of Alexandria. There is no evidence from jurisdictions that have successfully implemented a user fee that it deters anyone from calling for needed emergency medical transport assistance, negatively impacts volunteers, or increases health insurance premiums.

“In Montgomery County, we know that the EMS transport fee will save lives because we will be able to better meet the growing emergency services needs in our community,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Council passage of the bill this year means that this County will initially recover $14 million from funds already set aside by private insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid for transports. In 10 years, we expect to recover nearly $170 million in costs for EMS transports. That is significant.”

“No resident will pay out of pocket for emergency medical transports, and no one should ever hesitate to call 911 if they need emergency medical help,” said Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers.

An Emergency Medical Services Transport reimbursement is charged electronically to Medicare, Medicaid, and the private health insurance companies of County residents and non-County residents. The costs of emergency services are already collected in the form of premiums by these insurers. County residents with health insurance are not responsible for co-pays or deductibles, as these charges are covered by their tax dollars. The fee for County residents without health insurance will likewise be covered by their tax dollars. Non-County residents with health insurance may be responsible for co-pays and deductibles, depending on their policies. The County will accept whatever standard payment individual insurance companies have established as “payment in full.”

For more information about Montgomery County’s EMS transport fee, go to


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