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What EMS Is Paid By Medicare For 911 Emergency Calls

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 1317

Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Nov 30 2019 10:03 PM

ALABAMA:       MEDICARE COMPLETE...AARP ( American Association Retired Persons )

A recent EMS ( ambulance ) bill for response to a 911 Emergency call and transport to a local hospital... $ 509.00.

The MEDICARE COMPLETE paid to the EMS ( ambulance ) $ 44.40.

For that EMS 911 emergency, all the EMS ( ambulance ) is paid is $ 44.40. Some $ 464.40 less than the bill for the services rendered. NO WAY for the EMS ( ambulance ) to collect.

In the same mail the EMS ( Ambulance ) provider did receive a bill from Alabama Power for power to the EMS Building where the EMS 911 crew lives waiting for the next 911 emergency in the amount of $ 656.33. That bill is from Alabama Power Company

Through the end of September 2019, the five Volunteer non profit EMS ambulance providers who operate outside the city limits of Dothan, Pilcher Ambulance outside the city limits of Dothan and Headland EMS who operates the Kinsey area inside Houston County, handled 3,680 EMS ( ambulance ) 911 emergency calls.

Add the 17 Volunteer Fire Departments who operate outside the city limits of Dothan, they handled 1,987 emergency 911 calls. Combined that is a total of 5,667 fire and EMS calls handled outside the city limits of Dothan in Houston County.

This volume is 48% of the volume of calls handled by Dothan Fire Department. They are a full time fire department who has 175 full time employees, a management and support staff and a $ 14 million dollar budget, the majority of which is personnel.

Other than support from Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah and staff, the 17 Volunteer Fire and 5 Volunteer EMS has zero support staff or Administrative Staff. And all monies combined operate on less than $ 1 million dollars.

Decades ago older members of the Houston County Volunteer Fire Chiefs ( some still living and some already passed ) had the wisdom to set funding for the fire side in the county. 

On the EMS side, other than $ 26,000.00 a year given by Houston County to the EMS ( ambulance ) there is zero funding. The Town of Rehobeth helps fund Rehobeth Fire and EMS, the Town of Columbia helps Columbia Fire and EMS.

Wicksburg EMS has no city and in Cottonwood the Town of Cottonwood does furnish the water to the building.

EMS has a lot of requirements imposed by the State of Alabama EMS. When EMS responds to someone deceased, they are required to call Medical Control and obtain orders to not initiate life saving measure if death obvious. They then have 24 hours for the PCR ( Patient Care Report ) to be signed by the physician giving those orders. Some of those trips from way out in the county are 30 mile trips one way. Without compensation.

While I have been in and around Emergency Services, it has not been until up close and personal with EMS have I witnessed the sad shape funding is for EMS. 

To be on a ambulance you are required by law to have (1) a medic, from basic through Paramedic on board ), (2) a trained and certified driver.

These people are required to go to school in order to become trained. And deserve compensation for their work. But collecting on the EMS side is drastic.

Medical Emergencies from sickness to trauma, never picks their victims or locations with notice or circumstances. The equipment required and needed is way expensive. Just a monitor is $ 35,000.00.

COTTONWOOD RESCUE IS A 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) NON PROFIT. Which means you can get a tax deduction for donations.

Donations can be made to Cottonwood Rescue, P.O. Box 486 Cottonwood, Alabama 36320.

Cottonwood Rescue covers 130 square miles. From Highway 231 South, east to the river. One part of the building the air conditioner/heater has gone out, the hot water heater has gone out and are having to be replaced. We need two more box ambulances, used about $ 25,000.00 each.

And we need some non-emergency transports from facilities when patients need to go home from the hospital, doctor ordered ambulance transport to doctor, dialysis, transports from local hospitals to UAB, Pensacola, Mobile, Gainesville, Atlanta or wherever.


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