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HomeMy WebLinkAbout2014-12-9-PI-EMS-minutesPUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING EMS(Emergency Medical Services) Billing & Financial Assistance Policy TOWN OF ULYSSES December 9, 2014 Audio of the minutes are available on the website at ulysses.n y´┐Żus. The meeting was held at the Ulysses Town Hall at 10 Elm Street, Trumansburg. PRESENT: Supervisor- Liz Thomas Board members- Rich Goldman, John Hertzler, Nancy Zahler, David Kemess Clerk- Carissa Parlato Deputy Supervisor- Michelle Wright OTHERS PRESENT: Brian Snyder (Trumansburg EMS Manager), Eric Dodge (of MedEx, (billing contractor)), Phil Antweiler, Allen Carstensen, Ben Carver (Village of Trumansburg trustee), Dave Schurman, John Wertis, Jr. Ms. Thomas opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and gave some background on the issue, stating that increasing costs from EMS and state mandates have created financial pressures. Billing for EMS will save a family with a median priced home of $170,000 about $38/year on the EMS portion of their tax bill. The total cost for EMS in 2014 for this same home was approximately $142 per year. Ms. Thomas introduced Mr. Dodge and Mr. Snyder and turned the meeting over to Ms. Zahler. Ms. Zahler offered the town's rationale for a billing policy: to balance providing for health and safety of town residents with financial stewardship. She explained the proposed policy. Mr. Goldman said that if we don't bill for ambulance transports, insurance companies are keeping money that is owed. Ms. Zahler further described the draft policy and then invited comments and questions. Mr. Carstensen expressed his opposition to the policy based on his opinion that people may not call an ambulance for fear of the financial consequences. Ms. Zahler presented the ambulance call totals of neighboring municipalities from previous years and noted that there was no drop in the number once billing started. Mr. Wertis inquired about the financial assistance policy and whether the town will also pursue charging for "on the scene" care (aka public assists). Mr. Dodge responded, saying that public assists are a billable charge but insurance companies generally do not cover it so it is not billed. Ms. Zahler discussed the financial assistance policy and highlighted the board's intent to be generous, anyone whose income is less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level will be eligible to for financial assistance. Mr. Antweiler expressed support for the plan and commented that costs will probably continue to rise which will continue to present challenges. With no further comments, the EMS portion of the board meeting was closed. Respectfully submitted by Carissa Parlato, 12/11/14