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posted 02/21/2013 by

As a way of becoming more self supporting the McCreary County Emergency Medical Service asked fiscal court last week for permission to enact some new rates as well as new collection methods. According to EMS Director Jimmy Barnett the service currently only collects on about 42% of what is billed with much of the loss coming through private pay patients who fail to pay their bill, as well as billing at levels below what Medicare will actually pay. Barnett asked the county to enter into an agreement with a collection agency that will aggressively seek to collect from those private pay individuals who ignore mailings asking them to pay. He noted that any individual who makes an effort to pay will not be contacted and gave the example of someone who agrees to pay as little as $5 per month toward their outstanding bill. The company will charge a fee of 1/3 what they collect but Barnett noted that last year the service billed about $75,000 from private pay and only collected about $12,000 meaning the service is losing a large amount from those not paying their bill. The court agreed to approve the agreement for collections and also adopted a new rate schedule for the ambulance service which does offer discounts for private pay patients who actually pay their bill and allows the service to bill more on Medicare patients in hopes of collecting all they can from that program. The new rate schedule is available at

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