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Instead of generating operating revenue through municipal and membership contributions, the authority will set a reasonable and uniform annual fee to property owners, on par with Northwest EMS subscription rates. As a regional municipal entity, the authority will hold public hearings, enabling community members to have a voice regarding any changes to services or rates.
Residents of member municipalities would not receive residual bills if their insurance pays toward an ambulance bill. Residents would receive 50% off their ambulance bill if they have no insurance or if their entire ambulance bill went toward their insurance deductible.
The authority expects to be operational and begin providing EMS services by early 2024.
The municipal authority will operate in a similar fashion as a water or sewer authority. All authority board meetings will be advertised public meetings during which the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Budgets, capital expenditures and significant operational decisions, etc. would all be discussed and approved in public meetings. Additionally, any changes to the services and/or fee charged to the property owners will require a separate public hearing.
Insurance companies only reimburse EMS approximately 45-50% of the cost to operate. This has been a problem for many years and insurance reform has not been successful. As result, claims submitted to insurance companies are not fully paid. The other challenge is that most insurance companies send reimbursement to the patient and not to the EMS provider. Unfortunately many patients keep that insurance check and the EMS provider is never paid.
Fee revenue will enable the authority to have a stable and consistent funding stream to ensure a readiness to respond to emergency calls.
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