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Loudoun To Begin Ambulance Charges July 6

© Leesburg Today - 06/26/2015

The Loudoun County government announced today that it would begin charging patients who used the ambulance service of its volunteer fire-rescue companies next month.

The Board of Supervisors approved the fee program, designed to capture available insurance money to help offset the cost of the county's fire-rescue operations, in 2014. The fees range from $467 to $770, based on the level of service required for the transport, plus a charge of $11 per mile. The program is expected to generate $4.5 million in revenue during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Other localities charge ambulance fees, but Loudoun has bucked that trend because of fears it would undermine community funding for the county's volunteer fire-rescue stations. As the companies have struggled to keep pace with fundraising needs, and as more career personnel have been assigned to supplement available volunteer staffing, the amount of tax funding needed for the system has increased significantly in recent years.

In approving the charges, supervisors backed a fee collection program under which those who are unable to pay for service would not face additional financial hardship.

The county will send bills to the patients' insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid first; followed by any supplemental health coverage. Patients may be responsible for any co-insurance, deductibles or denied claims; however, in cases where individuals are unable to pay, the county will not pursue payment and will not refer bills to collection agencies, under the adopted policy.

The money collected through the program will be used for fire-recuse services and equipment, both for the volunteer companies and for the county's career force.

More information is online at http://www.loudoun.gov/emsreimbursement.

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