Starting in 2023, Calvert County will implement a new and more efficient system to seek reimbursements for EMS calls.
The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently announced that they have accepted a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with many of the county’s volunteer fire, rescue and emergency medical services (EMS) departments to implement a centralized EMS transport billing system. EMS transport billing enables fire, rescue and EMS companies to recover some of the costs of providing ambulance transportation.
The agreement between the county government and local rescue squads will allow an approved third-party vendor to bill insurance companies for emergency transport beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Although patients may be asked to authorize payment by their insurance company and may receive a bill, patients will not be expected to cover any associated costs or underpayment by insurance companies, nor will they be penalized for nonpayment.
According to the press release:
“For decades, volunteer emergency services have worked hard to provide quality care for Calvert County residents and, in that time, have continuously adapted to the evolving needs of our community,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “Implementing cost recovery does not change the services provided but will further support the ability for EMS services to care for residents in their time of greatest need. You should not hesitate to call 911 in an emergency. The same emergency medical services will be provided to all who need it, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.”
This new agreement comes less than a year after MACo’s successful effort to increase EMS reimbursements. SB295/HB44 realigned how Maryland funds EMS for the 21st century, including expanding the list of locations EMS providers can transport patients and what services EMS can provide in the field and get reimbursed for.