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Waynesboro City Council to Hear from Public on Proposal Regarding Medical Care Billing

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Waynesboro first responders want to charge for more than just an ambulance ride Waynesboro first responders want to charge for more than just an ambulance ride
City Council will vote on the proposal on Nov. 27 City Council will vote on the proposal on Nov. 27
WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) -

First responders in Waynesboro want to be able to charge patients for the life-saving medical care they provide.

On Monday, November 27, Waynesboro City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposal that will allow the first responders to bill for more than just an ambulance ride to the hospital.

Right now, the Waynesboro First Aid Crew and fire department can only bill a patient's health insurance for the cost to transport them to the hospital.

City Council is considering a proposal to change its 12-year-old revenue recovery policy.

The change would also allow these medics to send a bill to nontraditional forms of insurance - such as auto and homeowner's - if a patient doesn't have health insurance.

Right now, the crew can only bill a patient's health insurance.

The proposed change would also charge for alternatives to transport, when rescue crews treat patients at the scene who refuse to go to the hospital.

“That ambulance time, the time of the providers, any equipment or drugs that are used is then not reimbursable,” says Gary Critzer, director of Waynesboro Department of Emergency Management. “So, there's an opportunity here to capture that lost expense.”

The city estimates the proposed changes could increase revenue recovery funds by 17-22 percent.

Currently, billing for ambulance rides brings in more than $700,000 annually.

The additional funds would pay for the first aid crew to upgrade equipment and add to its staff of 14 emergency medical providers who work alongside volunteers to cover shifts around-the-clock, 365 days a year.

City Council's public hearing on this proposal is on Monday at 7 p.m.