All cities throughout the New England area are faced with the need to conserve on expenditures and to provide the most value for services which have been budgeted, and ambulance service is no exception. Since ambulance service is so critical to the community and those individuals in need of emergency transportation to the hospital, ambulance billing is an area that must be carefully considered and budgeted for 2019 and beyond. With that in mind, the following guide is offered, so that the various municipalities of the New England area may properly plan for accurate ambulance billing in the coming year.
Annual Inflation Factor (AIF)
Section 1834 of the Social Security Act states that each year the fee schedule for ambulance billing must be increased so as to include the cost of inflation, and this figure is referred to as the Annual Inflation Factor. This factor is arrived at by calculating the consumer price index for all urban residents for the preceding year, ending in June.
For the year 2019, the AIF has been calculated to be approximately 2.4%, which means that all ambulance fees for 2018 would automatically undergo an increase of 2.4% for 2019. While this may not be the only factor which is applied to ambulance pricing in New England, it is the base entitlement for pricing, according to the federal government. Any local considerations would have to be added in to this figure, in order to arrive at the appropriate billing figure for a given area.
Ambulance billing services provided by New England Medical Billing
With a better than 95% collection rate, New England Medical Billing ranks very highly in yielding a high return on investment for services provided. With highly trained and knowledgeable staff members, collections are done efficiently and promptly, while personal injury protection benefits are still available. A partial listing of the services provided by NEMB for 2019 will include all the following:
- Coding Services – Our staff has a number of certified coders , so that accurate and timely billing can be carried out, with minimum chance for costly denials.
- Documentation reviews – NEMB specialists conduct reviews of documentation and offer critical feedback to providers. When documentation is inadequate, this is pointed out so it can be rectified.
- Detailed Analysis and Reporting – Clients of New England Medical Billing have access to a whole range of reports to obtain critical information. There are financial reports, weekly deposit reports, cost projection reports, payments by payer, and fee schedule analyses, among others. All of these reports can be fully customized to accommodate clients’ needs for use as management tools. In addition to prepared reports, our expansive database can be accessed to prepare ad-hoc reports which will help any municipality improve on its business practices.
- Ongoing support – Every community requires a fully functional and prompt ambulance service, as well as the billing support which makes all those services a reality. NEMB prides itself on making available to clients all the advice and support needed to answer all questions, and to develop an effective billing strategy founded on outstanding communication.
- Accounts Receivable Management – Clients’ accounts can be reconciled monthly, and all files and documentation are maintained by NEMB so as to stay in compliance with any municipal requirements regarding the subject. Data is backed up regularly, so that there will be no catastrophic loss of information should an accident occur. All accounts receivable information is managed and maintained in a highly efficient manner by our trained specialists.
- Confirmation of Patient Eligibility – Before any medical billing is executed, NEMB ensures that patients are eligible, especially in the area of auto accident claims. Because paramedics are more concerned with life-threatening services than with capturing all the relevant motor vehicle insurance data, we go the extra mile to verify all that. Our personnel will contact the appropriate Police Department or Fire Department to obtain accurate information before any billing is carried out. Everything which is necessary to ensure a clean claim on the first attempt is addressed by our specialists, so that billing can be done smoothly and efficiently, with minimal denials.
- Front-end training – All of our clients have access to coding and documentation information, so that critical personnel can be informed about appropriate procedures and codes, which they can then use in the performance of their daily jobs.
- Preparation of Abatement Lists – Our trained specialists are well-versed in the preparation of Abatement Lists, and can document all the processes associated with the ongoing compilation of these lists. That includes verifying, retaining, and providing advice on the entire documentation process.