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November 22, 2012

EMS highlights in Lafayette

Mayo — Lafayette County Emergency Medical Service Director Trevor Hicks advised the board of county commissioners at their Nov. 13 meeting that prison medical at Mayo Correctional Institution is scheduled to go private on December 1.

“We don’t know how this is going to affect us in billing EMS calls because the company that’s coming in, we’ve got to set up a pricing contract with them if the state’s going to change it,” said Hicks. “If the state’s going to stay responsible for the bills, then we’ll stay at the 125 percent of the Medicare rate.”

Hicks said if it truly is going private and the prison will be outsourcing medical, then a pricing schedule needs to be worked out with the new private enterprise.

Mandatory revalidation of Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) is up for renewal within 60 days at a cost of $583, Hicks said, which has already been budgeted. The board approved payment as soon as all the revalidation paperwork is completed and approved by CMS.

“I’m starting our state license renewal,” Hicks continued. “It’s an every two year process. We’re going to have to pay the state of Florida $2,000.”

Hicks said he will be submitting the renewal paperwork in January so that in June their license can renew. This item has also been budgeted already.

State grants will be open in mid December and Hicks plans to submit for two EMS trucks and two cardiac monitors.

“If we get the grant from the state, then at that point we have the option to find match money,” said Hicks.

The board has already approved the purchase of six new portable radios that run between $150-$180 each.

Hicks said all truck radios have to be changed out by January in order to be narrow band compliant with new state laws.

“By state law we’ve got to have one in the front and one in the back of each ambulance, because they require that you have communications from both sides of the wall,” Hicks said. “So, that’s going to actually wind up being six radios just for Rescue.”

Electronic patient care records (PCR) now has a mobile version available that costs $74 a month, Hicks went on.

“The device it’s stored on is around $1,600 a piece,” Hicks said. “We have an option to go full electronic and capture electronic signatures for electronic submitting to Medicare and all insurance companies, or we have the option to stay paper capture and then have to submit those by fax.”

Either way, Hicks said, they have to renew their four-carbon-copy paper with the changed platform at a cost of $2,000.

“My recommendation is go electronic, if possible, because it simplifies everything and it’s a digital platform where you just download it and it goes straight into the billing company’s system,” said Hicks.

Going digital is an added expense that wasn’t budgeted, Hicks said, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

The board agreed that Hicks should do more research and come back with exact figures to the next meeting of the board.

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