Information and FAQ
The West Point Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the local community since 1904 and is committed to providing the finest emergency medical services possible for our community residents.
As the cost of Fire/EMS rose, local governments sought ways to pay for them without raising property taxes. Many services in Virginia use a Revenue Recovery program to help cover a portion of those costs. Nearly 80% of Virginia residents live in localities that bill for EMS transport. In an effort to help with costs and to continue to improve patient care, West Point Volunteer Fire Department is starting a Revenue Recovery program on October 1, 2009.
This information page has been created to answer questions but if your question is not answered here, please call the firehouse at (804) 843-4865.
The most important fact you need to know! No one will ever be denied ambulance service because of a lack of insurance or an inability to pay.
Why did West Point Volunteer Fire Department start a revenue recovery program?
It’s all about improving patient care and that takes money. Many other services in Virginia have found that billing Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance for ambulance transport service allows them to recoup some of the costs without continuing to ask for more money from local government. The availability of such revenues led WPVFD to join the more than 40 cities, counties and towns in Virginia which currently have such a system.
How does this affect me?
Depending on your private insurance plan, ambulance transport may be a covered service. Check with your provider for specific coverages. If you receive Medicare or Medicaid, you are already covered. If you call 911 and need an ambulance, you will be transported regardless of an ability to pay.
Even if you don’t need an ambulance, you will also benefit through this Revenue Recovery program as well because your taxes will not increase to cover increased costs for Fire/EMS services. This “user funded” system of Revenue Recovery gives WPVFD the ability to continue to improve patient care without increasing the burden on the taxpayers.
Will my health insurance premiums increase as a result of this billing?
No. Health insurance premiums continue to rise regardless of whether or not a service decides to bill for EMS transports. However, ambulance transport costs represent less than 1 percent of health care expenditures and there is no evidence that EMS billing increases health insurance premiums.
What if I don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay?
First, no one will ever be denied ambulance service because of a lack of insurance or an inability to pay. If you don’t have insurance and can not afford to pay, our billing company, Cornerstone Adminisystems, Inc., will review your situation with WPVFD and will work out a solution that is best for all parties.
If you are a resident of the Town of West Point, King William County, King and Queen County or New Kent County, you will never pay out of pocket for ambulance service. Simply provide your Private Insurance/Medicare/Medicaid information at the time of transport and you will not be responsible for any co-payments.
If EMS comes to my house but I don’t need to be transported, will I receive a bill?
No. WPVFD is not going to bill patients for refusals.
What type of information will I have to give when the ambulance arrives?
Patient care comes first. If you are able to provide your insurance information to the EMS provider at time of transport, that would be ideal. If not, don’t worry. You will receive a statement in the mail, requesting your insurance information or you can visit www.ambulancebillingoffice.com to submit insurance information or provide a lifetime Medicare signature.
What are the billing rates for EMS service?
For BLS (Basic Life Support), the charge will be $500. For minor ALS (Advanced Life Support) calls, the charge will be $600. For major ALS calls, the charge is $800. A charge of $12 per loaded mile is also a part of each bill. “Loaded mileage” is transporting distance from the location of the incident to the hospital.
How does the billing process work?
After a patient is transported, a claim is sent to the patient’s insurance. The provider then sends the patient an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement showing the amount the insurance provider was billed and how much the provider paid toward the claim.
Can I pay my bill online?
In order to make paying your bill easier, please visit www.ambulancebillingoffice.com and input the information found on your statement.