The Amherst County Board of Supervisors has authorized increasing fees for emergency services received, an ordinance change aimed at bringing in more revenue.
The county’s ambulance fees are outdated compared to neighboring localities, according to a report from the department of public safety before supervisors at its June 16 meeting. The fees were increased to a level set at 150% of the amount authorized for payment by Medicare, a rate common in the Lynchburg area.
The board’s approval was unanimous and followed a public hearing that drew no speakers on the matter.
The county’s goal is to recover more of the county’s costs for emergency transport services, according to the amended ordinance.
Sam Bryant, director of public safety, said prior to the June 16 vote the department’s billing for ambulance transport services was last updated eight years ago.
“Amherst County’s fees will remain lower than the surrounding localities,” the county said in a news release.
The fee increases vary based on the level of service provided. One level for which the county charged $425 increased to $569, another went from $525 to $676 and another jumped from $700 to $979, according to data presented to supervisors in May.
The ordinance revision also allows the county to charge charge fees for services and supplies when patients are treated but refuse transport to a hospital. The county also may charge when county EMS workers respond to a situation where a person is pronounced dead prior to a dispatched call, upon arrival of public safety or en route to the hospital.
Most of the EMS service charge revenue is recovered from insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid and makes up $1.2 million of the county’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget that begins July 1, according to the county.
Reach Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.