City Council to Reconsider Outsourcing Ambulance Billing

Posted: Jan 21 2015

Source: The Grand Island Independent

The Grand Island City Council may reconsider outsourcing ambulance billing after rejecting the idea in October as a way to keep higher-paying jobs in Grand Island.

Fire Chief Cory Schmidt and interim Finance Director Billy Clingman said the costs and risks for keeping the local jobs are rising. They’ll share their concerns during a city council study session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

“We’re looking at outsourcing this because of the complexity and the changing rules and the possible fines for doing things wrong,” Schmidt said.


Medical billing is already a complex job, with about 17,000 different billing codes, said Russ Blackburn, emergency medical services division chief. That complexity will grow by more than eightfold by Oct. 1, when the number of medical billing codes will jump to 141,000, Blackburn said.

Public safety consultants warned the city about that complexity three years ago, when they recommended that Grand Island follow the lead of other cities and outsource ambulance billing.

“The reason it’s going more outsourced is because of the penalties that have been instituted by the insurance, especially at the federal level,” Tom Wieczorek told the city council on April 28, 2012.

Wieczorek was director of the Center for Public Safety Management, which led the International City and County Management Association study on Grand Island’s fire and police services. The study led to more than 10 new police officers being hired and recommended Fire Department upgrades such as carrying spray foam on fire trucks.


Full article via The Grand Island Independent:


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