Insurance Reimbursement

First responders blame insurers for high ambulance costs

Complaints from patients prompted responders to discuss possible compromises with insurers in cases where they don’t cover the cost

Yesterday at 8:58 AM

By EMS1 Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — EMS providers and insurers are batting over who is responsible for high transportation costs.

WGCU reported that EMS officials and insurers met with Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James to discuss possible compromises in how to handle high ambulance charges. Each group blames the other for cases where the patient is left with charges that insurers don’t cover.

“It’s apparent that the insurer is not picking up their part of the bill,” Stuart Fire Chief David Dyal said. “Someone gets billed $936.50 — they’re paying $1,800 a month for insurance and the insurer wants to pay $84? That’s not even realistic.”

A “fix insurers favor” was proposed, which would prevent patients from picking up extra costs and force EMS providers and insurers to compromise on a price, according to WCTV

“You know, this is not a situation of egregious billing,” Wences Troncoso, with the Florida Association of Health Plans, said. “We believe it’s price gouging.”

Plant City Fire Chief Dan Azzariti said the plan would cut funding from Florida’s EMS providers, and added that Florida’s large visitor population puts more pressure on taxpayers.

“They don’t pay taxes,” he said, “So any offset in cost is shifted to those who do pay taxes.”

James said she may be forced to recommend legislative fixes if the two sides cannot come to a resolution.