EMS billing write-offs concern City CouncilBilling write-offs by St. Croix Emergency Medical Services will be back on the agenda when the Hudson City Council meets Monday night.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Billing write-offs by St. Croix Emergency Medical Services will be back on the agenda when the Hudson City Council meets Monday night.
The news this time is expected to be better than what the council heard at its April 21 meeting.
At the meeting, council members were alarmed by a report that the ambulance service’s bad debt write-offs had equaled its revenue for the first quarter of 2008.
City Finance Officer Betty Caruso said Tuesday that the report was incorrect.
She said that around $189,000 might still be received of the $330,000 reported as having been written off as bad debt.
That still would leave $141,000 in write-offs for the first quarter, however.
The majority of write-offs are the result of Medicare and Medicaid paying significantly less for services than what is charged, according to Caruso.
She said Medicare pays a percentage of the bills. Medicaid pays a flat amount for specific services that covers even less of the actual expenses than Medicare, she said.
Caruso was hesitant to give any numbers, saying she still had work to do to come up with actual figures that she will present on Monday.
“Truly, we still need to keep looking at them,” she said of the ambulance service. “They are very much at a break-even situation, as far as I am thinking. It’s hard for them. The type of runs that they’ve been running are expensive, and we’re writing them off.”
The per capita rate that municipalities pay to fund St. Croix EMS was increased for 2008 to try to keep up with the costs.
St. Croix EMS serves the city of Hudson, the village of North Hudson, the town of Hudson and part of the town of Troy.