Ambulance services are being forced to raise their fees in order to pay the bills, USA Today‘s Greg Latshaw reports. “Ambulance providers nationwide are coping with rising costs, decreased support from local government, low Medicare reimbursement rates and a jump in the number of uninsured Americans,” Stephen Williamson, president of the American Ambulance Association, told Latshaw.
Medicare reimbursement rates were between 6 and 17 percent below cost, a 2007 report by the Government Accountability Office showed. Since, that gap has grown even wider. Moreover, in the past 18 to 24 months, far more people are using ambulance services who don’t have health insurance. “We’re having to raise the rate on everyone else because of the people who don’t have insurance,” said Steve Weigland, director of servicing for the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics. (Read more)