Frequently Asked Questions

     

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why did I get a bill? I thought I paid taxes for the ambulance.

There are 2 reasons the district must charge for services

1.       As a contractual provider for Medicare and Medicaid, the district  must agree to accept allowable, reasonable and customary fees from these  providers and submit charges for any remaining balance. Discounting of  charges is not allowable for non-insured, government, private or  commercial insurance providers.

2.      Monies received  from taxes represents only 45% of the annual budget; therefore charges  for services are required to continually provide Advanced Life Support  EMS.


Does the ambulance district charge for services when a patient is not transported?

Under  most circumstances there is no charge for services when a patient is  not transported to a medical facility. If significant treatment is  administered prior to a no transport you may receive a bill, usually  payable by insurance, to recoup the cost of the supplies used. In the  event that air medical transport by a helicopter is utilized, a charge  for services is applied to recoup the cost of equipment utilized in the  care of a patient prior to air ambulance arrival.


I received a statement in the mail. Is this the amount I owe? What if my insurance does not pay?

Review  your statement carefully. Statements are sent out monthly to keep you  informed of your account status. It may be possible that the amount  shown does not reflect a payment due; it may be that we are awaiting  payment by your insurance carrier. If you have any questions at all,  contact an account specialist to review the status of your account.  Sometimes there may be a simple error and we need to confirm the  accuracy of your information. It is best to contact us as soon as  possible with any concerns, as your insurance submissions are time  sensitive and the quicker we can clear up any information the better. If  your insurance does not pay, simply contact our administrative staff to  review payment options offered by the district.


Do you accept Credit  / Debit cards for payment? Can I pay my bill online?

The  North Scott County Ambulance District currently accepts credit cards as  a method of acceptable payment. Please contact our office at  573-887-6311 during regular office hours Monday - Friday (8am - 4:00 PM)  and we can process the credit / debit card payment over the phone or in the office.  We currently do not take credit card payments through our  website.


What if I can’t pay my bill?

North  Scott County Ambulance District is very willing to make payment  arrangements with any party faced with an outstanding bill. Patients,  their families or representatives are able to contact the billing office  during regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday  through Friday. The District strives to aid patients and families by  accepting modest payments on a monthly basis. This enables all involved  to successfully handle the unexpected burden an injury or illness can  create. It is our goal to work with all of the patients we serve and  avoid the need for advanced debt collection.


Technical questions: 

Why couldn’t my father be taken to the hospital of his choice?

North  Scott County Ambulance District makes every effort to take patients to a  hospital of their choice. However, in the instance of a  life-threatening emergency, the closest and most appropriate hospital  may be necessary for stabilization. Or, in some situations, a  specialized treatment may only be available at a certain facility. There  are also occasions when a hospital may be unable to accept patients due  to overcrowding. Long distant transfers out of the area, such as St.  Louis, are possible but must be pre-arranged through our office by the  patients family or the hospital staff.


Why was ARCH helicopter used when I am an Air Evac member?

 North  Scott County Ambulance District is not affiliated with any air  ambulance service. Our Paramedics and EMT's utilize the closest air  ambulance for transport. Air ambulances are utilized in serious  life-threatening instances and time is the ultimate decision-making  factor in choosing an air ambulance service.


I live close to an ambulance building. Should I drive to the building if I need emergency care?

The  EMS system is in place to assure that you receive emergency medical  assistance at any location, quickly and efficiently. It is not a good  idea to be driving around in an emergency situation possibly endangering  your own life or the lives of others. In an emergency, simply call 911  and let the system work for you. Appropriate emergency response unit(s)  will be dispatched to your location immediately.

Occasionally,  EMS crews may be away from their station on an emergency call,  attending training, or familiarizing themselves with the district as a  part of our area familiarization program. Use 911 in an emergency. If  the nature of your visit is non-emergency, for instance; getting a  routine blood pressure check, you may come to the station. If the EMS  crew is out, you can check back in an hour or so for the unit to return to their station.


General knowledge:


What is the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?

Initial  EMS training begins at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level.  Once licensed by the State of Missouri as an EMT, you may then proceed  to the Paramedic Level of training. The EMT level of training is where  emergency medical “basics” are learned, applied and practiced. An EMT  can administer oxygen and secure a patient airway, and defibrillate  (“shock”) using an A.E.D. (automated external defibrillator).

A  Paramedic can start IVs, intubate (put a breathing tube into the  trachea or windpipe), interpret EKGs and administer life-saving  medications.


Why is Ambulance spelled backwards on the front of the ambulance?

“Ambulance”  is printed backwards on the front of an ambulance so that when  approaching a vehicle from behind, drivers see the word “AMBULANCE” in  their mirror in the correct form.


How do EMTs and Paramedics become licensed?

EMTs  and Paramedics are licensed by the State of Missouri. Both must first  attend an EMT course and then the Paramedic course follows usually after  the EMT has worked in the field to gain experience. Both courses are  offered locally at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center. Both  EMTs and Paramedics must complete a minimum number of CEUs (continuing  education credits) every five years. An EMT-P must complete 144 hours of  CEUs every five years and EMTs 100 hours respectively. In addition,  Paramedics must maintain Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)  certifications every two years. Both must maintain current CPR  certification at all times. North Scott County Ambulance District  strives to ensure that our staff accomplishes these requirements by  utilizing a training program that allows personnel to attend courses  required for re-licensure.


 How do I become an EMT or a Paramedic?

Most  Career and Technology Centers (Vo-Tech) and some Community Colleges  offer both courses. Contact the appropriate entity in your area for  information regarding when and where the classes are offered. 


What does ALS stand for?

ALS  stands for Advanced Life Support. In the event of a medical emergency,  advanced airway, intravenous access, and medications may be utilized.


What area does the district cover?

North Scott County Ambulance District covers the northern half of Scott County.


How many calls does the district respond to annually?

The District responded to:

2,258 calls in 2019


 Who is working for the district?

The  District employs an Administrator and 10 full-time employees.  Approximately 15 part-time employees and 2 administrative personnel. The  District is governed by a Board of six elected officials.


What type of vehicles does the district own?

The fleet currently consists of 6 ambulances, 2 administrative SUV's and a converted Bus:

1- 2019 E-450 Ford Braun Ambulance

1- 2016 F-450 Ford Super Duty 4X4 Braun Ambulance

1- 2012 F450 Ford Super Duty 4x4 Braun Ambulance

1-2008 G-3500 Chevrolet Duramax Lifestar / Braun ambulance

1-2006 C-4500 Chevrolet Duramax AEV Trauma Hawk Amb.

1-2003 Ford E350 Braun Ambulance

1- 2012 Chevy Tahoe    (administrative staff cehicle)

1-2005 Chevy Suburban (administrative staff vehicle)

1-1989 Bluebird Bus (Support Vehicle)      

       

What type of equipment is in the ambulance?

The  ambulances are equipped similar to that of an emergency room with  advanced life support medications and equipment. Each ambulance is also  equipped to treat both adult and pediatric patients for trauma and  medical emergencies.


What does it cost to hire a full-time Paramedic?

To  hire one full-time Paramedic it costs approximately $58,000. This  includes pre-employment testing, training, orientation, uniforms,  insurance benefits and the first year salary.


 What other services does the district offer, other than EMS?

The district offers many services to the community such as:

            CPR classes

            Blood pressure checks and monitoring

            School career day participation

            EMS on-site standby for community events

            Educational training site for EMS and health career students

            Disaster drills and crash simulations

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