The city administration and city council are trying to find ways to improve Terre Haute’s finances. It’s no secret a user fee or tax could be considered or cuts could be made. At Thursday’s city council meeting, Russell Ferrell of Trans-Care Ambulance came before the council and told them he could save the city roughly a million dollars by handling the billing services.
In the city of Terre Haute, the city’s fire department handles the EMS services. Trans-Care Ambulance encompasses other parts of the county, and even the state. But the two are no strangers to each other.
“Regularly, they help us, we help them. In any community, it’s tough for one service to do all things so you’re constantly looking to each other,” Ferrell said, president of Trans-Care.
But providing medical help is only part of Trans-Care’s responsibilities. It can also provide billing services. Statewide, Trans-Care handles thousands of billing reports a month. “The strength at what we do around the state, why not bring it home and use it here at home? We do individually for our company. But why not share that and bring it as an asset to both of us,” Ferrell asked.
Ferrell explained this is where the city is losing money. The Terre Haute Fire Department uses the services of a company called The AccuMed Group located in Michigan. “If the fire department gives them an invoice or information to produce that invoice that it’s going to bill a thousand miles, they’re more than likely going to bill a thousand miles. If it was 1 mile and it should’ve been 15 miles, there’s nothing to catch that.”
According to Ferrell, there are many rules in the billing process. Remaining compliant with Medicare and Medicaid are just a few, an area Trans-Care is well equipped in.
“There are tricks of doing the best and most effective billing possible. Government not having that loses out and creates opportunities for audits, creates opportunities to have to pay something back,” Ferrell said.
At last Thursday’s city council meeting, Ferrell talked to city council about the opportunity, something council members were very receptive to and something Ferrell feels is a good alternative to help city finances.
“This is a legitimate easy find and it’s not having to cut jobs and or tax. It’s some place in between,” he added.
The billing services are a contract agreement. The city is currently under contract with The AccuMed Group.