County approves new EMS transportation policy



The Marion County Board of Commissioners met with EMS Director Curt Hasart on Monday, Dec. 12 to discuss the contract negotiation regarding transfers by EMS. The two groups worked to develop a policy for certain general guidelines, policies and procedures for use in establishing protocols and fees for use in the transfer of patients by EMS. According to the new policy, both intend for the application of such guidelines to be fairly, consistently and equitably administered as a qualified service provider as regularly recognized Medicare and the insurance industry generally to various medical providers to whom such transfer services may be provided and to whom this policy shall apply. Both agreed that:

1. At no time can requests for transfer take precedence over the serviceability for Marion County EMS to provide 911 services for Marion County in the normal course.

2. There must be appropriate staffing – both personnel and vehicles so that there is enough coverage for 911 and emergency calls.

3. Transfers are not considered the primary purpose or function and will be considered a discretionary service subordinate to our primary function of delivering emergency services.

4. EMS will make every effort to take in-county transfers if practicable based upon availability under the guidelines as outlined herein.

5. EMS will not exceed a distance over a 60-mile radius from 190th Street and Nighthawk Road.

6. All transfers from facilities other than those in our county will be considered on an individual basis, as we have personnel/vehicles available.

7. In the event of a request for two Advanced Life Support (ALS) transports simultaneously or close in time, the EMS Director will contact the facility requesting the second transfer. EMS will not send two ALS units out of Marion County at the same time as a common and normal practice.

8. In the event an emergency transfer is necessary with another unit out of Marion County, the EMS Director will coordinate such transfer with the facility requesting the transfer.

9. Due to staffing issues, EMS will be staffing a single ALS unit for Marion County from time to time. When staffing only one ALS unit, ALS transfers will be declined except for those going for immediate lifesaving surgical intervention.

10. A transfer fee will be billed directly to the requesting facility transferring a patient from a lower level of care to a higher level of care, in lieu of billing the patient. Transfer fee includes medical supplies and standard mileage.

11. In the event a patient is transferred from a higher-level care facility to a lower-level care facility or nursing facility, billing and transport will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

12. The foregoing guidelines will be periodically reevaluated when and EMS reaches requisite staffing levels allowing for expanded service while maintaining adequate service for emergency needs.

The groups also set fees for services.
For hospitals within the jurisdictional limits of Marion County, EMS will bill the hospital directly utilizing a standard Advanced Life Support (ALS) fee of $700.

In the event the Service crew remains at facility rendering assistance greater than 2 hours after arrival time, a $100/hour additional fee will be added to the base fee.

Assistance with transportation of flight crews for fixed wing flight transfers to or from an in-county facility will be, absent extraordinary circumstances, billed to the requesting facility at the assist fee of $200.00.

The facilities in the 60-mile radius will be as follows:

Marion County Emergency Medical Services -Transfer Charges: Round Trip Transfers between St Luke & HCH – $800.00

40-mile radius (outside of county such as Newton Medical Center, Herington Hospital, etc)- $1500

60 miles radius (outside of county such as Wesley, Ascension Via Christi, Kansas Heart Hospital, Salina Regional Center, etc) – $2,000.

The policy passed 5-0.

More from Laura Fowler Paulus
DEATH: James L. Voran
James l. Voran, 63, died on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, at his...
Read More