Why does the Caldwell County charge ambulance fees?
To reduce the tax cost of emergency medical services (EMS) for county residents; without ambulance fees, the cost of providing emergency medical care would fall completely on the residents of Caldwell County. Caldwell County EMS Division has charged ambulance fees for more than thirty-five years. The Caldwell County Commissioners authorized such fees to offset the tax cost of providing EMS to residents and visitors. While taxes provide the majority of operational funding, ambulance fees collected from EMS Billing, assist Caldwell County in providing the highest level of care to the citizens and visitors of our County.
What types of fees are charged and how much does an ambulance ride cost?
The EMS Billing Department follows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Fee Schedule for Payment of Ambulance Services” as described in Volume 67, Number 39 of the Federal Register. The new fees became effective July 1, 2018, enacted by the Caldwell County Commissioners, recommended by the Chief of EMS and Emergency Services Director and include the following:
Please call our Department at (828)757-1279 or (828)757-1336 for additional information.
A fire truck came with the ambulance. Do I get charged for that too?
No. The Caldwell County EMS Billing only charges fees for treatment and/or ambulance transport. Fire trucks can respond to 911 calls faster than ambulances, meaning emergency personnel get to you quicker. No fees are charged for this service by our agency.
Why did the ambulance crew ask me for my personal information?
To verify your identity and prevent fraud. Because the Department charges fees for service, ambulance crews are instructed to verify patient identity including name, social security number, birth date, home address and telephone number. They also may ask for health insurance, automobile insurance or employment information, depending on the situation. Our Department requires identity verification to protect patients from fraud and to assure, if possible, you are covered by healthcare or other insurance.
Will my health insurance pay my ambulance bill?
In most cases, if the incident is classified as an emergency situation, YES. Patients who are covered by MediCAID or MediCARE programs generally will have no out-of-pocket expenses related to ambulance bills. Patients who are covered by private healthcare insurance may be required to pay a co-pay or deductible expense, and/or the difference in coverage. This is entirely dependent on your insurance coverage and agency.
What happens if I don’t have healthcare insurance?
We can help you! If you are transported by our agency without healthcare insurance, and you are NOT eligible for Medicaid, please call (828)757-1424 and ask to speak with a billing specialist. Our billing office staff will provide you with information on setting up a payment plan and any other options available.
What is the telephone number for ambulance billing questions?
For all questions related to ambulance billing including insurance, payment and hardship assistance, please call (828)757-1279 or (828)313-1126 Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST.
What is the payment mailing address and contact information for ambulance billing?
Please mail ALL correspondence concerning ambulance billing, including payments, forms, letters and other correspondence to:
Caldwell County Ambulance
P.O. Box 2200
Lenoir, NC 28645
Make checks payable to: Caldwell County Ambulance
Main Phone: 1(828)757-1336
Medical Records Information: (828)757-1279
HIPAA/PRIVACY Information: (828)757-1279
HIPAA and Privacy
Caldwell County EMS and Caldwell County EMS Billing, may use your protected health information (PHI) for purposes of securing payment of ambulance charges. This may include submitting insurance claims, submitting claims to other third parties identified as responsible for payment of charges, or mailing you an invoice requesting payment. Claims for payment of charges may be submitted directly or through the use of a third party billing company and/or clearing house. Follow-up use of PHI for payment purposes may include management of billed claims for services rendered, medical necessity determinations and reviews, insurance company appeals, utilization review and collection of outstanding accounts. Designated agency personnel, including contractual personnel, may review and use PHI to verify your eligibility for certain services including eligibility for “hardship” classification, medical assistance programs or other special designations.