The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published January 3, 2018

Mercy starts charging for basic medical services

CAMDEN COUNTY – Mercy EMS will start implementing “response fee charges” to customers for basic medical services. Mercy is the company that operates the ambulances for the Camden County Ambulance District (CCAD).

The charges will be for non-transport calls and will cost customers $75 for BLS (Basic Life Support) and $150 for ALS (Advanced Life Support).

Mercy has not charged for either of these services but a spokesman said that some people are taking advantage of the system and getting basic medical care for free. The charges will only apply in certain instances like residential care when an individual is calling on their own.

The new charges will not be added on top of services like transporting from an accident but is intended to discourage “frequent flyers” who tend to abuse the system rather than going to see a doctor.

One example is if they are called out to check the blood sugar of someone. Mercy has never charged for that service but starting January 1 they can. It is also up to the supervisor as to whether to charge or not.

The Mercy representative did leave the decision up to the CCAD board – who could have said no – but they agreed that the charges are needed since it does cost money in labor and fuel, among other things.

If a call is canceled when the ambulance is in route, which does happen frequently, then there will be no charge and if the patient does need transport then the new charges are not added on top of the transportation fee.

Bandaging or lift assist and other similar items fall under the Basic category and the person will be charged $75 for that.  If they have to start an I.V. or give some medication, puts the patient on a monitor, then the fee turns to the Advanced category and will rise to $150.

The new fees were scheduled to begin on January 1 of this year.

All content is Copyright 2018 by Reporter Publishing, L.L.C. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited without written permission.