Council Nixes Increase in Ambulance Fees
The D.C. Council has rejected Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's plan to double ambulance fees. In a lively legislative meeting yesterday, council members approved an amendment opposing the hike while also voting unanimously for the budget support act of the fiscal 2009 spending plan.
The Fenty administration had estimated that the increase in ambulance fees would generate $7.2 million in revenue. Basic life support transportation would have jumped to $530 from $268 and an advanced life-support trip would have cost $953 instead of the current $471.
The amendment requires the mayor to raise $3.5 million through "vigorous Medicaid and Medicare billing" -- a source of revenue for ambulance services that the city has not been tapping adequately, said Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large).
Mendelson had raised concerns that residents would be hit with a 100 percent increase in emergency care and that the mayor had tried to raise the fees without a public hearing and council approval as required by a law. The council approved that law in February.
Any other budget gap will be filled through the budget's operating margin -- a cushion the city can utilize, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said.
The mayor will be allowed to establish some type of increase on Oct. 1 if he fails to raise the money through those means. That proposal would go to the council for approval.
Posted by: retired EMS Administrator | June 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: EMT | June 5, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse
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