Wynona asked to charge residents ambulance fees

Mike Erwin

The town of Wynona has been asked to charge local households a $7 monthly fee for ambulance services.

According to Hominy EMS, which made the request, this mandatory assessment will benefit residents in the following ways:

1. Residents will pay no out of pocket expenses for emergency transports. Hominy EMS will only bill the patients’ insurance companies.

2. Medicare and insurance companies deny about 30 percent of all ambulance claims they receive. When they refuse to pay, the entire bill (usually totaling around $1,300) becomes the patient’s responsibility — if there is no Ambulance-Dues Policy in effect.

3. Even if Medicare or an insurance provider approves an individual’s claim, that person will still be responsible for meeting a deductible, or providing a co-payment. Plus, insurance companies often pay a reduced amount when they approve a claim, which leaves the patient to pay the remaining balance.

4. The Hominy EMS billing company will offer a 40 percent reduction on the bills of residents who have no medical insurance.

5. If Hominy EMS makes a run but the resident refuses care or transport, the resident will not be billed for a $250 refusal fee that is usually charged on non-transport calls.

6. Each household will only receive one monthly fee of $7. Each member in that household is covered under the ambulance dues. Resident of household outside of Mother/Father/children must be able to prove that they reside at the residence covered under Wynona service area.

Hominy EMS officials said the company has been providing Wynona citizens with ambulance services for several years at no charge (other than the normal billing costs for services rendered). They say that can no longer be the case, however, due to the rising costs of their everyday operations.

Without payment of mandatory dues/fees, Hominy EMS will no longer be able to provide ambulance services for Wynona residents, company officials said. Letters from Hominy EMS have been sent to every customer in the Wynona billing area.

Similar assessments for funding ambulance services in Barnsdall and Avant have been approved in recent months.

Wynona Town Council members are expected to vote on the ambulance service request on Sept. 20. Local residents are encouraged to attend the open meeting, at which public comments will be allowed before a decision is made, town officials said.