Highland Rescue Squad to Initiate Revenue Recovery Program

Starting November 1st, the Highland County Rescue Squad will implement a new Revenue Recovery program, aimed to assist in funding the squad’s activities. The program will address the squad receiving payment for services rendered to the public. Chris Vernovai, County EMS Coordinator, explains.

“Revenue Recovery is something that most agencies in the state, and across the country, have already gone to. It’s essentially submitting for payment though the insurance companies that most people do have already.”

“With that, we treat you just as normal – we don’t take any other changes with that, everything just proceeds as it would normally proceed. After you’re at the hospital, we submit all the paperwork, then ESS, who is our partner for the revenue recovery side of it, at that point they would end up going into the system, and getting all the billing information, and all the applicable information, and then they would submit it into the insurance companies as appropriate.”

There are other payment alternatives for households which do not have insurance coverage.

“We have a few different alternatives for that. There is a financial assistance portion that can be applied for as well. By doing so, you can contact ESS – their number and everything would be on the bill as well. The other program that we have is the subscription program. With the subscription program, for a household with insurance, would cost $100 for a year – if you were to buy it for a five year plan, you would end up having it for a 20% discount, so essentially it would be $400 for five years. That covers you for any co-pays or any deductibles or any other expenses that may come up that your insurance does not end up covering. If you are in a household that does not have insurance, that rate would actually be $200 for each year and again, for a 20% discount you would end up getting five years for the price of four.”

The funding received from the program will assist in day-to-day operation costs as well as new equipment purchases.

“We’re constantly in the need for buying supplies for our daily operations. Fuel expenses like everybody knows, is continuing on the rise. As more and more procedures and more equipment become available, that we’re required to use, those come with a hefty price tag. For instance, our cardiac monitors, they’re approximately eight years old at this point. They have an average life expectancy of ten to twelve years. They start at $35,000 apiece.”

“We’re getting ready to take delivery of two ambulances, one is a used ambulance and one is a brand new ambulance to replace two that were in our fleet. The new ambulance coming in, being built from scratch, is $180,000.”

“Up through this point, it’s been entirely 100% donations. Revenue recovery is not going to replace or cover 100% of our expenses by any means. Donations are still greatly appreciated and still greatly needed as well. Revenue recovery is an assistance for us to continue to operate – it is not going to be the sole and only needed or available source of income.”

“Currently we’re running with approximately 35-40 members. We’re constantly seeking for new memberships – everything from a driver through paramedics. Obviously, not everybody is already trained at those levels, and we do provide the training for anybody that’s coming in. Applications are available on our website, they’re available here at the rescue squad itself as well. The website address is www.highlandrescue.net. We run approximately 250 calls per year.

“If you have any questions about the Revenue Recovery, or the rescue squad itself, feel free to contact me. My name again is Chris Vernovai, my phone number here at the office is 540-468-2295, the fax number is 540-468-2296. My cellphone is 540-324-3229, or you can contact me by e-mail at cvernovai@highlandrescue.net.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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