F.A.Q.

 
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Why did I get a bill? I thought I paid taxes for the ambulance.
1. As a contractual provider for Medicare and Medicaid, the District must agree to accept allowable, reasonable and customary fees from these providers and submit charges to the patient or secondary insurance for any remaining balance. 2. Monies received from taxes represent only 25% of the annual budget; therefore charges for services are required to continually provide Advanced Life Support EMS.

Does the ambulance district charge for services when a patient is not transported?
If we respond in good faith, after a request from you or a family member you may receive a bill. If signficant treatment is administered prior to a no transport you will receive a bill, usually payable by insurance, to recoup the cost of supplies used.

I received a statement in the mail. Is this the amount I owe? What if my insurance doses not pay?
Review your statement carefully. Statements are sent out monthly to keep you informed of your account status. It may be possible that the amount shown does not reflect a payment due; it may be that we are awaiting payment by your insurance carrier. If you have any questions at all, contact our billing department to review the status of your account. It is best to contact us as soon as possible with any concerns, as your insurance submissions are time sensitive and the quicker we can clear up any information the better. If you insurance does not pay, simply contact our office manager to review payment options offered by the district.

Do you accept Credit/Debit cards for payment? Can I pay my bill online?
Ripley County Ambulance District currently accepts credit cards as a method of acceptable payment. Please contact our office at 573-996-7551, select option 5 during regular office hours, Monday - Friday (8 a.m. -5 p.m.) and we can process the credit/debit card payment over the phone or in the office. We currently do not accept online payments.

What if I can't pay my bill?
Ripley County Ambulance District is very willing to make payment arrangements with any party faced with an outstanding bill. Patients, their families or representatives are able to contact the billing office during regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. The District strives to aid patients and families by accepting modest payments on a monthly basis. This enables all involved to successfully handle the unexpected burden an injury or illness can create. It is our goal to work with all of the patients we serve and avoid the need for costly advanced debt collection.

Why was Survival Flight called when I am an Air-Evac member or vice-versa?
Ripley County Ambulance District is not affiliated with any air ambulance service. Our Paramedics and EMTs utilize the closest air ambulance for transport. Air ambulances are utilized in serious life-threatening instances and time is the ultimate decision-making factor in choosing an air ambulance service. Since there are two air ambulance services located near by and both have membership programs, you may want to consider memberships to both to avoid a costly bill.

Why couldn't my family member be taken to the hospital of their choice?
As there is no longer a hopital in our community, your choices of medical facilities are limited by geographical area and distance. All of our patients must be transported 30 miles to an emergency room. We presently transport to the following facilities: Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center (PBRMC), and Five Rivers Healthcare (FRHC) in Pocahantas Arkansas. PBRMC is both a Stroke and STEMI Center, FRMC is affiliated with St. Bernard's Hospital in Jonesboro.

I live close to the local ambulance building, should I drive to the building if I need emergency care?
The EMS System is in place to ensure that you receive emergency medical assistance quickly and efficently. It is not a good idea to be driving around in an emergency situation possibly endangering your own life or the lives of others. In an emergency simply call, 573-996-3060 or 573-996-7123 and let the system work for you. Approriate emergency response unit(s) will be dispatched to your location immediately.

What is the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?
Initial EMS training begins at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level. Once licensed by the State of Missouri as an EMT, you may proceed to the Paramedic level of training. The EMT level of training is where emergency "basics" are learned, applied and practiced. An EMT can administer oxygen, perform glucose checks, secure a patient's airway and defibrillate "shock" using an A.E.D. A Paramedic can start IVs, intubate (put a breathing tube into the trachea or windpipe), interpret EKGs and administer life-saving medications. The typical EMT program is about 6 months long, and a paramedic programs is 1 to 1/2 years of additional training.

How many calls does the district respond to annually?
The district averages about 1,800 calls for assistance each year and transport approxiamtely 1250 patients.