Ambulance Fee Killed in Maryland
Montgomery County Maryland has been struggling with the same ambulance billing question, that we have, for the past few years. They have one advantage though, they were allowed to put the question in front of the voters last Tuesday. Voters rejected the referendum that would have enabled a similar “insurance only billing” system that has been proposed by the Trumansburg Village Board.
News articles have quotes from opponents to billing that are remarkably similar to what I have heard from some of our own volunteers, like this one,
“In my profession, as a career lieutenant with the fire rescue service in a neighboring jurisdiction, where charging for (ambulance) transports has been in place for years now, I can personally attest to the implications of such a program. The fact that I am regularly met on emergency calls with reluctance, if not sheer refusal, to be taken for much-needed care cannot be discounted.” — June 2010, James P. Seavey, Sr., chief of the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department and the nation’s 2009 volunteer fire chief of the year.
Our Village Board tells us that NY State Law disallows referendums of this type. The next best thing would be a public hearing. They had one in July of 2008, and we told them (two to one margin) that we didn’t want an ambulance fee, but that’s not the answer they were looking for, so they are proceeding towards implementing the fee for service system.
For more news of the situation in Maryland, http://stopambulancefee.org/