The City of Xenia’s EMS Billing policy is changing effective February 1, 2020, in an effort to educate the public about the change, we have compiled a list of ’claims and facts’ about the new policy.
Read: Change in EMS billing policy and awareness about when to call 911.
Claims and Facts about EMS Billing Changes
Claim: Xenia residents pay one of the highest income tax rates in the state of Ohio.
False: The cities listed below are all cities in the state of Ohio that have Income Tax Rates equal to or higher than Xenia. (According to Ohio.gov.)
|Akron||Gahanna||New Boston||Toledo||Barberton||Grandview Heights||North Randall||Trotwood|
|Bedford||Highland Hills||Oakwood||Twinsburg||Bexley||Hiram||Oberlin||University Heights|
|Brooklyn||Holland||Obetz||Upper Arlington||Brooklyn Heights||Huber Heights||Oregon||Walton Hills|
|Campbell||Kent||Parma||Warren||Caton||Kettering||Parma Heights||Warrensville Heights|
|Centerville||Lakemore||Portsmouth||Cleveland||Lorain||Ravenna||West Carrollton||Cleveland Heights|
|Macedonia||Reynoldsburg||Whitehall||Columbus||Maple Heights||Richmond Heights||Woodlawn||Cuyahoga Heights|
|Moraine||Shaker Heights||Youngstown||Euclid||Munroe Falls||Springfield|
Claim: Xenia residents should not be billed for services they are already paying for.
The EMS billing change was developed to try and keep from addition additional tax burdens to citizens. Some cities request and income tax increase and add personnel to address the rising call volume, instead, the City of Xenia is trying to reduce the call volume (especially calls that are not emergencies) to avoid adding additional personnel and increase taxes.
Claim: The charges will be $519 to $1038 depending on services, plus $12.98 per mile.
Possibly: While the City of Xenia EMS Billing has a set rate, the collection of the funds will be based on what your insurance allows for billing. The adjusted rate will be what your insurance will be billed. If you have a copay through your insurance, you will be responsible for the copay. The City will only collect on the copay you would owe. If you have a deductible you will be responsible for the unmet portion of your deductible at the time of billing. If you are self-pay, you will be responsible for the Medicare adjusted amount. Financial hardship requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as directed in policy.
Example: If you are billed $1038 for transport and your insurance adjusted rate is $550, and you have a $50 copay for transports, your insurance will pay $500 and you will owe $50. No additional amount will be billed or collected on. This is the same principal that you have when you visit your doctor or urgent care.
Claim: The tax increase in 2010 was to prevent charging residents for service fees.
False: The .5% income tax increase in 2010 was necessary to maintain services citywide at that time. Half of that increase (.25% income tax) was to help maintain Public Safety services. Public Safety services include Police, Fire, and Dispatch. Since 2010, the number of EMS calls annually has increased from 3,470 to 4,764 per year. Since 2010 the local government funds have been significantly reduced at the state level.
Claim: Money from taxes supports Fire and EMS.
TRUE: The City of Xenia’s Income Tax funds approximately $6 million annually into the Police and Fire (including dispatch and EMS) fund. The Police and Fire fund has about $12 million in operational expenses annually to maintain operations at their current levels. This excludes fleet and capital purchases. The difference is made up through a transfer from the General Fund, EMS Billing, Contractual Services, Grants and other miscellaneous revenues. This helps to maintain Police and Fire services, which are required by law.
The City of Xenia is not required to provide Ambulance or EMS services, but chooses to offer these services to residents. Residents who do utilize the service are expected to pay for the service they receive (similar to an emergency room visit).
Claim: The City is not addressing facilities (nursing homes/assisted living) that are abusing the system to try and correct the problem.
False: The City has met with and continues to meet with facilities that use EMS services. We are seeing a growing issue with transports from nursing homes/ assisted living facilities While we understand there are emergency transports from these facilities, there has been a drastic increase from these facilities for non-emergency transports. The City Manager has developed a task force to come up with a plan to meet with these facilities to work with them and try to reduce the call volume. Part of this policy change includes charging fees to facilities when it is determined to be a non-emergency call. The City has had meetings with many facilities and will continue to meet with them to address this problem.
Claim: The $1.8 million that the City had to write off in 2019 includes Xenia residents that are already paying taxes for those services.
Partially True: All EMS calls are billed the same regardless of where the individual lives. This includes residents and non-residents.
Claim: The City won’t collect fees from people abusing the system who are on Medicaid.
False: The City of Xenia will collect fees for all EMS services used. While there are some individuals who are larger users of the EMS system, they will be billed for each transport.
Claim: Xenia is going to charge for fire calls next.
False: The City is required to provide fire services and therefore will not charge residents to put out fires. The City will charge fees for chemical spills and multiple false fire alarms.