Deploying a new client is always an exciting experience. Each EMS agency usually has their own set of procedures and are often anxious to have EMS|MC, as their billing partner, become further acquainted with their operation. During a recent documentation training visit to a new client, Rock Township Ambulance District in Missouri, I was offered an opportunity to do a ride-along with the paramedics to truly see how they serve the community.
Witnessing first-hand what our clients experience on a daily basis brings to life what we, as a billing company, are working to accomplish for them. More revenue recovered provides fire and EMS agencies with a way to save more lives, purchase more equipment, and have a greater impact on their community.
The first call comes in and we’re off. An elderly man with a history of heart disease is experiencing chest pain. He is at home, surrounded by his family, including his wife who is visibly distressed. This patient is more than the “PCR” that will be turned into the billing office to be coded. He is scared, vulnerable and in the hands of paramedics who work to change the course of his health. Despite having to work quickly, the paramedics are not pushy and they never ignore the patient’s family. The team provides the perfect mix of professionalism and patient care. In a matter of minutes, we’re in the ambulance en route to the hospital. Surely not every trip has such a happy ending, but we all breathe a sigh of relief to hear the patient joke with his family and the crew as he is dropped off at the hospital.
We’ve barely caught our breath before we’re dispatched to the nursing home. This is a very different scene. An elderly man is bleeding from the mouth and has a growth on his neck. We learn that he has a brain injury; the paramedics move at a clipped pace to load him in the ambulance. His journey is far from over, but this once immobile patient has color in his cheeks and gains energy when we release him at the hospital.
This is the side we rarely get to see as a billing company – the actual patients, the physical trips or the care. When your billing is outsourced, the separation of duties is more apparent. However, a key takeaway from the ride-along shows that whether you are on the front end or back end of a transport, both EMS agencies and the EMS billing company affect the patient experience. We trust our clients to provide the best care possible and in return, hold ourselves accountable to correctly code and bill their patient transports. We want to make sure the patient receives the correct bill the first time.
On behalf of EMS Management & Consultants, I am grateful for the chance to ride along with the Rock Township Ambulance District and walk away with a renewed appreciation for the brave work of all of our clients.
EMS|MC offers full-service billing solutions for the EMS community. If you have any questions or are interested in billing services, please leave a comment below or contact us for more information.
Mary Dorsett is a Strategic Account Manager on the Client Relations team for EMS Management & Consultants.