On June 12th, Toledo City Council will consider an ordinance to give the Fire Department the authority to establish and implement Basic Life Support (BLS) transport fees. The ordinance also awards "a contract to Advanced Data Processing, Inc. under terms and conditions prescribed by the Director of Law to collect transport fees for the Basic Life Support (BLS) transport billing and collection service."
The County has established a cap on the amount that ambulance companies, under contract with the County, can charge for BLS runs dispatched by them. That cap is $500 plus mileage. Dennis Cole, director of the County Emergency Management Agency which oversees the County's ambulance contracts, explained that the County does not have any contractual language that would limit the amount that the City of Toledo can charge.
Toledo has not said what they're looking at in terms of a fee. Interestingly, I could find no news coverage of any discussion on how much would need to be charged to generate the "at least $1.2 million a year in extra cash for the city's general operating fund" that this service is supposed to produce. And with no publicized discussions of what fees would equal $1.2 million in revenue, there are likely no 'promises' of not increasing the cost to those who have to use the service. And with all the discussion of 'continuity of care' being more important, I can predict that this will be the excuse should the fee be more than $500.
Somehow, I don't think Toledoans will happy if it's anything other than the $500 that they were paying under the private structure, and woe to any politicians who supported this if it is.
UPDATE: I've been trying to find my old notes on this issue, but I believe that the County's rate is set at a maximum of $500 - and that many ambulance companies were charging less than this for BLS runs. Since the ordinance gives the Fire Department the ability to set the fees, I wonder if anyone will question or require documentation for how those fees are determined?