Though the Haddonfield Ambulance Association (HAA) has been tasked with overseeing emergency medical billing since 2004, the borough wants to take back the responsibility because of what it calls a lack of transparency.
Commissioners introduced an ordinance to that effect at their June 27 meeting, and at a July 11 work session, they passed a resolution that authorizes requests for proposals (RFP) for emergency medical billing. That is the next step for the borough if the ordinance passes Monday, and it ensures that Haddonfield will have a billing service after July 31.
“We found out through a third party that DM Medical Billing was going away, out of business as of July 31,” explained Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich. “So beginning Aug. 1, they will no longer be handling billing for their clients, including the ambulance association. That was not relayed to us by the ambulance association, but upon calling DM Billing myself, that was confirmed.
“ … The reason that (borough administrator) Sharon (McCullough) and I spent the last month pulling together the RFP and spending time on this, is because we felt like we basically had no information to work from and no billing would happen at all.”
Commissioner Kevin Roche highlighted the fact that until the commissioners asked about the issue two years ago, the HAA paid a 9-percent fee to DM Billing, a high rate by industry standards, research found. That was reduced to 5.5 percent in December 2020.
According to a timeline provided by the mayor, the HAA was also charging $700 – plus $17 per loaded mile – despite a borough ordinance stating that EMS services will be billed at $600, plus $15 per loaded mile.
“We essentially went to (borough solicitor) Sal (Siciliano) and said, ‘How do we get a billing company? We need one,’” said Bianco Bezich. “And he said, ‘Look back at your ordinance. It relegated the billing to HAA in 2004.’”
Though members of the HAA were invited to attend the work session, none was present. The next commissioners meeting will be Monday at 7:30 p.m.
In other news:
- McCullough explained that because the installation of the storage tank at Homestead Avenue is in conflict with the location of the gas/water/sewer mains, the borough will pay to provide all new mains in locations not in conflict with the storage unit.
- The commissioners discussed Camden County’s efforts to revitalize Cooper River Park and Evans Pond and the possibility of Haddonfield working with the county to add trails. Commissioner Frank Troy reached out to the Boy Scouts about being involved with the project. and that there would be an educational component for residents to let them.