It will cost more now to ride in an ambulance in Grand Coulee, according to a new rate schedule and ordinance passed by Grand Coulee’s city council last Tuesday night.
The more notable hikes in fees include:
• a $50 increase from $250 to $300 for basic life support, for one client, for a one-way ride;
• a $50 increase to $300 for a return pick-up or second transport for the same client, same 24-hour period. Residents get a $60 break for each of those categories.
Fire Chief Rick Paris explained that the new charges will bring ambulance billings more in line with what other providers charge, but still, he said, well below their charges. Paris stated the rates will be bundled to enable better Medicare billing.
Paris told the council now that Medicare has given the city an approval rating, and the city’s third-party billing company should be able to start that billing process within a short time.
Paris said that this year through Dec. 5, the Grand Coulee ambulance has gone out on 256 calls. He said that this computes to $60,000 - $70,000 in revenue so far this year.
Paris stated that he anticipates that this year’s numbers might be down just a little from what has been normal revenue of $75,000 -$80,000.
A full scale of charges for ambulance services is available at city hall.