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City ambulance rates get revamped


Grand Coulee’s ambulance rates are going up.

But it isn’t as bad as it sounds, volunteer Fire Chief Richard Paris told the Grand Coulee city council last Tuesday night.

He explained that, while the rates are going up, the new rates will include some services that had been charged separately before.

Paris said a third-party billing company that handles some 150 ambulance accounts said Grand Coulee is the only one that breaks out supplies and charges separately for them.

“We are folding the break-out charges into the basic charge, which will make it easier to bill and to understand,” Paris told the council.

The council quickly approved the rate change.

The basic life support rate, one way, one client, will be $375 compared to the current rate of $300. But the new rate will include such things as oxygen and ECG monitoring and defibrillation, which before were charged separately.

Paris said ambulance rates haven’t been changed for three years and that his goal is always to show a small profit.

Paris said other rates are also going up and that the new rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Paris also noted that there were 31 ambulance calls for September — five in the Coulee Dam area, six transports and 20 calls within the Grand Coulee area. He also reported five fire calls, none of them serious.

So far this year, his department has responded to 298 ambulance calls, Paris said.

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