Fee for Transport Program
Since 1980, the Mercer Island Fire Department (MIFD) has worked with private BLS transportation contractors (AMR, Trid-Med, etc) to ensure the residents of and visitors to Mercer Island receive timely and professional transportation to the hospital when they need it. The average cost of ambulance transportation from Mercer Island to a local hospital with a private contractor is $770. MIFD had not assessed a fee for providing these same transport services.
Beginning March 18, 2011, the MIFD began billing insurance carriers for transports and increased the number of BLS tranports it provides. As a result private private ambulance transports will be reduced. Patient's insurance carriers will be charged a flat fee of $770 plus a $15 / mile fee (to hospital only); matching the average rate of the private contractor. The MIFD will provide compassionate care and transport all patients requiring medical attention regardless of ability to pay.
The Mercer Island BLS ambulance transport billing program is designed to minimize out-of-pocket costs for patients by waiving insurance co-pays and deductibles. The MIFD will bill only the BLS ambulance transport fee to a patient's insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid. Uninsured patients will receive a bill for the transport service and be provided the option of submitting a waiver form to help avoid financial hardship. There will be no charge if a patient receives medical care but is not transported.