Looks like winter is here and there is some anticipation we may have a repeat of last year. Last year we saw motorists stranded for days, huge delays in transport, and in some occasions no response at all. While everyone should understand these delays, not everyone does. This could be a nightmare for agencies to try and rectify with their facilities and staff. Here are some things to help everyone prepare.

Good maintenance is the best way to prepare, however there are other areas to be mindful of. Below we have listed a few.

AMBULANCE• Keeping units garaged if possible
• Plug in shoreline and make sure glow-plugs are working
• Check all fluids such as oil and anti-freeze
• Check heat both front and back
• Check weather updates and have a plan of action, for example have your crews come in early if you are expecting delays
• Snowchains are very effective however you need to be sure the crews can safely put on, remove and operate
• Encourage your medics to slow down and relay to dispatch any conditions they feel are hazardous i.e. bridge icing
• Also make sure your units have plenty of blankets for both patient and crew
• Have a safety officer on duty to help dispatch respond to the needs of your units

With some preparation you can limit some delays and get through this safely.

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Medical record reviews of Part B ambulance services continue to identify errors. This is one example of the most common error:

•Lack of a beneficiary acknowledgement form for authorization to bill Medicare for the services provided.

For detailed information, refer to:

•Medicare Benefit Policy Manuel Pub 100-02, Chapter 10,Section 20.1.2

This is why we stress so much on the need for all services to utilize the software provided to you. This is just one example why. Ever heard if it’s not documented it did not happen? That is the most common error.

Some cases it may be present but merely illegible or wrong signatory. Proper use of good electronic reporting software would resolve these errors.

If the beneficiary is truly unable to sign and no other representative available to sign on their behalf the following people may sign on their behalf:

1. The beneficiary’s legal guardian
2. A relative or other person who receives Social Security or other government benefits on behalf of the beneficiary
3. A relative or other person who arranges for the treatment or exercises other responsibility for the beneficiary’s affairs
4. A representative of an agency or institution that did not provide the , but furnished other care, services, or assistance to the beneficiary
5. A representative of the provider (which is a facility not your agency) or the nonparticipating hospital claiming payment for services it has furnished, if the provider or nonparticipating hospital is unable to have the claim signed in accordance with 42 CFR 424.36(b) (1-4)
6. A representative of the ambulance supplier who is present during an emergency and or nonemergency transport, provided that the ambulance supplier has documented in its records and maintains for at least 4 years from the date of service. This documentation should reflect why the beneficiary, representative or any other representatives of beneficiary was unavailable or not able to to sign.

Again remember Medicare does not require that the signature be obtained at time of service, but merely before submitting claim.

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We have seen many changes over the years. We work hard to keep our clients informed on these changes, and we work meticulously with them to assure the changes are implemented successfully. If you want a detailed analysis of your practice please feel free to call on us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Affordable Ambulance Billing
245 Country Club Drive
Suite 300 F
Stockbridge, Georgia 30281
Phone 800-568-8519

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As Medical professionals you practice a systematic approach and assessment to every call. Personal Protection or PPE can be your best defense against becoming infected. Not since the spread of HIV has healthcare realized the need for PPE. We hope that everyone will take time to familiarize their medics on the transmission, signs and symptoms, and to include characteristics such as patients travel history or exposure to someone who has traveled abroad.

Signs and symptoms are flu-like with headaches, fever, myalgias, arthralgias, and chest pain. As the disease progresses the patient may present with bruising and bleeding from their eyes, nose and mouth. This can progress to multiple organ dysfunction and death.

Transmission of the virus is through exposure to infected body fluids to include urine, semen, fecal matter, vomit, saliva and sweat. The CDC encourages everyone in healthcare to use all PPE to include eye protection. Also keep in mind you should not make IV or ET attempts in a moving vehicle if you suspect possible exposure. Other assessment findings which may be useful will be found in your interview such as travel, particularly to places where outbreaks have occurred, namely West African Countries.

While we all understand the need for PPE, the need today is greater than ever. Please take time to drill your medics. Also look to other resources for further and to expand your knowledge.

Check this link for further information.

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Our office is located just a few miles south of Atlanta, Georgia. We also have offices in Texas. Feel Free to call or visit us at anytime.

Existing customers should go here for Online Software Support.

Affordable Ambulance Billing Solutions
245 Country Club Drive, Suite 300F
Stockbridge, GA 30281
ph: 770-968-9110
fax: 678-289-8240
alt: 1-800-568-8519

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