, which went into effect March 1, is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the borough -- although the first financial report won't be available until at least June 1.
While most things will remain the same for residents, questions about the practice continue to persist, so council instructed the manager to post on the borough website a list of answers to the questions they hear most often.
"Around town as I speak to people there’s still a lot of uncertainty in regard to the third-party billing for the ambulance corps," Deputy Mayor John Cosgrove said at a recent council work session. "I think we need to continue to educate residents."
A couple of the key differences residents might notice include that the word "Volunteer" has been removed from the side of the ambulances. Despite this, Fair Lawn's Ambulance Corps is still a volunteer operation. Proceeds from the billing go only to the borough.
Another change noted by Cosgrove is that two EMTs must now be present on all calls, which has altered who might drive the ambulance. In the past, drivers have sometimes been members of the or .
The manager's office worked in concert with the to construct the list of 11 frequently asked questions displayed below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who bills for the ambulance transport service and who do I contact with billing questions? The Borough has contracted with Revenue Guard, an approved third-party administrator to handle the billing.For billing questions, please call 1-866-624-0900, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Will a patient be denied ambulance service if he/she does not have insurance?NO. The ability to pay will NEVER be considered when rendering ambulance transport service in Fair Lawn. The ambulance will be dispatched as appropriate regardless of the ability to pay.
Will I have to pay for the ambulance service at the time it is provided/rendered? NO. A payment will NOT be expected at the time of transport, and all persons will be transported regardless of insurance coverage or their ability to pay.
What if I have no insurance? Will I get a bill if I call for an ambulance? NO. Residents will not be billed who do not have medical insurance or if their insurance company does not cover ambulance transport services.
Will the Borough bill residents the balance if the insurance company doesn’t pay the full amount? NO. The Borough will accept the amount paid by the insurance company as payment in full.
What if I receive a bill for ambulance transport service? If you receive a bill, please call 1-866-624-0900, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Will my insurance be billed if I decide not to go to the hospital? NO. The charges are for emergency transportation. There will be no charge if you are not transported.
Will patients that do not live in Fair Lawn be billed? YES. All patients who are not residents or taxpayers of the Borough who utilize Federally Funded Insurance Programs shall be billed and be liable for any co-payments or deductible amounts not satisfied. Only one reasonable effort will be made to collect when permissible under Federal and State Laws and Regulations.
Is Fair Lawn the only town billing for its ambulance service? NO. Many of the towns in this area and across New Jersey are currently initiating the same type of billing policy including Ridgewood, Paramus, Maywood, Paterson, Clifton, and Passaic.
Are the people responding on the ambulance still volunteers? YES. The people staffing the ambulances are the same volunteers from the Fair Lawn Ambulance Corps that have always and will continue to respond to Fair Lawn’s medical emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Does the Ambulance Corps need volunteers and does the Ambulance Corps accept donations? YES. The Fair Lawn Ambulance Corps is always in need of volunteers as well as donations and appreciate support from the community. To volunteer, donate or for more information, please call 201-797-5321