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Council to discuss ambulance provider, billing

Submitted by on 1, December 7, 2010 – 12:02 amNo Comment

Alameda’s City Council is set to move forward on an emergency services contract with Alameda County in the face of a January 3, 2011 signing deadline. Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant is also seeking the council’s approval at its meeting tonight to negotiate a new ambulance billing services contract.

The new emergency medical services contract would keep the Alameda Fire Department in place as Alameda’s exclusive ambulance services provider, a staff report says. Alameda County officials had threatened to strip the department of its exclusive right to provide those services if the contract, which has been under negotiation for five years due to a dispute over the amount the city must pay into the county’s EMS system, wasn’t inked by January 3.

Alameda is one of four cities in the county that provide their own ambulance service. The city will also be required to pay an annual assessment of $857,831 to pay for trauma and other services provided by the county, and city staffers want to begin the process to annex Alameda into the county’s assessment district for EMS services, so they can begin billing taxpayers for that charge.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a proposal to negotiate with a new provider for ambulance billing services. City officials want to work with Oakland-based Intermedix, which is putting together a billing system for Alameda County.

The new company would charge less for its services than Toomay Technologies, the company the fire department now works with, a staff report says, and it would provide mobile tablet computers to local paramedics at a reduced cost and patient care software for free. Intermedix would also offer improved billing accuracy, timing and cost recovery, the report says; city staff didn’t offer specifics when asked Monday. The move would also improve analysis of illness and injury trends, it says.

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