Review Recommends Changes To EMSA's Business Operations

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012, 6:33 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A review of EMSA's business operations recommended changes Wednesday in how the ambulance service handles everything from credit card information to figuring out who should get the bill.

EMSA has been under fire for billing people who don't owe anything, because they're part of what's called "Total Care," and pay for what's basically ambulance insurance through their utility bills.

3/8/2012 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Examines EMSA's Billing Practices

Wednesday the EMSA board got a look at an outside review of its operations that says there's still confusion about EMSA's bills, which too often results in EMSA turning a bill over to collections when, in fact, the patient shouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket.

"We have heard that repeatedly, too," said EMSA spokesperson Kelli Bruer. "We understand there is confusion about the Total Care program and how you join through the city utility bill program, so we recognize we've got some work to do communicating with the public about that."

That point was just one of the recommendations for how EMSA runs the business side of the operation.

The review found several contracts issued without competitive bidding and insufficient security for payment information, but not health records.

It was not a review of the medical service they provide, which is generally well regarded both here and in Oklahoma City.