City votes to increase rate paid for emergency transports

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — An increase to the fees paid by insurance companies to reimburse transportation costs by emergency response teams in Harrisonburg was approved by city council on Tuesday evening.

Virginia Code § 38.2-3407.9 allows localities to charge for the price of providing the services and the city has not changed its rates in nearly a decade.

Fire Chief Ian Bennett said the new figures are more in line with those used by Rockingham County and are based on Medicare guidelines.

"Although it's a relatively large jump, it's about probably in the 20% to 30%, it's because there's been absolutely no increase but there's been a significant increase in costs," said Bennett. "The rescue squad runs well over 8,000 calls a year, so the number of calls have gone up, the EMS supplies, the training costs, all those have risen. so it's to keep pace with the expanded costs."

People without insurance are not expected to pick up the cost, according to Bennett.

The changes will go into effect on July 1.

Below is a breakdown of the current and future rates:

Basic Life Support - Non-Emergency Transport
Old: $255, New: $333.81

Basic Life Support - Emergency Transport
Old: $410, New: $534.09

Advanced Life Support Non-Emergency Transport
Old: $310, New: $400.58

Advanced Life Support Emergency Transport 1
Old: $485, New: $634.23

Advanced Life Support Emergency Transport 2
Old: $705, New: $917.97

Mileage Rate
Old: $9, New: $10.85