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Fayette increases EMS fees

A mix of rate increases and decreases will add significantly to the bottom line of Fayette County’s Emergency Medical Service operation.

The rate changes approved Thursday night could result in an additional $527,000 in fees and an additional $324,000 in other revenue.

County officials said the changes will put Fayette County in line with other metro Atlanta agencies, as Fayette hadn’t changed its rates since September 2006.

In a staff memo to County Administrator Steve Rapson, EMS officials noted that the county billed $2.8 million in EMS services in the last fiscal year, though only $1.73 million was collected; that equaled a collection rate of 61.5 percent.

Rapson said even with the fee changes, Fayette will remain on the lower end of charges compared to other municipalities that provide EMS service. The fee changes will also allow the county to recoup additional funds from Medicare, officials said.

In addition to fees charged, the EMS system is also supported by a property tax assessed on parcels located in the unincorporated county, Fayetteville, Brooks, Tyrone and Woolsey.

In 2011, that property tax rate was lowered from .548 mills to .450 mills, which cost the EMS system approximately $350,000 a year for the past two years.

The fee changes include:

• Increasing the mileage rate from $7.50 to $8.25;

• Increasing the basic life support emergency rate from $500 to $550;

• Increasing the advanced life support-1 emergency rate from $500 to $625;

• Increasing the advanced life support-2 emergency rate from $500 to $650;

• Increasing the specialty care transport rate from $725 to $800;

• Increasing the helicopter transport rate from $175 plus mileage to a flat $625;

• Decreasing the basic life support non-emergency rate from $500 to $350; and

• Decreasing the advanced life support-1 non-emergency rate from $500 to $450.

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