City extends contract that has collected $13M

Springfield city commissioners recently approved a one-year extension of a billing contract that has collected as much as $13 million for the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division.

The city commission voted last week to renew its contract with Med3000 to conduct billing services for Emergency Medical Services through Jan. 31, 2014. Although the contract doesn’t run on a typical calendar year, it has generated slightly more than $13 million since it was originally signed in 2006, Springfield Finance Director Mark Beckdahl said.

The city of Springfield charges patients’ health insurance companies for its ambulance and paramedic responses. If an insurance company refuses to pay, city residents aren’t held liable for the bill, Fire Chief Nick Heimlich said.

Under the extended agreement, Med3000 receives 6.1 percent of the net revenue collected, up to a maximum of $189,100. The city is expected to generate about $3.1 million throughout the extension.

The revenue goes to the city’s Fire Service Enhancement fund, which pays for a variety of costs, including ambulance purchase and repair, some equipment purchases and the salaries for more than 25 firefighters, Heimlich said.The contract originally expired in 2012 but has an option to be extended each year if both parties agree.

The contract benefits both entities because the company provides the manpower to conduct billing for the EMS services, Beckdahl said.

“Their expertise in the coding and the billing is what we’re paying for,” Beckdahl said. “We’d find it very difficult to do that internally.”

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