The Walled Lake Fire Department recently purchased new technology to streamline basic life support (BLS) patient transport service operations that have exceeded projected goals.
On Dec. 7, the Walled Lake City Council approved the purchase of AccumedWeb software and a laptop computer for $6,000, of which $2,500 will pay for an annual license fee and $3,500 will cover the laptop computer, software installation, a docking station, printer and router for the equipment.
The council also revised the contract with AccumedWeb, which handles all medical billing for the fire department, from a three- to a five-year contract.
“We were seeking to enhance efficiency and revenue by acquiring technology that will improve EMS operations and maximize cooperation with our medical billing partner,” said Fire Chief Ken VanSparrentak.
The fire department began offering BLS transport services in March 2009, with the goal of 100 annual transports. By 2010, it surpassed 300 transports a year. The projected gross revenue for Fiscal Year 2010 was $30,000; however, since its inception and up until November 2010, service revenues have added up to $88,153, far exceeding projected goals.
Currently the collection rate stands at under 60 percent due to delays in submitting incident reports, returned reports and three levels of internal review.
Captain Matt Salow said the ability to submit medical billing electronically through AccumedWeb will increase revenue and efficiency.
“Not only will we be able to go paperless to be eco-friendly, but instead of completing paperwork constantly we now will have a database to speed up operations,” he said. “It will increase our revenue by 2 percent and over the long haul, that adds up.”
The new software eliminates the need for hard copy storage of multiple EMS reports, thereby freeing up storage space.
The direct reporting capability of EMS reports to the state of Michigan via AccumedWeb will reduce Walled Lake staff time dedicated to reviews, copying, scanning, errors and submittal.
“By electronically filing these reports it reduces their share of the revenue but it eliminates errors and time because the report won’t be transmitted unless it’s filled out correctly,” Salow said.
Another benefit is that the technology reduces data input generation during medical transport, meaning repeat patients and their history, medications, etc., will already be stored in the database.
The fire department recently received and integrated the system.
“It’s a great system to use — both Beaumont and Star EMS use it and you’ll be seeing more companies using it because the paper trail can be incredible,” Salow said.