New York City am­bu­lance own­ers say dis­patch firm owes them mil­lions

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Na­tional MedTrans Net­work, a Long Is­land-based com­pany that dis­patches non­emer­gency am­bu­lances in New York City, has grown at a stun­ning pace—with rev­enue in­creas­ing 1,765% from 2012 to 2015, ac­cord­ing to Crain’s New York Busi­ness data. But the city’s am­bu­lance com­pa­nies that an­swer its calls say the dis­patcher owes them more than $2 mil­lion, some of it for trips that date as far back as early 2015.

The am­bu­lance op­er­a­tors get re­im­bursed less than $200 per non­emer­gency trip from Med­i­caid man­aged-care plans, but each trip costs them about $260, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis by the Down­state Am­bu­lance As­so­ci­a­tion.

As the bro­ker, Na­tional MedTrans han­dles trans­porta­tion re­quests from the so-called man­aged long-term care plans that tend to el­derly and dis­abled Med­i­caid pa­tients. Na­tional MedTrans acts as the go-be­tween with the am­bu­lance com­pa­nies and takes a fee on each trans­ac­tion. It’s re­spon­si­ble for pro­cess­ing the in­voices from the am­bu­lance op­er­a­tors and sub­mit­ting them to the man­aged care com­pa­nies for pay­ment.

De­mand for Na­tional MedTrans’ ser­vices has ex­ploded as other states have moved to man­aged care. Na­tional MedTrans is al­ready serv­ing two plans in Cal­i­for­nia, each with more than 200,000 mem­bers, and has inked a deal with a Chicago man­aged-care plan that will start of­fer­ing trans­porta­tion bene- fits this year, com­pany Pres­i­dent Billy McKee, who is based in Salt Lake City, told Crain’s in Au­gust.

But that growth has led to de­lays in pay­ing ven­dors, ac­cord­ing to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Down­state Am­bu­lance As­so­ci­a­tion. McKee had said he would pro­duce a dol­lar amount Na­tional MedTrans be­lieved it owed each of the am­bu­lance providers by Nov. 15 and would work with each one to rec­on­cile any dif­fer­ences. That rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, how­ever, has not yet been com­pleted, ac­cord­ing to am­bu­lance com­pany own­ers.

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