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City increases fees for ambulance services

Officials say biggest effect will be on nonresidents

The city has increased fees it charges for ambulance services provided by the Joliet Fire Department.

The $200 fee increases will have the biggest direct impact on people who live outside Joliet, city officials said.

The city bills Joliet residents for ambulance service but waives any portion of the bill not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. The waiver does not apply to nonresidents.

The new fees will be $1,800 for Basic Life Support, $1,900 for Advanced Life Support, and $2,000 for Advanced Life Support II. The mileage charge will go up by $3 a mile to $18 a mile.

The city will not charge a fee for transport without medical treatment.

The higher fees are expected to generate an additional $195,000 for the city.

The Joliet City Council on Tuesday approved the fee increase.

The last fee increase was in 2015.

“We want to continuously raise the rate for private insurance because we really don’t know what the cap is,” Fire Chief Joe Formhals told the City Council Finance Committee last week. “They don’t publish it. They don’t provide it.”

The city also plans to go out for bids on the billing service for ambulance fees. Joliet now uses Andres Medical Billing.

Formhals said the city is not looking to switch services but believes it is appropriate to put the contract out for bid because of the length of time Joliet has been using Andres.

“We’ve been with Andres for
11 years,” he said. “We thought we should go out for bid. Nothing against their service. They’ve been top rate.”

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