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Fla. county losing millions of dollars in unpaid ambulance bills

Palm Beach County has $11.8 million in unpaid ambulance fees accrued from taking patients to the hospital

By EMS1 Staff

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida county is losing millions of dollars having to cover the costs of unpaid ambulance bills.

CBS12 reported that Palm Beach County has $11.8 million in “uncollectable emergency transport patient accounts,” or unpaid ambulance fees accrued from taking patients to the hospital.

“Some people are lying on the street injured [so] they transport [people] who have no identification, so it’s impossible to know who they could go after,” Commissioner Steven Abrams said.

Abrams claimed that the numbers could be skewed due to the county setting the billing rate high to get the maximum amount of third party insurance.

“Every year we know that there’s going to be a certain portion, even a large portion, that is not collectible,” he said.

Documents show the uncollected payments stem from insurance denials, patients without coverage and the fire department’s inability to gather accurate information.

“Nobody wants to leave money on the table, but I can assure you the county makes every effort to collect it,” he said.

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