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Sedgwick County, VA Reconcile Outstanding Bills For EMS Services From 2014-2017

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Officials from Sedgwick County and the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center met a number of times over three months to review and reconcile outstanding bills for EMS services.

Sedgwick County leaders are making progress in their efforts to recover about $1.5 million in outstanding bills from the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita.

A report will be released at the Sedgwick County Commission meeting on Wednesday.

For the past three months, a team of Sedgwick County staff members led by Chief Financial Officer Lindsay Poe Rousseau met with six local VA officials to review a backlog of EMS claims from July 2014 through September 2017.

The county’s report says through the reconciliation, Sedgwick County staff were able to identify 4,182 claims totaling $3.06 million — which were billed to the VA for that time period.

So far, the VA has paid about $645,000 for ambulance transports. The report says 980 unresolved claims totaling about $800,000 are expected to be reconciled by the end of the month.

Commission Chairman David Dennis says the county may not recoup the entire outstanding balance. He says the two organizations worked together to improve communications and processes going forward.

“We now have a policy that’s agreed upon between Sedgwick County and the Veterans Administration and they’re going to turn around all of our claims within just a few days,” Dennis says.

Dennis says representatives from the offices of Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Ron Estes were involved in the meetings. Dennis says there are some issues that might require intervention at the federal level.

The county says the VA changed its billing process in 2014, and that led to the delayed payments for Sedgwick County EMS and other emergency medical service providers.

The county’s report says a February 2016 Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association survey of EMS providers found that 90 percent of respondents had experienced a slowdown in the processing of VA claims, with some reporting outstanding claims of three-four years.

In January, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced a series of immediate actions to improve the timeliness of payments to community providers to address the issue of delayed payments.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

 
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