EMTs Still Making Calls to Providence

East Providence has not shut off mutual aid calls to Providence even though the city is still not collecting reimbursements for expenses for uninsured people.

East Providence EMTs continue to respond to mutual aid calls in Providence even though it’s costing the city hundreds and hundreds of dollars for many of them.

“East Providence has not shut them off,” said Mayor Bruce Rogers. “And even if we did shut them off, we would still respond to major emergencies.”

“But we are trying to find the right amount that we can charge for calls not reimbursed by insurers,” Rogers said.

The problem is the 20 percent of mutual aid calls in Providence for people without insurance coverage. That works out to almost 90 calls based on the most recent analysis done of the mutual aid calls to Providence.

The actual numbers were 442 calls from East Providence to Providence and 44 from Providence to East Providence, said Rogers, or 10 times as many calls made than reciprocated.

Most EMT calls are billed directly to insurance companies. No problem there. The city is reimbursed.

But the 20 percent of the calls to Providence for uninsured people, said City Manager Peter Graczykowski, is costing East Providence thousands and thousands of dollars in unreimbursed expenses.

“That’s an inherent unfairness,” Graczykowski said.

“People are uninsured,” said Rogers. “We understand that. But it’s hard enough in East Providence right now.”

Rogers said meetings have been held with Providence’s public safety commissioner, Steven M. Pare. And he’s trying to come up with a solution, Rogers said.

In the meantime, East Providence Fire Chief Joseph Klucznik is trying to come up with a fee schedule that can be used to bill other communities for EMT calls that are not reimbursed, said the city manager.

Part of the difficulty in putting together a fee schedule is that every EMT call might involve a different level of service. Some calls might cost $900, said Rogers, others might cost $1,100 or more.

Alice October 09, 2012 at 01:40 AM
How many times does Providence, Seekonk and Barrington respond to East Providence? I don't think this is a one way street. Let's see the numbers. I am certain each call is logged. I called for a rescue and Seekonk responded.....
john October 09, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Seekonk and Barrington are Departments that make there own graves, They cant Protect them selfs both only have one full time rescue and one engine. Barrington on some nights even has 4 guys! which means they can only handle one medical call at a time. Seekonk is in the same boat also they both rely heavily on East Providence for the 2nd rescue run and multiple engines if they have a fire. The Great thing is though that between the 3 citys they dont drain each other in such a way that providence does. Providence of late has been calling north smithfield, coventry and sictuate because they already went through the surronding citys, Totally unacceptable especially when there are major private ambulances all over the city that carry the same equipment.
Kevin Jameson October 09, 2012 at 01:11 PM
East Providence has become more dependent on Seekonk than Seekonk is on East Providence. The fire department is relying more on mutual aid than ever before. And with private ambulance companies, they will bill a patient the full amount where people only pay a fraction of the bill now, if anything at all. Depending on the call, you could be talking between a $1000 and $3000. Be careful, you may get what you wish for.
Dorothy O'Gara October 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The figures for mutual calls between East Providence and its neighboring communities of Pawtucket, Seekonk and Barrington should be made public.
john October 09, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Actually it is the complete opposite. Every Fire Seekonk and barrington have East Providence sends 2 engines a ladder and a battlion cheif. Every Major car accident that Seekonk and barrington has, sends an Engine the Special hazards and multiple rescues to go bail them out. Every Hazmat incident Seekonk and barrington has, sends an Engine, Hazmat and mutiple Pickup Trucks and a required call back of off duty guys to go bail them out. The list goes on, the problem is that all the smaller towns abuse East Providence because we have the resources. Seekonk/Barrington only has the proper equipment to handle one medical call at a time. Let alone any thing major. Which in turn leads me to say that, all are towns and citys Fire Departments are not growing to fit the need of our city. The mayors think we can get by with what we had 10-15 years ago and its not working. Now is not the time to cut Fire Departments its time to grow them


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