LifeNet to Transport Medically Necessary Calls from Heritage of Hot Springs Health & Rehab
LifeNet is committed to putting the patient first and providing excellent service in all aspects of the ambulance transportation we provide in Garland County. As part of that commitment, in October, we sent notifications to families of patients we have transported from Heritage of Hot Springs Health and Rehab notifying them of changes we have had to make to our relationship with the facility. Notifications were sent to give families an opportunity to make whatever adjustments they felt necessary so that their loved one could continue to receive all the care they deserve, including transportation.
As an ambulance service provider, LifeNet only receives payment from Medicare or other insurance if the transportation is a “covered service” and it is deemed “medically necessary” transport. Any ambulance transport not deemed “medically necessary” by the insurance provider becomes the responsibility of the requesting party to pay the medical transport bill. It is customary for skilled nursing facilities, such as Heritage of Hot Springs, to provide transportation for their residents that do not need transport in an emergency situation.
Medicare and most insurance companies do not consider ambulance transport to a scheduled doctor’s appointment to be a covered service nor “medically necessary”. Those transports are typically better suited to be taken by personal vehicle, by taxi, or by wheelchair van. When Heritage of Hot Springs has called LifeNet to provide transportation that does not meet the typical medical necessity criteria, they have also agreed to pay the bill for the transport on behalf of the patient (since they were unable to provide transportation for their resident).
Unfortunately, Heritage of Hot Springs is now several months behind on payment for the “non-medically necessary” transports that they agreed to pay for. LifeNet attempted multiple times to help them bring their account out of delinquency, but those attempts have been in vain. Therefore, effective October 22, 2018, LifeNet is no longer transporting patients from Heritage of Hot Springs Health and Rehab, unless the calls are medically necessary and the patient is going to the local emergency room.
Should your loved one want transport from Heritage of Hot Springs via LifeNet ambulance to non-emergency related scheduled medical appointments, you will need to contact one of our Patient Account Specialists to setup payment arrangements prior to us being called for the transport. You can reach them by calling 800-832-6395. We regret that this action is necessary. We do not wish to create a transportation hardship for anyone, but Medicare rules dictate that we cannot provide ambulance transportation for free.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your loved ones. Thank you in advance for understanding.