Generally, paramedics will take you to the closest appropriate emergency room able to handle your medical conditions. Patients may be transported to a slightly more distant hospital, but this is on a case-by-case basis as warranted by an individual’s medical condition.
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Monroe County Fire Rescue (MCFR) is funded by property taxes. However, if you are transported either by air or ground to a hospital, you and your insurance provider are charged a user fee to offset a portion of the costs to provide this service, which helps reduce the overall cost to residents. Rates are applied depending on the level of care required to treat and transport a patient to the hospital. Basic Life Support (BLS) is the lowest level of care administered; typically for a stable patient that does not require sophisticated paramedic level care. Advanced Life Support (ALS) involves a higher level of medical care. Depending on the patient’s condition, this may require IV medications, cardiac monitoring, airway management, etc. State law requires us to transport patients who call 911 to the closest appropriate hospital. Trauma Alert patients: All patients meeting Trauma Alert criteria are transported to the appropriate center in Miami.
These rates were approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners.
Monroe County does not have any local ordinances or statutes to provide for self-pay discounts. Our patients can call 305-289-6010 to utilize the option of a payment plan. It is important that payment arrangements are made within 90 days of receiving a bill. Delinquent accounts, which are those accounts with no activity for 90 days, are sent to a collections agency.
Monroe County Fire Rescue (MCFR) will accept a payment from an insurance company and then bill the balance to the patient. We are required to accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare rates. We follow all laws and statutes related to billing, and statutory adjustments are made to the accounts. The patient is then billed for the co-insurance, co-payments, and/or patient responsibility per their individual policy.
Our billing department sends three statements to the patient at the address of record requesting either insurance information or payment. If the patient does not respond within 90 days, the account will be sent to the collection agency for further pursuit of payment. If we do not have a good address for the patient, and the billing department is not able to find a good address, the patient will be sent to collections after 90 days.
Monroe County Fire Rescue follows Medicare guidelines and Medicare requires that anyone transported to a hospital by an ambulance service, sign an authorization and responsibility form. Since we don’t always know who is a Medicare patient and who isn't, we ask all of our patients who are awake and alert to sign the form for our records.
At the time that our paramedics provided emergency care to your child, it’s possible that information about you, the parent or guardian, wasn't available or received. Simply call the in house billing department at 305-289-6010, and explain the situation and that you would like your name added to the account as the parent or guardian.
Contact the in the house billing department at 305-289-6010 to let them know of your loss. You will be asked to send them a death certificate as proof of your loved one’s passing. We will be happy to re-address the bill to the person in charge of wrapping up the affairs of the estate.
You can assist the paramedics that respond to your emergency by having a complete list of your medical problems, medications, and allergies to medications readily available. Keep this information in your automobile as well; you never know where you will be when an emergency happens! If you have pets, it is a good idea to place them in a secure area or room so that they are not startled by the arrival of our paramedics.
In addition, if you or a loved one has a Florida Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO), please ensure that it is available upon the paramedics’ arrival. You can present a copy of the DNRO, but a copy must be printed on yellow paper in order for it to be considered valid.
Upon arrival at the hospital, your care will be transferred over to the nursing staff at the hospital facility. Depending on the volume of patients at the hospital, it is possible that you may be sent to the waiting room if you are stable enough - even though you arrived by ambulance. Please remember that the hospitals treat patients utilizing a triage system. This means that the most severely sick or injured patients are seen first.
Monroe County Fire Rescue does not have a "Lost and Found." Patient belongings are left in the emergency department room with the patient at the time of transfer. Make sure that you only take items that are absolutely necessary with you to the hospital. Remember that the hospitals see large volumes of people each day and it is very easy for items to be lost or accidentally disposed of. Never take your valuables to the hospital with you.
Paramedics at any Monroe County fire station are able to check your blood pressure between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.