MOAD’s revenue drops due to Congress’ failure to pass Medicare reimbursement

VIENNA — The continued fighting in Washington DC and the inability of Congress to pass the Medicare reimbursement act will have an impact locally on the funding of the Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD).

MOAD Administrator Brian Opoka said there are a handful of parties that can’t come to terms and nothing will be happening to extend the reimbursement rate, which expired Dec. 31, 2017. For super rural ambulance districts such as MOAD, the cuts can be up to 22 percent. Last year MOAD received about $146,000 in Medicare reimbursement revenue and 22 percent of that would mean a loss of up to $29,000. 

Opoka told the MOAD Board at its January meeting that in 2010 this happened and in June the reimbursement act passed and MOAD was back-paid from January for the losses in the Medicare service fees. He hopes this will happen this year, but there are no guarantees. Congress will be back in session in March and Opoka said they really need to pass this bill.

“We will continue to provide the same services as before. We just will be compensated less,” he said.

In 2010 the loss of Medicare revenue averaged about 13 percent so Opoka said it may not be as bad as 22 percent.

In other business at the January MOAD Board meeting:

—Opoka showed the board the Freeburg garage construction project punch list as of Dec. 14. Items still in need of completion include drainage at rear, depth of dirt and seed over septic tank with clean out locator, excess foam and residue removed, insulation around the mandoor, south wall you can see daylight between structure and concrete floor, and gutters and down spouts need to be installed. The board said the items need to be completed by 63 Construction before the final payment will be processed.

—The new medical protocols from the medical director became effective Jan. 1 and were approved by the board.

—The PL Tones were reprogramed into district radios and it was reported there have been no further problems with the annoying sound on the radios.

—It was reported the Vienna outside storage shed is being cleaned out and repairs will be made.

—Eileen Smith filed for reelection as a board member for District 3, and Ralph Wilde filed for reelection to the board for district 6.

—The board members looked over the employee drug screen policy and found some errors and changes they asked Opoka to make. They approved the policy and asked Opoka to move forward with it.

—The board approved the questions that will be asked of patients through the survey company, Survey Monkey. This is an effort to provide the best possible service to patients and also will be used for training staff.

—Opoka reported December income of $78,394.44 and December expenses of $41,928.49 for a positive net income of $36,465.95.The revenue includes $14,336.59 in Maries County taxes, $13,602 in Osage County taxes, $27,418.74 in service fees, $226.22 other income, $22,728.88 in sales tax, and $82.01 in interest income.

Total funds available including savings, ambulance fund, and checking account total $380,587.63.

—Opoka gave the fourth quarter financial report, which showed the district’s actual year-to-date revenues of $719,474, which is $39,974 more than was budgeted, and actual year-to-date expenses of $625,568, which is $53,932 less than was budgeted, for a year-to-date positive revenue over expenses of $93,906.

—Opoka reported the Zoll heart monitors and ventilators the district purchased will be shipped on Feb. 12.