VA hospital, county work to settle unpaid EMS costs

Local

Sedgwick County and the Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center have been working for months to resolve unpaid EMS costs, dating back four years.

In October, County Commissioner David Dennis brought to light that the county was owed $1.5 million in unpaid fees from the VA.

“Some of these payments go back to 2014,” said Dennis. 

Dennis spoke about what led to the payments going unpaid for so long.

“it’s a combination of Sedgwick County not following up, it’s a combination of the VA having some manual filing systems, some outdated software,” said Dennis.

Over the last several months, the VA and Sedgwick County have had numerous meetings to reconcile all the claims.

This has resulted in some of the payments being made.

“As I recall, it is around 800-thousand that we’ve collected out of that $1.5 million, and we are still working a number of cases we have not closed,” said Dennis.

During a powerpoint presentation at Wednesday’s Sedgwick County Commission meeting, Lindsay Poe Rousseau, Chief Financial Officer for the county showed a progress report pertaining to the issue.

Recommendations from the county commissioners were also made to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“We now have a procedure in place where we are going to follow up on all of the claims in a very short period of time, so we will find out if they were either approved, or if they have some more questions they want answered, or if they’ve denied it,” said Dennis.

Dr. Dana Foley, the Associate Director for the VA stressed the importance of the EMS service the county provides.

“That is absolutely crucial to the care for our veterans, and there are times our veterans need transport to the hospital for something that is emergent, there are also times we have to transport from our hospital to another hospital,” said Dr. Foley.

Going forward, Dennis says the county will follow up 30 to 45 days after a claim is made.

He says at that point, they should know whether or not they need to resubmit additional information or, if the bill is actually being paid.

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