BILLING FAQs

 

How do I contact the Billing Office?

The billing office can be reached in one of the following ways:

Email:

EMSBillingInfo@austintexas.gov

Phone:

(512) 972-7210

 

How do I contact the Medical Records Office?

The Medical Records Office can be reached by email at:

EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov

 

Can EMS reduce the bill?

As a governmental agency, ATCEMS is not able to adjust an outstanding balance and the State Constitution* prohibits us from forgiving any debts that are owed.

The Texas Constitution: Article 3-Legislative Department, Section 55 – Release or extinguishments of indebtedness to State, County, Subdivision, or Municipal Corporation. The Legislature shall have no power to release or extinguish, or to authorize the releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any corporation or individual, to this State or to any county or defined subdivision thereof, or other municipal corporation therein, except delinquent taxes which have been due for a period of at least ten years. (Amended Nov. 8, 1932).

Patients may qualify for financial assistance with respect to emergency and medically necessary care. Our discount program information is located here.

Please note that the discount program was updated for any services provided on or after October 1, 2020. Please contact our Billing Office at by email at EMSBillingInfo@austintexas.gov or by phone at (512) 972-7210 with any questions.  

 

Can I make a payment online?

We accept both recurring and single credit card payments through the PayConnexion Online Payment portal here.

 

Do I have to register in order to make an online payment?

No, you may click the “Pay Without Registering” button located at the bottom of the portal to proceed with your single payment. However, in order to setup recurring payments you must be registered.

 

How can I check the status of my online payment?

Click the “Payment Inquiry” button located on the payment portal. Enter the confirmation number emailed to you and your email address you received the confirmation number from, then click submit. A summary of your payment will populate on the screen.

 

Do you accept payment plans?

Yes, we will work with you to set up a payment plan that best meets your needs. We do recommend a minimum monthly payment of $10.

 

Does EMS bill the person that caused the accident if it wasn't the patient's fault?

No, EMS only bills the person that used the service.

 

How much will my insurance pay?

Insurance companies pay claims based on the type of coverage each individual policy provides. To determine this you must read the contract you have with your insurance company.

Medicare and Medicaid will not pay if you are not transported to a hospital. Medicare and Medicaid use specific medical necessity guidelines to determine reimbursement. To be covered, ambulance services must be medically necessary and reasonable. Austin-Travis County EMS does balance bill for any unpaid amount not received from the insurance company.

 

I did not call EMS, why am I receiving a bill?

If you were provided a service that has a fee you will be billed.

You have the right to refuse treatment and transport.

 

If you were injured on the job what information do we need to file the claim?

We need the name and physical business address of your employer and the name of the worker's compensation carrier. We also need the worker’s compensation insurance claims’ address and the claim number associated.

 

If you were involved in an automobile accident, what insurance information do you need to provide?

Auto insurance, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) would be the primary insurance to file. If there is no PIP then submit your medical insurance information.

 

The patient has passed away, what do I do with the bill?

If the patient has a surviving spouse the spouse is responsible for the bill. If the patient had insurance we will file the claim and balance bill the surviving spouse. If the patient is not survived by a spouse, the executor of the estate is responsible for ensuring payment. The estate attorney should email an estate letter to EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov. If there is no estate, no insurance and no spouse the account is put on an indefinite hold. Documentation that there is no means to pay the account and a copy of the death certificate is required.

 

What is the cost of being treated and/or transported by EMS?

Cost is based on the type of service, treatment at scene or transport, and the level of service provided. 

Fees are approved by the City Council.

 

Where can I find the fees for EMS service?

Fees can be found here. 

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept most credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discovery. Recurring and one-time credit card payments can be made online here or by contacting our office between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm at (512) 972-7210. We also accept payments made by cash, check, and money order. 

 

Where do I send my payment?

If you do not choose to make an online payment, you may mail your payment to:

 

City of Austin EMS PP

PO BOX 734484

Dallas, TX 75373-4484

 

When mailing in your payment please include your run number listed on the billing invoice. Do NOT send cash through the mail.

You can also bring payment into our office:

 

Rebekah Baines Johnson (RBJ) Health Center:

15 Waller St, 5th Floor

Austin, TX 78702.

 

Why am I getting a bill when my insurance paid?

Austin-Travis County EMS balance bills for all non-Medicare, Tricare, VA, Medicaid and Worker's Compensation insurers. We do not have contracts with private insurance companies therefore we do not waive any unpaid portion of the bill.

 

Why am I receiving a bill when I gave my insurance to the paramedic?

The paramedics' number one priority is the treatment and care of the patient. Sometimes complete insurance information is not documented.

 

Why didn't the paramedic explain the cost?

The primary concern of the crew is the treatment and care of the patient.

 

Why is there a charge when I pay City taxes?

The cost to operate Austin-Travis County EMS is funded by the City of Austin and Travis County taxpayers, in addition to fees which are passed on to the patients who use our services.

ATCEMS takes all 911 calls seriously, and therefore when anyone initiates a call to 911 the emergency system is activated to dispatch a "unit" to the patient. This takes an ambulance unit "out of service" to respond to any other 911 calls, meaning they cannot go on any other emergency calls until they are "cleared" with the patient and with 911 dispatch. Therefore, that unit is being dispatched solely for the patient's care and safety; that unit thus became unavailable to any other calls. There is a cost for the activation of the emergency system, the dispatching of a unit and the medical assistance provided to a patient.

 

Will EMS file a claim with my insurance company?

As a courtesy, EMS will file the claim if complete insurance information and a signature to pay the provider are received. EMS has 90 days from the date of service to file the claim to private insurance companies and Medicaid. If the insurance information is not received before the filing deadline, the patient will have to file the claim themselves.

 

Can I email medical and billing records requests to the Billing Office?

No. All medical and billing records requests and status inquiries should be emailed directly to the Medical Records Office:

Email:   

EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov

 

 

MEDICAL RECORDS FAQs

 

Can I obtain a copy of my medical records?

The patient or representative of the patient with Power of Attorney (POA) may request medical records by completing the Protected Health Information form (PHI).  The request must include a copy of the requestors’ picture ID. You may contact our office to obtain this form via email or mail.

Email:   

EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov

 

Mail:  

City of Austin EMS PP

Attn: Medical Records Office

PO Box 734484 

Dallas TX 75373-4481  

There is a 2 business day turnaround time for processing a request. There is a $6.50 fee that must be paid prior to the release of the medical records. You may authorize for the records to be mailed, emailed, faxed, or you may pick the records up at our office.

 

How does an Attorney or Records Company get a copy of medical records and billing statements?

Submit a written request on law firm’s letter head along with a valid authorization, made out to Austin-Travis County EMS, signed and dated by patient (or personal representative if the patient is deceased or a minor). 

Turnaround time is 15 business days for processing, fees are due prior to release of the records. 

 

Where do I send my medical record requests?

You may send your requests via email or mail to the attention of the Medical Records Office.

Email:   

EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov

 

Mail:  

City of Austin EMS PP

Attn: Medical Records Office

PO Box 734484 

Dallas TX 75373-4481  

 

What is the fee for medical records?

Affidavit: $20.00 per affidavit

Archive Retrieval: $20.00 per request

Cross-Examination Questionnaire: $20.00 per deposition

Deposition: $20.00 per deposition

Itemized statement: $1.00 per statement

Medical Records: $10.00 per patient account

Patient-Request Medical Records: $6.50 per patient account

Rush Services-Less than 5 days $25.00 per request

 

Do I need to provide pre-payment for records?

Pre-payments are not accepted prior to the request being processed. You must receive an invoice prior to remitting payment to our office. Pre-payments received prior to the processing of an invoice will be returned to the requestor without being processed.

 

How do I pay for a medical record request?

We accept most credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discovery. Recurring and one-time credit card payments can be made online here. We also accept payments made by cash, check, and money order. 

If you do not choose to make an online payment, you may mail your payment to:

 

City of Austin EMS PP

PO BOX 734484

Dallas, TX 75373-4484

 

What if I need to cancel a request? 

We ask that you email us as soon as possible, if we do not receive notice before the invoice is sent to your office the requester is responsible for the processing charges.

Email:

EMSMedicalRecords@austintexas.gov

 

Do you accept Letters of Protection?

No, we are not obligated to accept Letters of Protection and can pursue regular collection efforts even though there is litigation pending between the patient and another party.

 

How long are medical records kept?

Medical records are kept on adults for 7 years from the date of service. Medical records for minors are kept until the minor becomes 21 years of age and/or 7 years, whichever is the lesser amount of time.