Frontier Ambulance provides update on County Commissioners’ concerns

(Fremont County, WY) – At the March 8 Fremont County Commissioners meeting, several issues were aired by the commissioners and recorded in the minutes on the subject of EMS IT infrastructure, integration, and communication. Present at the meeting were Sheriff Ryan Lee, Dispatch Supervisor Carl Freeman, and Sheriff’s IT Supervisor Jesse Lyles, with Vice-Chairman and EMS liaison Larry Allen expressing his concerns about how things were going with Frontier Ambulance.

Amanda Jennings, Director of Marketing & Communications for Priority Ambulance provided an update to County 10: “Since July 2021, Frontier has been working with the Sheriff’s Department and Fremont County’s 911 Center on an interface between the county’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and Frontier Ambulance’s CAD, with the goal being to allow Frontier Ambulance to have real-time access to the 911 call information and create a real-time performance dashboard for reporting to the County Commission and its EMS liaison. Establishing the CAD-to-CAD link required working with the manufacturers of both CAD software systems. The interface was completed on Friday, March 25, and data is now accessible to the Frontier Ambulance team. Frontier is now working with the County Commission to build out the dashboard and reporting format with the information presented in a preferred format.”

Communication

Allen had reminded Priority Ambulance Director Adam Stockton that a six-month review should have happened in January, yet there had been no communication on Priority’s end. Fremont County Commissioner Chairman Travis Becker reiterated “the necessity of good communication and weekly updates between Stockton and Commissioner Allen.”

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Jennings responded that, now that the data is in place, response data is being collected for analysis and a meeting is being scheduled with the County Commission to review the geographic distribution of call volume and the overall performance of the system.

Insurance Negotiations

Allen had also inquired as to where Frontier Ambulance was in becoming a preferred provider with the County’s Third Party Administrator, Blue Cross Blue Shield. Jennings replied that Frontier began negotiations in good faith with BCBS of Wyoming as an in-network provider and has engaged the Commission in their ongoing discussions with BCBS, the goal being to achieve in-network status with BCBS of Wyoming if they could agree to reasonable in-network rates and terms that support the current EMS service level, and does not place an additional financial burden on the County.

Jennings further stated that it is “important to understand that ambulance services – like most health care services – are supported on a fee-for-service basis. When Frontier Ambulance transports a patient, the ambulance service bills for and receives reimbursement from private insurance companies like BCBS, federal and state programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and, at a much smaller amount, from patients. The revenues from all of these sources support the costs of the county’s EMS system – including EMS personnel wages ready 24/7 for a community emergency, vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, advanced medical equipment and supplies, and all other components necessary to run an ambulance service.”

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