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Oak Valley Moves To Charge For ‘Dry Run’ Ambulance Calls

POSTED July 2, 2013 4:07 p.m.

With a Code-3 run for the crew, ambulance drivers get the rush of the response, but Oak Valley Hospital gets nothing in return when none of the parties involved have to be taken to the hospital. It’s a costly response when no assistance is administered.

Known as a “dry run,” ambulances are summoned and are later not used to administer aid or transport patients

With the hospital budget hurting, Oak Valley Hospital Directors took up the issue of charging $200 for these “dry-runs” at its monthly meeting on June 26.

“We’ve never had a fee for when an ambulance is called and no one is transported,” said Oak Valley Hospital CEO John McCormick. “It’s very common in other areas and our fee is actually lower than others in the area.”

Escalon and Modesto charge $300 for “dry run” calls.

McCormick said last year the hospital district experienced 319 calls for ambulances where the patient wasn’t transported or any services were rendered.

“Right now no one pays,” McCormick said. “There’s a cost involved for our response. With the fee in place we can get reimbursed."

McCormick said the reimbursement can come from the county, Medicare, or the person who called for the ambulance.



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