The Town of Brewster has established an ambulance revenue account that is dedicated to supporting a portion of the annual funding required for the daily operation, wages, and capital projects required by the fire department. The revenue within this account is generated from fees collected through the emergency medical and transport services provided by the Brewster Fire & Rescue Department. Upon completion of an emergency medical response the secure insurance information provided by the patient is forwarded to our third party billing service who will then generate a bill based on the level of services required by the patient and the fee schedule set by the Town of Brewster. These bills are then sent to the appropriate insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid providers for processing. The amount collected from Medicare and Medicaid is typically a pre-established amount based on set guidelines. Private insurers will also submit payments in this manner. The third party service then transfers the collected fees into the ambulance revenue account.
Since its establishment this fund has been a significant contributor to the Towns efforts to reduce the amount of tax dollars required to operate local government services. It has also allowed the fire department the ability to obtain modern, state-of-the-art equipment, fund the annual operating budget, subsidize capital purchases, and finance annual dispatch and third party billing costs.
While currently functioning as expected it is vitally important for our residents to recognize that increased reliance on these funds to provide additional future financial support to the fire department may severely compromise the available balance and our capability to effectively manage same. In addition, the annual fee collected vary each year based on the number of transports, level of services provided, and the payment schedules set by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers. To give you a better idea of exactly how the account revenue is utilized we have provided the following analysis based on a projected average Fiscal Year income of $830,000.00
$300,490.00 or 36.2% of the annual ambulance account revenue is dedicated to support 100% of fire department operating budget expenses including funding the utility (gas/electric) costs for the fire station.
This $300,490.00 represents 15.3% of the $1,967,295.00 overall annual fire department budget.
An additional $491,000.00 or 52.5% of the ambulance revenue account is utilized to pay for mandatory annual costs such as our engine lease payment(s) ($108,000), dispatch services ($75,000), third party rescue billing ($30,000), Ambulance leases ($104,000), EMS equipment, personal protective equipment, and all other fire department capital budget needs.
Based on these costs a total of $791,490.00 or 95.4% of the total annual ambulance account revenue is dedicated to support known fire department expenses. The remaining balance is used to fund our ambulance replacement program, budget shortfalls, and other capital purchases.