Last May the county requested that the staff study the issue and develop a plan for implementing revenue recovery in Fluvanna.  To this end, Wilkins put together a focus group that included members of Lake Monticello Rescue and Fluvanna Rescue.

By making comparisons with other counties using revenue recovery, the group has estimated that Fluvanna could bring in over half a million dollars per year through such a program.  This is based on an average charge of $462 per ambulance transport and a 65 percent collection rate.

Wilkins emphasized three “key points” in her presentation: No one will ever be denied services, even those who can’t pay; those who don’t receive ambulance transport would not receive a bill; and most insurance companies already allow for transport charges.

“By not…billing and collecting that amount, we’re basically leaving a lot of money on the table,” Wilkins told the Board.

Wilkins’ group outlined several possible approaches to billing.  The county could bill insurance companies only, and decline to send a bill to those without insurance.  Or the county could bill insurance companies but send a balance bill to everyone.  This method could involve a “soft” approach to collections and the use of “hardship waivers,” or it could involve a “hard” approach to collections.  Another option is to use something called a subscription service, though Wilkins said a nearby county found that approach to be “an abysmal failure.”

Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch asked Wilkins if other counties experienced a drop in fundraising after initiating revenue recovery programs.  Wilkins replied that the counties she has talked to have not experienced that problem.

Different counties use the funds generated by revenue recovery in different ways, Wilkins said, though most of the set-ups involved earmarking the money in some way for emergency medical services.

The study group will present its suggested revenue recovery program to the Board in January.  Wilkins will spend the spring educating both rescue workers and Fluvanna residents.  “Provider and public education are critical for program acceptance,” she said.  She expects to implement the program starting July 1.

The Board then turned its attention to the Fluvanna Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (FRA).  The FRA is responsible for the coordination and provision of the county’s fire, rescue, and emergency medical services, and is comprised of representatives from the three fire and rescue organizations within the county.  Back in 2012 the county’s fire program study recommended strengthening the FRA, which oversees all appropriations and financial decisions for the companies.

So the FRA updated its bylaws to include management oversight, making itself responsible for establishing policy and procedure for all the individual agencies.  Each agency agreed to this change and signed the bylaws, Wilkins said.

“Historically the individual companies have done more of their own thing,” Wilkins explained, “so there are issues arising.  Because the FRA is not a legal entity and membership is voluntary, not all of the agencies are wanting to submit to that authority.”

This can cause issues for the county in areas such as procurement.  “There are procurement laws that have to be followed and that’s why we have a [county] procurement officer,” said Wilkins.  “It’s new for individual companies to know that you can’t just go off and do your own thing – you have to go through correct procedures.  When using county taxpayer dollars, procurement law must be followed, or else it places the county with undue liability.  It’s a challenge to educate all our agencies on the procedures.”

Added to this is the fact that the number of volunteers in Fluvanna Rescue has continued to dwindle.  “They have been struggling with not having enough volunteers to make up full crews like they need to in order to meet the response expectations from the county,” Wilkins explained.  “With some additional leadership changes, it just puts more stress on the whole system.”  Adding another shift from the contract crew currently assisting Fluvanna Rescue is a possibility, she said, “at least in the short term.”

Wilkins hopes the FRA and the various agencies can work things out internally, because if they can’t, “then the Board is going to be forced to work things out for them,” possibly in the form of a fire and rescue ordinance.

In order to improve dialogue and potentially begin resolving issues, supervisors decided to hold a work session with the members of FRA in November.

In other matters,

The county plans to “renaturalize” some fields in Pleasant Grove that sit along Rt. 53 by no longer mowing them.  In this way the areas will grow up as meadows with some maintained nature trails.  John Thompson, Fluvanna’s extension agent, thinks it will help the county’s children to have an opportunity to learn about wildlife management.  When Ullenbruch and Supervisor Don Weaver expressed concern about the appearance of overgrown fields right up against Rt. 53, staff agreed to mow some areas closer to the road.

Nichols announced the grand opening of the Cunningham Active Adult Center will be held at the Scottsville VFW on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This event is part of an attempt to spread out Fluvanna’s senior activities to various locations throughout the county.

The Board welcomed Kelly Belanger Harris as the new administrative assistant/clerk to the Board.  Moving from the county’s planning department, Harris replaces Mary Weaver, who left in September to take a position with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138