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AYER — The Board of Selectmen unanimously endorsed the new Fire Department’s Ambulance Billing Collection Policy, proposed by fire Chief Robert Pedrazzi.

The policy allows the collection of all receivables generated by the Ayer Fire Department ambulance, with the exception of cases where payment would create severe financial hardship.

The medical billing company will review the information and continue the process by billing the appropriate insurance carrier. If there is no insurance information available, the billing company will issue the invoice to the patient directly. Without insurance, the patient is responsible for the entire bill.

The Action Collection Agency of Boston will intervene once the bill is 145 days past due where they will interact with the billing company to determine if any of the bill has been paid.

If a bill becomes six or more months overdue and is determined to be inactive by the collection agency, a panel comprised of the fire chief, town accountant and town treasurer will review the account to determine whether a financial hardship abatement or additional collection procedures are warranted.

There are several different ways a patient can qualify for a financial hardship abatement from the fire chief, based upon recommendations from the review panel, including being approved for free care by a recognized health care facility, or if there is no insurance or governmental assistance and the patient is the only responsible party.

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