July 9th, 2015
Jurisdiction of the claim is based on whether only one ambulance vehicle or multiple vehicles were used.
A. One Ambulance Vehicle Used
If only one vehicle is used to transport the patient from the point of initial pickup to the final destination, jurisdiction is with the carrier serving the point of origin, i.e., home station of the vehicle. This carrier has qualification information on the ambulance supplier and in most cases all other pertinent details necessary to adjudicate a claim.
EXAMPLE: A patient is picked up at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and transported to his home in West Virginia by an ambulance dispatched from the area of the patient’s home. The carrier serving the point of origin of the ambulance, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Part B carrier for the State of West Virginia, has jurisdiction of any claim filed. In this case Nationwide should have all the data necessary to make proper payment, i.e., certification of the ambulance company, price information and data pertaining to the nearest appropriate company, price information and data pertaining to the nearest appropriate facility. Had an ambulance whose home station was in Baltimore been used, the carrier servicing Baltimore, Maryland would have had jurisdiction. The Baltimore carrier would then have had to obtain data concerning the nearest appropriate facility to the patient’s home from Nationwide
B. More Than One Vehicle Used
If more than one vehicle is used in transporting the patient to their destination, jurisdiction of the claim lies with:
• The carrier serving the home base of the ambulance taking the patient on the first leg of the trip, on a trip to a distant institution more remote than the nearest appropriate facility; or
• The carrier serving the home base of the ambulance taking the patient on the final leg of the trip home, on a trip from an institution more remote than the nearest appropriate facility.
• If there is no claim for the final leg of the trip, the carrier serving the patient’s home area handles any resulting claims or disallowance actions.
EXAMPLE: A patient is transported by ambulance from a hospital in Miami Beach, Florida to Miami International Airport and from there by air ambulance to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York City. At the airport he is picked up by an ambulance (based in Yonkers, New York) and taken to his home in Yonkers, New York. The carrier that handles the adjudication is the carrier whose area of responsibility includes Yonkers, New York, since partial reimbursement is based upon the nearest appropriate facility to his residence when he is being returned home from a distant institution.
In rules A and B above, the principle followed is that the carrier having the information to determine the “nearest appropriate facility” is the one to adjudicate the claim. In any event, before any partial reimbursement can be made, the carriers as designated in rules A and B, must have all the information concerning the patient’s transportation, from initial pickup to final destination.