Preliminary Estimate of 2018 Medicare Rates

A Preliminary Estimate of 2018 Medicare Rates In this blog, I will provide a preliminary estimate of the Ambulance Inflation Factor (AIF) for calendar year 2018.  The AIF is main factor that determines the increase (or decrease) in Medicare’s payment for ambulance services. Calculating the 2018 AIF The AIF is calculated by measuring the increase…

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

Time to Automate

Founded in 1964, now nationally recognized, Mohawk Ambulance Service is the largest privately owned ambulance service in upstate New York. Our organization services six emergency centers, makes 56,000 trips annually and employs a team of more than 250 staff members. Eighty percent of our trips are for emergency transports where patients are unknown, in critical…

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

President Postma’s Capital Campaign

At the 2016 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show, new president Mark Postma announced a visionary capital campaign to build our association’s reserves to $1 million. We invite all members to give as they are able to build a rainy day fund capable of weathering any storm. Thank you in advance for your support and participation.

Funds contributed to the Capital Campaign can only be used by the association following a board vote.

Pledge Now

Capital Campaign Pledge

  • How should this pledge be acknowledged? Ex: "John Smith" OR "Jane Jones, ABCXYZ Ambulance" OR "ABCXYZ Ambulance"
    Does your generous contribution originate from you personally, or your organization?
  • Any comments or special instructions?

CMS Medicare Ambulance Transports Booklet — Revised

CMS has released a revised Medicare Ambulance Transports Booklet. To order a hard copy, visit CMS’ Learning Management and Product Ordering System. Learn about:

  • Ground and air ambulance providers and suppliers, vehicles, and personnel requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Coverage, billing, and payments
  • Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage

 

 

AAA 2016 State Balanced Billing & Direct Pay Survey Results Released

The AAA is providing its members with the results of two important surveys conducted of state laws impacting ambulance services.  The first chart entitled “2016 State Balance Billing Survey” shows whether a state restricts balancing billing of patients.  The second entitled “2016 State Direct Pay Survey” lists whether a state has a law requiring an…

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

A Preliminary Estimate of 2017 Medicare Rates

 On July 15, 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report on inflation.  This release includes the change in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) for June 2016.  As a result, it is now possible to make a preliminary estimate of the Ambulance Inflation Factor (AIF) for calendar year 2017. …

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

Making the Most out of Merchant Processing

American Ambulance Association members want to get the most out of their business relationships to drive the highest profit at the lowest cost. As is the case with any healthy business, it’s important to put in the time and effort required to research the best ways to be successful. Our recent webinar highlighted a few such factors and things to know about payment processing, as highlighted below:

Pricing

There are two different pricing structures that most payment processors use – tiered and interchange plus; and, the best-fit pricing structure is one that is designed to help your business thrive.

Tiered Pricing Structure

Tiered pricing is a rate structure in which several hundred different processing rates are packaged into tiers that represent three different possible rates. Most providers package the rates into three groups with varying markups. Unfortunately, there is no regulation behind how merchant account providers must package their tiers, which prevents merchants from knowing exactly how much a given provider is making on each transaction. Despite the prevalence of tiered pricing in the credit card processing industry, a more competitive and transparent pricing model is available in the form of Interchange-plus pricing.

Interchange-Plus Pricing

Interchange-Plus pricing is the most transparent pricing model and it’s what Payline offers to all AAA members. This model for pricing puts the power in your hands by giving you a straightforward and clear explanation of charges. Interchange describes the rates that come directly from the card networks. No merchant or processing company has any control over these rates. Every merchant pays interchange, which varies based on the type of card your customer is using. The plus is what Payline is charging you for our service. It is our profit and is shown in terms of a small percentage markup and a minimal transaction cost.

Fraud Mitigation & Chargebacks

Chargebacks cost card-not-present (CNP) merchants millions of dollars each year. CNP merchants need to take extra measures to prevent chargebacks and aggressively work to recover funds lost to chargebacks. Chargebacks occur when a cardholder disputes a merchant charge and a debit is made to the retailer’s account. The issuing bank charges merchants a fee for every chargeback received. Merchants with a high ratio of chargebacks may also receive additional fines or run the risk of losing their payment processing privileges altogether. While the chargebacks mechanism was created to protect consumers against fraudulent behavior, some consumers have found that it is easy to dispute legitimate charges – this form of friendly fraud creates a significant financial burden for merchants.

Statement Review

One easy way to know if you are getting the most out of your merchant processing is to complete a statement review with a trusted processing representative. “Most of the issues I look for in statement reviews with AAA members is size of ticket and what kind of pricing structure they are currently billed,” said Paddy Houlihan, Payline Data representative. “It’s important for members of the American Ambulance Association to know that if they still have a terminal and process that way that the cost to key a card can go up to as high as 0.30% versus swiping a card in person. If the business is doing large transactions it is usually in their best interest to go the payment gateway route and provide a “pay now” button on their website.”

Some partnerships make understanding new technologies difficult for you; others, like Payline Data, provide you with everything you need to know upfront. To learn more about credit card processing solutions that can help your business grow, contact Paddy Houlihan at Payline.

Contact us today via email or by phone (800) 284-7401 and we would be glad to run a statement analysis to show you how you can save money and cut costs on processing fees for the betterment and growth of your business.

AAA Launches Medicare Audit Activity Survey

In an effort to better determine a pattern of Medicare audit issues facing our members, the AAA has launched a survey to identify the different types of audit activity. The AAA will use the survey to inform federal policymakers about problems identified with the audits and how best to address the issues to reduce the…

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

MedPAC Issues June 2016 Report to the Congress

MedPAC Issues June 2016 Report to the Congress with Chapter on Improving Efficiency and Preserving Access to Emergency Care in Rural Areas Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC or the Commission) has issued its June 2016 Report to the Congress.   The June report includes recommended refinements to Medicare payment systems and identifies issues affecting the Medicare program,…

This content is available only to AAA members.
Log In or Register

Maximizing VA Reimbursements on Emergency Conditions

Asbel Montes, AAA Payment Reform Committee co-chair and all-around reimbursement expert, recently developed some great quick tips on billing the US Department of Veterans Affairs for ambulance services.

Do you have a process in place to identify when a transported individual is a veteran being carried to a non-VA facility? In an emergency condition, it may prove very beneficial for you to have a consistent process within your billing department to ensure that you can identify these patients in order to maximize reimbursement, while also avoid billing the patient inappropriately… READ MORE►

downloadRead Asbel’s full article over on www.reimbursementanswers.com, or learn more in person at the upcoming June 9 AAA Regional Workshop in the San Francisco area!

Credit Card Processing: Interchange Plus vs. Tiered Pricing

 

When it comes down to the pricing structures offered by different credit card payment processors, how do you determine which is best for your ambulance service? The American Ambulance Association has teamed up with Payline Data to kick confusion to the curb.

Tiered Pricing Structure

Tiered pricing is a rate structure in which several hundred different processing rates are packaged into tiers that represent three different possible rates. Most providers package the rates into three groups with varying markups. Unfortunately, there is no regulation behind how merchant account providers must package their tiers, which prevents merchants from knowing exactly how much a given provider is making on each transaction. Despite the prevalence of tiered pricing in the credit card processing industry, a more competitive and transparent pricing model is available in the form of Interchange-plus pricing.

Interchange-Plus Pricing

Interchange-Plus pricing is the most transparent pricing model and it’s what Payline offers to all AAA members. This model for pricing puts the power in your hands by giving you a straightforward and clear explanation of charges. Interchange describes the rates that come directly from the card networks. No merchant or processing company has any control over these rates. Every merchant pays interchange, which varies based on the type of card your customer is using. The plus is what Payline is charging you for our ​service. It is our​ profit and is shown in terms of a small percentage markup and a minimal transaction cost.

The best-fit pricing structure is one that is designed to help your business thrive. To hear more about our exclusive pricing option for AAA members, call our friendly Payline representative for a free, no-obligation quote today.

Payline DataContact

Steve Marshall
Director of Corporate Partnerships
smarshall@paylinedata.com
(800) 284-7401

Your membership is important to us–let us know what you think of your Payline experience!

Choosing a Credit Card Processor for Your Ambulance Service

In the fast-paced life of an American Ambulance Association member, taking the time to evaluate credit card processing needs for can feel like a daunting task.  The idea alone is enough to make some emergency vehicle businesses stick with the same old merchant processor when, unbeknownst to them, they are likely losing out on value added services and low rates that could help their business grow. Here are a few tips for choosing a credit card processor for your organization that will enhance your business operations:

  • Understand Credit Card Processing 101

    Credit card processing can seem like a complicated industry, and while it’s true that payments aren’t always black and white, a quality payment processor will help you understand the gray area. Credit card processing is essentially the backend work that occurs every time your business runs a credit or debit card transaction. The first part of the transaction is known as authorization (getting approval from the bank for the transaction) and the second part is settlement (processing of the actual sale, in which funds are transferred from the issuing bank to the merchant account). What it boils down to is this: payment processing is the expansion of your commerce reach as a business, and having one is necessary to optimize your business’s growth. (MORE: Read AAA’s EMS Card Payment Processing Guide)

  • Make sure your processor is advocating for you and your business

    It’s no secret that finding a best-fit business solution for your business takes time and careful consideration. It’s likely that there are many players are involved in helping you make business decisions, so it’s important to have a merchant advocate when selecting a payment processor. A quality payment processor for your business will provide you with an analysis of your recent processing statements and pinpoint where you might be able to cut costs. Money saved on processing can in turn be invested into growing your business and expanding your client reach.

  • Find a processor with cutting-edge solutions

    Any business that accesses debit and credit cards for payment is equally affected by the threat of fraud. A credit card processor that is truly beneficial to your business will seek out the right value added services that can assist you in the fight against fraud. With the new EMV chip cards that are being circulated, it’s important to consider the need for a terminal that can accept all types of cards. Other services offered by the best processors include ACH processing, USB readers, mobile readers, and cloud-based solutions. As commerce rapidly adapts to today’s merchant and consumer needs, your business needs a processor that will offer these solutions and more.

Sticking with a processor that isn’t providing you with the support your business needs isn’t worth your time. To learn more about credit card processing solutions that can help your business grow, contact Steve Marshall at Payline.

Contact us today via email or by phone (800) 284-7401 and we would be glad to run a statement analysis to show you how you can save money and cut costs on processing fees for the betterment and growth of your business.