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Dayton’s office holds hearing on Medicare payments for ambulance services


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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“Who is going to pay this bill?”By John TorgrimsonMonday, July 16, 2001


Ambulance providers from throughout Southeastern Minnesota were in Harmony Thursday night to meet with representatives from Sen. Mark Dayton’s office. They were there to discuss problems with Medicare reimbursements for emergency services that fall far short of actual costs.

Dayton’s office has been holding hearings in various parts of Minnesota on this issue. Deputy State Director Marc Kimball said that Dayton is fearful that problems with Medicare reimbursement is effecting the level of care ambulances can deliver and that it may increase the response time to emergencies.

“Senator Dayton is concerned that if the policies and procedures of the federal government are putting people’s lives at stake, then that is a problem,” Kimball told the group.

Brad Hanson, who works on health care issues for Dayton said that this is a state-wide problem, but that rural ambulance services are most in danger.

Gary Wingrove of Gold Cross Ambulance Service, representing the Minnesota Ambulance Association at the meeting, said that there are two issues: the first being Medicare under-paying or denying payment on emergency ambulance services; and, secondly, problems with the pending fee scale that could be implemented later this year.

Wingrove showed figures that highlited the problem. The Minnesota 1998 Average Charge per transport was $685, while the average payment allowed by Medicare was $371. Wingrove said that it is estimated that the national shortfall between Medicare payments and ambulance service costs are $1.4 billion annually.

Many providers, who spoke at the hearing believed that part of the problem has to do with the coding of services and that Wisconsin Physicians Service, the the new contractor that processes claims for the federal government in Minnesota, interprets the codes differently. One person who handles billing from Grand Meadow said that she was told flat out by one claims adjuster that they deny all billing claims on the first application as a matter of course.

Paula Michel of Harmony told the group of her ordeal in dealing with Medicare when her 95 year old mother required ambulance transfer from Harmony Nursing Home to Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse. Holding up a sheath of papers that represented nine months of correspondence, Michel talked about an unyielding bureaucracry that continually denied he .....
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Foods Weekly Ads


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Conservation shines in Fillmore CountyBy Mike McGrathMonday, July 16, 2001

Last Thursday, the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) hosted a bus tour that featured recently installed conservation practices on local farms. ..... 
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County Board has short day

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 16, 2001

Following a week off to observe the Fourth of July, the County Board whisked through an unusually short meeting last week, coming to adjournment a mere 87 minutes after the call to order.
Masonic Park trees to go
< ..... 
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Planning for the future

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Re-mapping the Ag DistrictBy Carol ThouinMonday, July 16, 2001

For 36 years, Spring Valley's Jan Czapiewski has taken needle in hand to create some of the most remarkable, artistic creations in the county. She has the awa ..... 
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NORSTAD CONSTRUCTION

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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New Homes • Remodeling • Additions
Poured Basement Walls • Driveways • Retaining Walls
Agriculture • Horse Barns • Riding Arenas


Fill, Sand, Black Dirt, Landscaping, Lite Excavation


We offer a plan service ..... 
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Our Gift Shop

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Features:
Locally made Amish Quilts, Dolls, Baskets & Furniture
Amish Pantry Spices, Mustards, Bread Mixes & Soups
Beaumont Brothers Pottery
Fall Pumpkins, Apples & Scarecrows
Tapestry Wallhangings
Bell Pul ..... 
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Welcome to Bluff Country's Finest Family Campground

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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SUPERSAW VALLEY CAMPGROUND
Deep in the heart of picturesque Bluff Country, welcome to Supersaw Valley Campground, southeastern Minnesota’s scenic family camping area.

Come discover 185 acres of lush, bountifu ..... 
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Journal Profile #84

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Name: Ellen Collett
Home: Preston, MN
Age: 54
Profession: Homemaker/Daycare
Family: Husband Dave, three daughters, two sons, and six grandchildren
Personal Hero: My mother
Hobbies: Se ..... 
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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