Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a copy of my medical records?

A patient can obtain a copy of the medical record for their service by asking for it in person, or by written request.

Why do ambulance providers require signature before treatment and transport?

Medicare requires that ambulance providers obtain a patient’s consent to bill the program for services provided, and to receive payment directly from the government.  If the patient does not provide evidence of consent by signing a document for these purposes, the ambulance service cannot bill Medicare and must bill the patient.  In addition, the signature is proof that services were actually provided.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare Part B covers medically necessary ambulance transports that are reasonable in relation to their purpose. In addition to emergency transports, covered transports include those from: (1) any place to a facility that furnishes necessary care; (2) a nursing home to hospital: (3) one hospital to another hospital where necessary care or service is not available at the first hospital; and (4) from a hospital or nursing facility to a beneficiary’s home. To qualify for coverage, ambulance transports must meet two basic tests: (1) medical necessity – whether a patient needs to be transported by ambulance, as opposed to some other means; and (2) reasonableness – whether the transport was necessary in the first place.

What does Medicaid cover?

Medicaid coverage varies from state to state. Emergency transport is always covered, but the individual states decide what types of cases constitute an “emergencies.” Non-emergency transports are covered under defined circumstances, and states typically provide some type of coverage for non-ambulance transports in wheelchair vans or “ambulettes.”

How are rates set and does Parastar help set rates?

Parastar has access to national databases that provide information on how much certain insurers pay for particular levels of service, by geographic area. We use this information to develop payment profiles by location, and compare these profiles with operating costs to help our clients establish rate structures that maximize reimbursement while staying competitive in their respective markets.

How does Parastar help prepare its clients for compliance challenges?

Our Corporate Compliance team has been contacted by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist in the development of national guidelines for corporate compliance plans mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Parastar offers a full range of compliance-related services, based on the plan established for our clients by this team.  Our objective is to eliminate compliance risk by addressing concerns identified by the OIG as most likely to be in conflict with the federal False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  We start by assisting clients in the creation of their own compliance plan, then by developing education and communication plans that are the cornerstone of implementation and compliance monitoring.

What aspects of compliance are emphasized?

Our compliance program emphasizes the establishment of an organizational culture of compliance, and in particular the development of written standards of conduct, adherence to HIPAA privacy and security rules, recognition of potential referral inducement situations and the generation of appropriate billing documentation and coding practices.

Does Parastar conduct training for crews and office personnel?

Parastar works with its corporate educational partner, the Life Support Training Institute (LSTI), to develop and conduct full scope training programs for road personnel, managers and supervisors, and office/support staff. LSTI has trained thousands of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, and conducted hundreds of training sessions for emergency medicine practitioners and lay persons over its nearly twenty five year history.

Does Parastar have an electronic billing option?

Yes, Parastar offers a robust electronic billing option that can be tailored to clients’ operational needs as well as local and state EMS authority data requirements and client management financial and statistical reporting preferences.

What billing software is used?

Parastar enjoys a “preferred customer” relationship with Zoll Medical Systems, the premier source of integrated EMS dispatch and billing/collection software and innovation in the United States over the past twenty years. Zoll billing and collection systems can also be integrated with other dispatch and data collection software, if clients already have already invested in another front-end solution.

What hardware is it compatible with?

Zoll software is mainly used with Panasonic Toughbook CF-19s and Itronix DuoTouch Tablet PCs, but can be adapted to a variety of other makes and models.

Does Parastar conduct crew training on billing hardware/software?

Parastar conducts extensive crew training on billing hardware and software for all of our clients, including introductory, refresher and remedial programs, if necessary.

Are your coders certified?

Every Parastar’s coder has been certified by the National Academy of Ambulance Coding.