WILLIAMSON – At a regular meeting of the Williamson City Council held Thursday, Feb. 11 the council voted unanimously to enter into a one year contract with Medical Claims Assistance (MCA) to begin insurance billing for fire and rescue services.
Williamson Fire Chief, Joey Carey approached the council stating, “The first item is the MCA billing contract that we discussed last time. That is a copy of the contract for billing services using MCA for the fire and rescue billing only. The contract that you are looking at enters us into a one year agreement to do billing for us at a rate of nine percent of what they collect for us. There is no upfront cost. You will see the obligations from us and the MCA’s obligations.”
“I reviewed this again the other day with the City Attorney (Joshua Ferrell). He didn’t see a problem with anything on there. On the agreement that you are looking at, I will take any questions you have with the agreement. The notification on the bottom states that any party can give a 30 day notice if obligations are not met,” Carey continued.
Ferrell spoke next stating, “If they breech the contract; if they are not collecting. Things of that sort…”
Councilman Matthew Newsome spoke next asking,” Joey, didn’t you say that there are a lot of other municipalities that have a contract with them?”
Carey responded stating, “There are several other municipalities that have this same contract with them. There are 150 that I know of. I have talked to a couple of those folks personally and they are well satisfied with them. One of them is Barboursville Fire Department. Barboursville has been using them for over ten years. They use the same contract and they are pleased with their service.”
Newsome responded asking, “The initial one year contract; do you normally see their fees or percentages go up after one year or do they stay the same?”
Carey responded stating, “The longer you stay with them; I was told by the Barboursville Fire Chief that if you stay with them, using their company for five years, they start dropping the percentage. He is at six percent.”
“As Fire Chief, I am requesting that someone make a motion that we go into an agreement with MCA that they can provide fire service billing for us,” Carey continued.
Councilman York Smith made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Sherri Hairston-Brown and was approved unanimously.
Following the approval of the motion, Carey moved to the next agenda item; the discussion and first reading of the Proposed Amendment Emergency Service Fee Ordinance (Ordinance 958).
“We have to have an ordinance in place for that company to bill for us. We do have one now, but the rates are very low and we have discussed this for the past two council meetings. Josh (Ferrell) and I worked over the past couple of weeks to prepare an amended ordinance. I am really comfortable with those numbers on that ordinance and so is the billing specialist. The billing specialist has actually suggested those numbers to me and the language in that ordinance…We need to bill at the current rate today. Those numbers on that ordinance are uniform across the state and across the country with what we can bill these insurance companies,” Carey explained. “I suggest you guys vote to implement this ordinance,” Carey continued.
Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton responded stating, “As mayor, I will call this the first reading of Ordinance Proposed Amendment to Emergency Services and designate it as the first reading this evening since the council has been provided with copies and they are available to the public that would like a copy. This being the first reading; we will vote on a conclusion at the final reading.”
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)