NORWICH – The City of Norwich has been flagged by the New York State Comptroller's Office which released two audit reports Wednesday, one condemning the city's handling of emergency medical services (EMS) billing; and the other chastising city officials for not having a plan to meet an estimated $1.8 million in future capital needs.
According to the audit report on the city's EMS billing, the city has missed out on an estimated $200,000 in revenues. The EMS department did not bill for 614 incidents between Jan. 1, 2017, and Oct. 31, 2018, resulting in $417,600 of unbilled medical services. Moreover, the comptroller found nine incidents totaling $8,300 that were inaccurately billed.
The report also found 903 unserviceable incidents resulting in roughly $400,000 in unrecoverable costs, and that no one reconciles the billings to the medical services provided.
The comptroller gave recommendations that all EMS services provided are billed appropriately in accordance to an up-to-date rate schedule, and that department heads routinely reconcile billings to medical service providers. The city should also consider billing for unserviceable incidents, the report says.
However, city officials argue that the comptroller's audit amounts are “overstated” (although the city council did approve updated ambulance recovery rates earlier this week).