[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Upper Merion Township as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-2-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-754]
The Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors by and through their authority and relationship with the aforesaid volunteer fire and rescue services hereby authorizes the recovery of the real and reasonable costs incurred by the volunteer emergency services organization involving any hazardous material incident, environmental incident or safety and rescue incident, or operation, including vehicular accidents and fires, that occur on the roadways in Upper Merion Township.
Editor's Note: The King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company, Swedeland Volunteer Fire Company and Swedesburg Volunteer Fire Company.
Upper Merion Township recognizes the need to bill for volunteer fire and rescue services conducted on the roadways within the Township to aid in the provision of emergency services.
No person requiring emergency services shall be denied services due to lack of insurance or ability to pay.
Any applicable charges for volunteer emergency services rendered shall be billed directly to the user of such services or user's insurance company.
Upper Merion Township may, either directly or through any third-party billing agency with which it has contracted for billing and/or collections for volunteer fire and rescue services, make arrangements with users of such services and/or their financially responsible party for installment payments of bills so long as Upper Merion Township determines that: 1) the financial condition of the individual requires such an arrangement; and 2) the individual and/or the financially responsible party has demonstrated a willingness to make good-faith efforts towards payment of the bill.
The Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to enter into a contract with a third-party billing agency and/or collection agency for performance of emergency services billing and/or collection services, provided that the following standards for third-party billing contracts are met.
The third-party billing service is to be provided at a rate of 20% of fees collected or at an amount consistent with the fair market value for services rendered.
The third-party billing agency has in place a compliance program conforming to the standards set forth in the Office of Inspector General's Compliance Program Guidance for Third-Party Medical Billing Companies, 63 Federal Register 70138, as amended.
Neither the billing agency nor any of its employees are subject to exclusion from any user fee.
The billing agency is bonded and/or insured in amounts satisfactory to Upper Merion Township.
The Township may, in its discretion, bill additionally for material, vehicle and personnel costs in the case of any major, extraordinary or unique incidents including, but not limited to, hazardous materials spills, fire and rescue incidents that destroy or severely damage emergency services equipment and incidents that require services in excess of a Level 3 incident, as described in the attached Addendum.
Editor's Note: Addendum is on file in the Township offices.
Volunteer fire and rescue services shall initiate user fees for the delivery of emergency services, personnel, supplies and equipment to the scene of any hazardous material incident, environmental incident or safety and rescue incident or operation, including vehicular accidents and fires, that occur on the roadways in Upper Merion Township. The rate of the user fee shall be that which is usual, customary and reasonable, as determined by the Upper Merion Township Fire and Rescue Services Board and approved by the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors, pursuant to rates established by FEMA and outlined in the attached Policy Addendum.
Editor's Note: Said Policy Addendum is on file in Township offices.
Every person and/or utility that requires volunteer emergency services shall be billed a user fee according to this article.
The user fee for volunteer emergency services rendered shall be billed directly to the user of such services' insurance company, if known, as an add-on cost. If the insurance company is not known, the user of services shall be billed directly, with instructions to forward the bill to his/her insurance provider. When volunteer emergency services are rendered relating to utilities on the roadways within Upper Merion Township and the area is deemed unsafe by emergency responders, said utility shall be billed directly.
Any and all amounts collected as a result of this article shall be turned over to the Township and deposited into a designated Township revenue account and shall be distributed according to a formula as determined by the Upper Merion Fire and Rescue Services Board and approved by the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors for the replacement and maintenance of emergency services materials and equipment.
Upper Merion Township may implement rules and/or regulations and/or revoke or amend existing rules and/or regulations as may be deemed necessary for the billing and/or collection of user fees pursuant to this article.
The user fee is anticipated to be paid by the user's insurance company. In the instance where the Township receives official notification from the insurance carrier that it will not honor the invoice, the Township shall write off the fee as a bad debt, without adversely affecting the credit standing of the individual involved.
Should the Township determine that an insurance carrier has remitted the fee to the user involved and that the party has failed to remit the fee to the Township, the Township will take appropriate action in order to collect the account.