Failure to pay: unpaid EMS bills add up to millions - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Failure to pay: unpaid EMS bills add up to millions

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council will consider aggressive tactics to prevent unpaid fees for EMS transport bills.

It is a constant problem, nation-wide: people receive services from emergency responders and fail to pay the transport bill.

"It is big business, it is costly. But it is definitely something we need to provide for our residents and guests visiting the county," said Lisa Bourcier, the spokesperson for Horry County.

Each year, the county has to sit down and calculate the lost cost. It accounts for the amount in the budget.

"No one pays 100 percent of anything. Not everyone pays 100 percent of their taxes, their credit card bills. And unfortunately, not everyone pays their EMS bills," explained Bourcier.

After three years, the county is able to write-off the expense. However, county officials aren't as forgiving as that checkbook, they want to put programs in place to make sure people pay the bill.

"We think we can do better with collections. Hence the third party helping with billing and collections, and seeing what else is out there to help with the collections," said Bourcier.

This week, Horry County Council decided to write-off more than five million dollars in unpaid EMS transport fees from the 2012 Fiscal Year.

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