Rapid City to consider writing off $1.7M ambulance bills

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City officials will consider writing off more than $1.7 million worth of unpaid ambulance bills accumulated over the past dozen years.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the city's Legal and Finance Committee will look over a resolution Wednesday to write off nearly 2,700 of the Rapid City Fire Department's unpaid ambulance bills. Almost 98 percent of these unpaid bills are uncollectible either because of the state's six-year statute of limitations or because an individual who owes the money died without an estate.

The rest are difficult to collect because of bankruptcy, incarceration or mandatory write-offs from Medicare and Medicaid denials.

Fire Chief Rod Seals says the cost of providing ambulance services is rising faster than reimbursements from user fees, which are collected to avoid a taxpayer subsidy.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)