EMSA to speak publicly about billing procedures

TULSA - EMSA officials are planning to publicly address the ambulance service's billing procedures.

Spokesperson Kelli Bruer said EMSA is initiating a public education campaign in an effort to "clear up misinformation" about the city's utility fee and EMSA's TotalCare program.

Two Tulsa residents are suing the company, saying the agency wrongly charged them for ambulance services.

The class action lawsuit says the plaintiffs paid the monthly utility fee for EMSA services and should not have been charged.  

Priscilla Johnson and Evan Hughes filed a class action lawsuit against EMSA Feb. 24, alleging EMSA knowingly charged Johnson and Hughes fees when it should not have.

After the lawsuit was filed, some of the agency's billing practices came under fire.

The EMSA TotalCare Program costs $3.64 a month on a Tulsa utility bill. The program promises no out-of-pocket expenses if ambulance services are used.

Residents are automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were enrolled in the program and should not have been charged. The lawsuit alleges EMSA even sued Johnson and Hughes to collect those fees.

Tulsa city councilors are now looking into the issue.

"I think the council is going to be very active in its oversight of EMSA in the weeks and months ahead," said District 9 Councilor G.T. Bynum.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

EMSA officials will address their billing procedures Thursday at the Tulsa City Council meeting.  The meeting starts at 1 p.m.

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