It’s not rocket science…

Just a few weeks ago we were having a conversation with one of our EMS billing clients and while discussing this manager’s frustration about the quality of his staff’s documentation in their patient care reports he simply blurted out…

“It’s not rocket science, for Pete’s sake, it’s just that they forget the details!”


And so, it made us think about all of the things that we talk about here in the billing office. It made us think about all of the EMS providers we meet and encounter while we fulfill our EMS billing mission, and frankly the wisdom of that manager’s simple observation rang very true.


This billing office takes great pride in the support and ongoing education we provide to our clients. We use a myriad of mediums to get the word out about the need for clear clinical documentation using precise detail in the Patient Care Report to support the claim that is created for the EMS agency to be reimbursed.

We use video instruction, in-person teaching, this blog space, e-mail blasts…you name it, we do it because as a company when our clients shine we shine.

Never mind the importance of a detailed PCR for legal purposes. Never mind the importance of a detailed PCR for Quality Assurance and Control. Those are important too and someone else’s blog topic. Our concern in this space is to shine the spotlight on all things billing. Our focus in this space is to help our clients (and prospective clients) remain fully in compliance with all of the billing-related rules and regulations.

So, all of the instruction, hand-holding, support and effort we put into helping our clients pull the maximum amount of reimbursement and still “color inside the lines” for compliance all boils down to the amount of detail the EMS providers out there on the street write into their PCR documentation.

Paint a Picture

If we’ve uttered this phrase once, we must have spoken it a thousand times.

Any and all instruction we receive from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, a.k.a. “The Feds”) use this phrase when describing their expectations for the information that will be written into the EMS Patient Care Report.

Often we are asked about the need for a written narrative. Not long ago we were told by a client that a neighboring ambulance service (one not using our billing office) was downplaying the need for a written narrative. This service explained that the ePCR program’s technology and data elements negated the need for a written narrative… “…because all that we need is right there in the pull down menus and data elements.”


We have yet to see an ePCR program that has the ability to “paint a picture” in words regarding any EMS scenario. A word picture requires sentence structure. It requires at least a paragraph or two. A word picture fills in the blanks created by the digital pull-down menus and draws together the various patient care elements while noting the patient’s condition of medical necessity (or lack of medical necessity) to point the billing office to the proper avenue of collecting revenue to reimburse the EMS agency for the time and effort expended to treat and transport the patient. The detail also insures that a adequate cash flow is establish to enable the EMS agency to “pay the bills” and be there for the next incident.

Come on folks!

So, to all of you out there in the EMS provider world…come on folks!!

Concentrate. It’s not rocket science!

If you survived your training and testing to become the pre-hospital healthcare provider you are today, then certainly you should have no problem putting the detail down on the written page (or computer screen) each and every time you treat and transport a patient.

Remember, it’s all in the detail- your detail- to make your EMS agency successful!

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