PANAMA CITY - Bay County Commissioners approved a contract with firm DSG to provide collection services for delinquent bills for ambulance rides at Tuesday's commission meeting.
"We choose a firm based on the lowest cost and all the other parameters that were in the purchasing policy," said Mark Bowen, Bay County Emergency Operations.
DSG will collect payments on bills that are at least 9 months overdue.
Bay County took over the service last year from Bay Medical Sacred Heart Health System.
County officials say they were able to get data from Bay Medical about their accounts.
"We have tried to make policies that make it very user friendly. So that people can make those monthly payments," said Bowen. "And as long as they're you know, operating with the billing company and trying to pay their bill then I certainly don't see any reason why they would be turned over to collection, once they are turned over to collections then they that's a process they have to move forward."
Officials say one of the biggest problems has to do with visitors who use our ambulance services.
It has proven difficult to track down the visitors after they have been treated.
"We have a lot of out of town customers that use the ambulance services. It's going to take somebody that can follow up on that in order to ensure we get paid for the service we render," said Guy Tunnell, Bay County Commissioner.
Commissioners hope the billing company will help in that process.
The firm will earn 18 percent of what it collects on the debt.