SMCAS receives a variety of inquiries from those interested in our services, so we provide our most-commonly asked questions here. Whether you are an event coordinator looking for EMTs to be on-site for your event or an individual that needs assistance with mobility transportation, SMCAS has the caring team that you can always count on. See our FAQs listed below, and, if you have additional questions that need to be addressed, we encourage you to reach out on our contact page!


Will I be charged if I cancel a request for an ambulance before being picked up?

If we do not provide treatment, lift assistance, and/or transport, you will not receive any charges.

What does medical insurance cover?

Typically, medical insurance covers medically necessary transports to the hospital. Most insurance covers these transports without issue. In some cases, we are requested to provide additional information. This means each transport is reviewed, and the insurance company will determine if the transport was medically necessary or not. There is a possibility that the insurance may determine that the transport was not medically necessary, at which point, the patient would be responsible for the bill.

What are the qualifications of the staff on the ambulance?

All our medical staff meet the state required minimums to practice emergency medicine in the state of Michigan and hold multiple locally required certifications such as CPR, ACLS, PALS, and trauma certification. We have several critical care certified paramedics also on our team that allow us to transport the most critically ill patients from hospital to hospital when requested.

What are examples of a medical emergency?

Medical emergencies are one of a life or limb threatening nature. A typical medical emergency is as follows but is not limited to: Chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling with a loss of movement on one side of the body, severe lacerations, heavy bleeding, someone who is unresponsive and not able to be woken up.

Who can travel with me in the regular ambulance?

Depending on the severity of the incident our team members may allow one individual to travel in the ambulance on the way into the hospital. That determination is made by the crew members who also reserve the right to not allow anyone to travel with them to the hospital.

Who can travel along with me in a wheelchair van?

Residential staff or one family member may be able to travel with the patient as long as there is adequate room.

What kind of medical support do I get during the medical transportation?

This depends on the severity of your complaint. Our ambulances are all Advanced Life Support ambulances and can provide a multitude of treatments including, but not limited to: bandaging a wound, placing an advanced airway, providing medications, cardiac monitoring, pacing, and defibrillation.

What is the difference between an emergency ambulance and a non-emergency ambulance?

All our ambulances are equipped to respond to emergencies. The priority in which we respond (red lights and sirens vs. normal driving) is determined by protocol and is dictated by the 911 dispatch center. The difference is whether we are responding to a scene or residence, or if we are called by the hospital to transfer a patient. An emergency is when we are dispatched after someone in need calls 911, and we respond to the call for service. Non-emergency typically refers to a non-911 related transport such as a patient needing a higher level of care or care that is not available at the local hospital. In this case, they call us to transport that patient to another hospital or facility.

How is the cost of the bill determined?

SMCAS is committed to ensuring that our rates for service are fair and customary. The cost of service is determined by national standards and contractual rates that are set by CMS, which is the center for Medicare and Medicaid services. Those rates are reviewed annually and approved by our Board of Directors.

How am I billed?

Our medical team will collect insurance information and signatures from the patient. That information then gets sent to our billing company that is in Lansing, Michigan. The billing company then reviews the information and bills the appropriate insurances. A bill is sent to the patient for what is not covered, or what the billing company may need to bill the insurance. If you have joined the SMCAS Membership program, payment by an insurance company is considered payment in full and any patient responsibility is written off.

What am I charged if an ambulance arrives to assist me, and I decline transportation to the hospital by ambulance?

We do have a lift assist charge of $155.00 and a treat-no transport charge of $355.00. The lift assist charge is collected if you fall in your home or other locations, but you are not hurt, we come to your location and pick you up, but you choose not to be transported to the hospital. A treat-no transport is when we come to your location and provide medical care outside of just picking someone up off the floor. A very typical treat-no transport charge is for a low blood sugar event.

I received something in the mail requesting information from me regarding an ambulance run. Why are they asking for this information?

Our medical staff’s number one priority is taking care of the patient. Sometimes, while taking care of the patient, our team members do not get insurance information or a signature as we require. Our billing company needs this information to bill so they will occasionally send out requests for the missing information.

Will the ambulance take me to a hospital of my choice?

Our protocols are designed to give the patient their choice of local hospital whenever possible. In special situations our paramedics may need to make the decision. However, we will include the patient and family in those decisions if we can.

Can I make a payment online?

Yes, you can! Simply click the link provided, fill out your patient information, and go through the steps to get your payment safely submitted online.

Pay Online

What training or education do SMCAS employees have?

SMCAS is committed to providing the best and most advanced pre-hospital Advanced Life Support to all the patients we treat. To provide this service, all employees are educated with the latest evidence-based training and information available for pre-hospital providers. Also, each employee is provided and trained in the most advanced diagnostic equipment designed for the pre-hospital environment.

Each SMCAS ambulance is staffed with the minimum of a Basic Level Emergency Medical Technician and a Paramedic Level Emergency Medical Technician. While this is the State of Michigan minimum requirement to operate an Advanced Life Support ambulance, SMCAS strives to provide much more than the minimum requirement. Many of our staff are at the Specialist level and all of our Full-Time and most of our Part-Time Paramedics have achieved the certification of the Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program through the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. We hold ourselves to the highest of standards and perform continual quality assurance to make sure all patients are treated to exceed the standard of care.

Some of the core continuing education that most employees receive includes BCLS (Basic Cardiac Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Live Support), HazMat (Hazardous Materials) Awareness, PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), and PHTLS (Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support) or ITLS (International Trauma Life Support). While these are the basic requirements for SMCAS employees, most of SMCAS employees are either certified or licensed in many of the following:

  • HazMat Operations
  • HazMat Technician
  • Firefighter I & II
  • FireOfficer Training
  • CCEMT (Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport)
  • CDLS (Core Disaster Life Support)
  • BDLS (Basic Disaster Life Support)
  • ADLS (Advanced Disaster Life Support)
  • RN (Registered Nurse)
  • Certified and Reserve Police Officers
  • Licensed EMS I/C (Instructor/Coordinator)
  • BCLS, ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, and ITLS Instructor
  • Deputy Medical Examiner
  • TEMS (Tactical Emergency Medical Support)
  • 12-18 Lead ECG’s (Electrocardiogram)
  • Mechanical Ventilators and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • Technical Rescues:
    • Vehicle Extrication
    • Swift Water Rescue
    • Ice Rescue
    • Confined Space Rescue
    • Airplane Crash Rescue
    • High Angle Rescue
    • Trench Rescue
Why does the ambulance sit parked after picking up my friend/family member?

The highly skilled emergency medical professionals are performing skills in the “controlled” environment of the ambulance and performing a primary, focused, and/or an advanced medical/trauma assessment on the patient to determine a field impression or “working diagnosis” and to treat that illness/injury appropriately in a prompt and effective manner.

The EMT or Paramedic may be taking vital signs, establishing an IV, recording and interpreting an ECG, administering oxygen, or administering drugs dependent on the medical condition of the patient. While we can and may sometimes perform some of these skills while traveling down the road it can be much more effective and safer to perform skills with limited movement.

For more information, please contact us today!

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