The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

October 2, 2013

TRIAL UPDATE: Regenwether testimony details fire department's EMS billing process



Regenwether testified that McGuire and Ihnken were asked if the city needed to change its procedures, but but they did not give the city any direction other than to send more records.

"I was lost. I still didn't know if we were doing anything right or wrong," Regenwether said.

A week after the meeting, Regenwether sent an e-mail to former mayor Rodger Holm explaining the meeting went well and there did not seem to be any illegal activity. Regenwether wrote he was unsure how many errors in coding there were, though he did not predict there were a large number. After the meeting, the city did change one billing procedure that ensured two codes were placed on bills that were sent to Medicare.

Regenwether also testified that he had nothing to gain by upcoding emergency calls or bills to the federal government and that any money the fire department got in reimbursements went into the city's general fund and not specifically to the fire department.

Bob Waterman, with Lane and Waterman, the firm representing Walker, conducted a cross examination of Regenwether on Wednesday morning.

Waterman asked Regenwether about the meeting with McGuire and Ihnken, specifically if anyone from the city's finance department was present. They were not, Regenwether said.

Waterman asked Regenwether if anyone at the fire department verified the bills being sent to Medicare and Medicaid, which they did not, Regenwether said. Regenwther testified he believed the billing and

checking for the codes on the bills was done by the finance department.

It was not until after the settlement had been reached that Regenwether learned finance clerk Sarah Nolan was not checking for accuracy, but performing only data entry.

Regenwhether and McGovern's repeated requests for the city to outsource billing and institute a dispatch protocol also were brought up Wednesday. It wasn't until after the 2010 settlement that the city

decided to outsource billing and a dispatch protocol was put in place.

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