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Economic development, ambulance fee measures on Homewood board agenda

Homewood trustees will have two economic development measures on their agenda for Tuesday, Feb. 22, including using sales tax to provide incentives to Ford of Homewood and purchasing a vacant building on 175th Street.

Trustees also will consider amending its ambulance fees as part of a state program that would increase the village’s ability to cover ambulance costs without increasing fees to residents who are transported by ambulance.

The Ford of Homewood sales tax incentive is intended to start providing funding for $1 million in TIF-eligible expenses for the dealership, which is in the Kedzie Gateway TIF district. Because the district is new, it does not yet have available funds for disbursement.

Ford of Homewood was Van Drunen Ford until it was purchased last year by Steve Phillipos, owner of Chevrolet of Homewood.


In a memo to trustees, Village Manager Napoleon Haney said the building at 1221 175th St. has been vacant for a number of years and has been cited for property maintenance violations.

The owner recently agreed to an offer of $200,000 from the village, which will seek to redevelop the site if the purchase is approved and completed.

Ambulance fees
The change to the village’s ambulance fee schedule will bring rates into line with levels approved by the state as part of the Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) program, according to Fire Chief Bob Grabowski.

The new fee schedule is intended to bring Medicaid reimbursements closer to actual costs. Prior to the participating in GEMT, both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support reimbursement for patients covered by Medicaid were under $400.

The actual costs are many times higher than that, Grabowski said. The new fee schedule, approved by the state and federal governments, sets the fee for BLS transports at $2,644.40 and at $3,197.54 for ALS.

The money comes from a federal program via the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, not from patients using the service.

The village will share the new reimbursement payments with the state, each entity getting 50%. The village could see nearly $300,000 in additional revenue from the program.

Because the village cannot bill Medicaid patients more than any other patient, the same fees will be applied to all patients, but Grabowski said people with private insurance would not be affected by the new rates because the village will accept the reimbursement rate authorized by insurance companies and would not attempt to collect the difference from patients.

“We don’t want people to think all of a sudden they are getting charged $3,000 for a call,” Grabowski said.

Most people transported by Homewood ambulance have private insurance, he said. The Medicaid reimbursements will mainly apply to nursing home residents.

Virtual meeting details
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be conducted remotely via video conferencing application Zoom. To attend, visit Zoom.us and select “join a meeting” from menu at top right of page. The meeting ID is 980 4907 6232 and the password is 830183.

The meeting is also accessible by phone. Dial 312-626-6799 and use the same meeting ID and password as above.

Members of the public may comment on agenda items or other subjects related to village business by email to [email protected] or by placing written comments in the drop box outside village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. Comments received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday will be read into the record of the meeting.


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