News

NAEMT​ Offers “What Is EMS?” Primer

(NASEMSO Washington Update – February 2021)

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has published a new guide to help explain the EMS industry toelected officials, key staff, and stakeholders.

The new guide explains:

  • the range of services EMS provides to the community – from 911 response to community paramedicine,
  • disaster response andother services such as contact tracing and immunizations to address urgent public health issues.
  • the basics of EMS operations, staffing, delivery, and regulations. EMS funding and reimbursement, and how this affects the EMS workforce, patients and communities.

NAEMT urges elected officials, their staff and key stakeholders to use this guide to better understand EMS and how it functions throughoutthe United States, and to inform legislative and policy decision-making. Read more here.


Maine EMS Report to the Legislature on Ambulance Reimbursement

February 1, 2021

During the 129th Legislative Session, LD 2105 was enacted as amended to address a concern about patients receiving “surprise bills” following emergency treatment. This was primarily intended to address hospital fees; however, because EMS is also involved in providing emergency care we were affected. The MAA worked to help the Legislature understand that ambulance providers are currently paid less than the cost of providing services by insurance carriers (including MaineCare and Medicare). We also explained the challenges of trying to establish contracts with insurance carriers to address this issue.

In response, the Legislature enacted a temporary exemption for ambulance services and requires private insurance carriers to pay what they are billed (emergency calls only) and to make payments directly to the ambulance service. This exemption only lasts until October 2021.

The legislature also directed Maine EMS to convene a stakeholder group to discuss this issue and report back to the Legislature by Feb 1 with a recommendation on reimbursement rates and contracting issues. This work group (referred to as the LD 2105 Committee) held several meetings and has submitted its report, which was unanimously approved by the committee.

Next will come a hearing with the Joint Standing Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services – and likely legislation. It is important that ambulance providers are familiar with this report and the recommendations – and reach out to legislators for their support.

The final report is available here.

 


Update on Provider Relief Funding Phase 3

From the American Ambulance Association

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to roll out the third phase of Provider Relief Fund.  In December, the Administration announced that it would increase the funding up to 88 percent of the reported losses during the first and second quarter of 2020 for those providers and suppliers who applied.  While many providers and suppliers have received these payments, there are others who are still waiting.

HHS received 80,000 applications and is continuing to examine each one to make sure that the recipients have not already received amounts that would cover the amount of justifiable expenses and lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.   In other words, they are doing their due diligence to make sure that the applications meet the requirements set forth in the statute and the application process.  HHS anticipates that this process may continue through the end of the month.

This means that if your organization applied for the third phase of funding and has not yet received it, you may be hearing from HHS or receiving the funds in the coming weeks.  However, if you organization has already received funding that equals or exceeds reimbursement of 88 percent of these reported losses, the Administration will not provide additional funding at this time.

 


CMS Announces Ambulance Services Selected for Year 2 Data Collection

December 22, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the names of those ground ambulance service providers and suppliers who will be required to submit their data for year 2 under the ambulance data collection system. To see the list of providers and suppliers selected for year 2, please go to the Ambulances Services Center page of the CMS website and scroll down to “Ground Ambulance Providers and Suppliers Selected to Submit Data in Year 2 (Zip)” or click here to download the file directly.

Those providers and suppliers selected for either year 2 or year 1 will need to capture and report their data for a 12-month period beginning between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Providers and suppliers will have 5 months from the end of their reporting period in which to submit their data to CMS. CMS delayed the capturing and reporting of ambulance data due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.