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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today introduced the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act, which would make permanent key Medicare reimbursements to ambulance service providers and would ensure seniors and other people in Michigan continue to have access to life-saving services.
“Families and seniors in Michigan need to know that they can depend on reliable ambulance service in case of an emergency,” said Sen. Stabenow. “That’s why I introduced legislation today to make sure that ambulance providers get the reimbursements they need to continue their vital services for people living in big cities as well as small towns.”
“The American Ambulance Association is deeply appreciative of the support of Senator Debbie Stabenow as we work to secure the future of ambulance services in Michigan and across our nation,” said Mork Postma, President of the American Ambulance Association. “We thank Senator Stabenow for her sponsorship of this legislation and look forward to her continued leadership as we move toward fair, sustainable, and future-oriented revenue models for EMS.”
“On behalf of the ambulance providers of Michigan, I would like to thank Senator Debbie Stabenow for her sponsorship of this new legislation,” said Dale Berry, President of the Michigan Association of Ambulance Services. “We appreciate her dedication to ensuring that ambulance services receive fair reimbursement for the vital health care they provide to our communities.”
Ambulance service providers are an essential part of our local and national health care and emergency response systems, and are often the only provider of emergency medical services for their communities. There more than 200 ambulance service providers in Michigan, including small businesses, fire departments, hospitals, cities, and counties, that rely on Medicare reimbursements to provide emergency care and support jobs in local communities.
Senator Stabenow’s bill makes permanent the 2% urban and 3% rural reimbursement as well as a 25.6% reimbursement for areas that are classified as “super-rural,” meaning they represent the lowest measure of population density. If the Medicare reimbursements are not extended before they expire at the end of 2017, Michigan ambulance providers could lose up to $4 million per year
Stabenow’s legislation requires a study on how the reimbursement formula should be adjusted to more appropriately take into account the cost of provider services in urban, rural, and super-rural areas. Her legislation also requires authorization for certain non-emergency ambulance trips in order to combat fraud and waste.
U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) are original sponsors of the legislation. Stabenow’s bill is supported by the American Ambulance Association, National Volunteer Fire Council, the American Hospital Association, the National Rural Health Association, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and The Association of Critical Care Transport.