I am delighted to announce that our U.S. Congress has passed legislation that includes most of the provisions of H.R. 3729 — the Comprehensive Operations, Sustainability, and Transport Act of 2017 to extend the Medicare add-ons of 2% urban, 3% rural, and the 22.6% super rural bonus payments for five additional years, retroactive to January 1, 2018.
This legislation will enable our industry to continue to deliver the essential, life-saving services that we provide 24/7 to our patients and communities. It also requires our industry to begin the process of cost reporting in 2019. Reporting the actual costs that we incur in serving our patients and communities, including day-to-day patient care, as well as the cost of preparedness in the event of a disaster, will provide the data that is needed for future modifications to the ambulance fee schedule. NAEMT will partner with other stakeholders to work with HHS to help create an appropriate methodology and system for collecting this cost data.
We deeply appreciate the commitment, leadership, and perseverance of the House Ways and Means Committee and House sponsors, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL), for shepherding this bill through the legislative process, and to the Senate leadership for working out a compromise to get this legislation passed.
The success of our efforts was highly dependent on the tremendous collaboration we received from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, The International Association of Firefighters, and the National Volunteer Fire Council. Together, with one voice, we advocated for this bill for many months. We are very grateful to these partners for their tireless efforts to get this legislation passed. We also thank the American Ambulance Association for their work over many years to ensure that the Medicare add-on payments continued.
We are all grateful for the outstanding efforts of those members who provided the grassroots voice for our cause. Each of you contributed to this success. Please join me in expressing a big THANK YOU to our NAEMT Advocacy Committee, NAEMT Advocacy Coordinators and all members who actively supported passage of this bill through emails, letters, phone calls and personal meetings with their congressional leaders and staff. All of us working together was truly the key to this victory.
Dennis Rowe, EMT-P
We look forward to seeing you at our February meeting. Agenda topics will include a presentation from Sean Kaye and the EMSPIC, review of our final planning for the EMS Legislative Breakfast event coming up in March, reports from the EMS Workforce Sustainability Subcommittees and more.
Please plan on attending and get involved and be better informed.
Thursday February 8 pm-3 pm
Midlands EMS 3201 Leaphart Rd. West Columbia SC 29169
ATTENTION ALL EMS PROVIDERS:
As some of you may have heard the Medicare add-on payments of 2 percent urban, 3 percent rural, and the 22 percent super rural expired as of December 31st 2017.
There is still a chance that these additional payments can be reinstated, but your help is needed. Please contact your federal legislators and let them know the importance of these payments. Congress needs to hear our support for this vital funding. Please take time to do so using the link(s) below. This process should only take a few minutes and is desperately needed.
For background regarding the history of the add-on’s:
To ensure access to ambulances for patients in rural areas, the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act increased payments by 2 percent for rural ground ambulance services and also included a super rural payment for counties in the lowest 25 percent in population density. Congress, in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, raised this adjustment to 3 percent for rural ambulance providers. Congress appropriately decided that these additional rural payments were necessary and important because rural ambulance providers incur higher per-trip costs because of longer travel distances and fewer transports of patients. These provisions ensure that ambulance services are more appropriately reimbursed and that beneficiaries in rural and super rural areas will have access to emergency transport services.
Here are two helpful links on the matter from the AAA and NAEMT that include more background on the situation and some easy ways to reach out to your legislator:
The January 2018 SC EMS Association meeting will be held at Midlands EMS located at 3201 Leaphart Rd, West Columbia, SC 29169. Thursday January 11 @ 1:00 pm
The Savvik 12 Days of Christmas promotion is off to a great start! We want to make sure that your group gets the registration so they have a chance to win. If you could, please forward the below message (make sure the link is included) to your membership along with your logo and feel free to edit your message so that your members can enter.
There is over $10,000 worth of prizes that we are giving away in just a few days.
- One year’s supply of Digitcare Gloves $1,218 value
- Office Depot gift certificate – $250 value
- SateTech Solutions – 2 Leadership Academies tuition – $6,800 value
- Physio Control AED – $750 value
- Binder Lift – Nylon Lift $649 value
- ID Shield for one year – $120 value
- Legal Shield for one year – $240 value
- MedSource medical supplies – $500 value
- Stat Packs – $500 value
- Hotel Engine – $250 gift certificate
- TKK Electronics – HP Titan Smart Watch (5) – $750 value
- Airspace Monitoring – Carbon Monoxide Monitor $315 value
- 5.11 Winter Parka – $250 value
Thank you for the support!