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Committee proposes limiting copays for ground ambulance rides

The committee recommends limiting copays for ambulance rides to $100, or 10% of what insurance pays out of network for ambulance services

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Photo/courtesy Greg Friese

By Sarah Roebuck
EMS1

WASHINGTON — A committee in Washington is making recommendations on how Congress could lower ground ambulance costs.

Legislation has been enacted in 14 states to shield consumers from unexpected bills for ground ambulance services, PBS reports. In 2021, the No Surprises Act was passed, offering protection to patients who require air ambulance services. However, due to the complexity of the nation’s system, provisions for ground ambulance services were not included, as it was too challenging for Congress to tackle at that time.

The Advisory Committee on Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing (GAPB) was created in response to research and make recommendations for future legislation.

The 17-member committee, comprising various emergency service representatives, met for six months to focus on emergency and non-emergency services like transporting heart patients for surgery. They developed numerous recommendations for 15 issue areas.

Among the committee’s recommendations is limiting copays for ground ambulance rides to $100, or 10% of what insurance pays out of network for ambulance services, according to the report.

Another suggestion is to secure compensation for ambulance crews. The committee proposed that Congress evaluate measures to affirm payment for these teams, aiding them in recuperating the costs associated with patient care.

The committee will deliver a report with its recommendations to Congress in early 2024.

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