New bill seeks to raise Medicaid reimbursement for Pa. EMS agencies

Officials said the future of the EMS agencies in Pennsylvania is uncertain if the bill does not pass and the reimbursement rates are not increased

By EMS1 Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A new bill aims to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for the EMS agencies in Pennsylvania.

Local 21 News reported that Rep. Martin Causer is sponsoring House bill 699, which would raise the current basic and advanced life support reimbursement rates from $120 and $200 to $180 and $300.

“House bill 699 is really a critical lifeline for our EMS agencies across the commonwealth,” Causer said.

Cornerstone Adminisystems Client Services Supervisor Daniel Morris, who oversees the billing for more than 150 EMS agencies, said they are getting paid “pennies on the dollar” for their services.

“These are certified medical providers, physicians, think of them like that, they provide the medical care via mobile transport. There are certificates involved in this, extensive training, liability insurance, gas, cost to operate vehicle, state licensure… A lot goes into this.”

Morris added that the future of the agencies could be uncertain if the bill is not approved.

“It’s going to put them in the red of course. If it’s costing you more to provide a service than you're getting in reimbursement, you can't survive,” he said.

The bill was passed unanimously by the House and is on its way to the Senate.

“There are more and more people on Medicaid needing services so I think this can help our EMS services a great deal,” Causer said.

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