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EMS bill introduces on-scene care reimbursement

Legislation focuses on extending Medicare coverage for ambulance services


Photo/Anna Moneymaker

By Bill Carey

CLINTON, Miss. — The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has announced the introduction of the Emergency Medical Services Reimbursement for On-scene Care and Support (EMS ROCS) Act. 

This proposed legislation aims to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act, extending Medicare coverage to ambulance services focusing on on-scene care and support, excluding transportation.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Welch (D-VT) and Sen. Sanders (I-VT). Rep. Balint (VT-AL) introduced a companion bill in the House. 

Read the legislation here.

“We are extremely thankful that U.S. Senator Welch (VT) has introduced the Emergency Medical Services Reimbursement for On-Scene and Support (EMS ROCS) Act. This Bill facilitates reimbursement for ambulance agencies for Treatment in Place (TIP), irrespective of whether the patient is transported to an emergency department. Reimbursement for the care we provide, as opposed to the transport we supply, has been a goal of the EMS profession for decades,” NAEMT Director and Chair of the NAEMT EMS Economics Committee Matt Zavadsky stated. 

He added, “This bill would allow local communities, EMS leaders, and Medical Directors to develop and implement patient-centric clinical care protocols that facilitate patients receiving the right care, in the right setting, at the right time, without being financially penalized for doing so. NAEMT is very thankful for the collaborative efforts of the American Ambulance Association, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs that have helped get this bill introduced.”