Sponsors of treatment-in-place legislation named NAEMT EMS Legislators of the Year
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Rep. Cynthia Axne introduced legislation into the American Rescue Plan
By Laura French
CLINTON, Miss. — Two lawmakers who sponsored treatment-in-place legislation in the American Rescue Plan Act were named 2021 EMS Legislators of the Year by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-Iowa) were honored during the virtual EMS On The Hill Day and Briefing event this week, the NAEMT announced. Cortez Masto introduced S. 149, which allows Medicare reimbursement under certain circumstances of treatment in place by ground ambulance services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and Axne introduced H.R. 1609, the companion bill to S. 149 in the House of Representatives. The legislation was included in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed into law on March 11.
“When I saw that ambulance operators weren’t being paid unless they took patients to the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, I knew that was wrong and worked across the aisle to fix it,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to support our emergency medical services, and I’m honored to receive this recognition. I’ll continue to work to protect our first responders and the critical work they do on behalf of our communities.”
Axne said she was humbled to be nominated for the award, but that “the real praise belongs to our first responders.”
“Our frontline heroes have always answered the call when our communities were in need—and this past year, that meant responding to a pandemic on top of every medical emergency imaginable. Every call, every request for help, put our first responders at risk for this virus and they responded. Our communities are deeply grateful for the work all our EMS first responders have done—you have been essential to combating this pandemic, while maintaining essential health care services in times of emergencies,” Axne said in a statement. “I know I speak for my entire state of Iowa and the millions of others when I say thank you for your work and dedication. For me, supporting legislation and increasing funding that helps our first responders is just common sense.”
NAEMT President Bruce Evans stated, “Supporting EMS agencies and practitioners, especially during this public health emergency, is for some a lifeline for being able to continue to provide needed service and care in our communities. NAEMT is grateful for the legislation brought forward by Senator Cortez Masto and Representative Axne and appreciates their support of our profession and the patients we serve. EMS practitioners in Nevada, Iowa, and across the country will applaud their support.”
Treatment in lieu of transport
What the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 means for treatment and transport reimbursement post COVID-19