Senate Approves Bill Ensuring EMS Reimbursements for Service

Listen

The Senate today (June 6) approved legislation that will require insurance companies and Medicaid to reimburse emergency medical services agencies for services provided when transport to a hospital does not take place but care is rendered, according to Senator Don White (R-Indiana), the prime sponsor of the bill.

Senator White said Senate Bill 1003 will ensure that EMS agencies are properly reimbursed for their services when called out to provide care. Currently, insurance companies and Medicaid are only required to reimburse EMS organizations for services when they include transportation to a hospital.

“There are cases where crews respond to a scene to provide care and treatment, but transportation is unnecessary or refused. Not every case requires hospital treatment or in some cases the patient is reluctant to seek further treatment,” said Senator White. “That means that these responders can be denied payment by insurance companies and by Medicaid. That’s just not fair. There are costs incurred and man hours spent by these organizations. Senate Bill 1003 will ensure those organizations are properly reimbursed for their services.

“I first became a strong advocate for Pennsylvania’s volunteer firefighters and EMS crews when I served as Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee more than 10 years ago, particularly when we worked to implement the recommendations of the SR 60 Commission,” Senator White added. “Over the ensuing years, the Legislature has considered and passed a number of measures intended to support our first defenders. Senate Bill 1003 is another step in that effort.”

On May 24, the House unanimously approved House Bill 1013, a measure similar to Senate Bill 1003 in that it requires insurance company reimbursement for non-transport EMS cases, but does not include the Medicaid component.

“My bill has the same intent, but takes an additional step and improves upon it by including Medicaid reimbursements,” Senator White said. “That further levels the playing field and provides greater support for Pennsylvania’s EMS crews and the good work they provide for our citizens.”

Contact:          Joe Pittman                 jpittman@pasen.gov