FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2018
House Passes Legislation Allowing EMS Providers to Recover Uncompensated Costs
HB 176 Makes Many EMS Providers Eligible for Supplemental Federal Funding to Transport Medicaid-Eligible Patients
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 176 to allow providers of emergency medical transportation services (EMS) in Alaska to recover supplemental reimbursements from Medicaid.
“The ongoing recession, the loss of tax revenue, and the escalating opioid crisis are forcing many municipalities that provide ambulance and other EMS services to lay off workers and put off needed equipment upgrades. Passage of this bill will bring in upwards of $11 million per year to help reimburse these medical transport providers,” said HB 176 sponsor Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).
Currently, EMS providers are receiving about 30 percent repayment of their total cost of transporting Medicaid-eligible patients. In fiscal year 2017, the average claim submitted was $1,100 with an average reimbursement of only $300 for each ground-based EMS transport, leaving an average of about $800 unreimbursed.
“Many ambulance services in Alaska are run by local municipalities, which means these unreimbursed costs eventually get passed along to local taxpayers. HB 176 should close over half of this gap, providing federal funds to cover those costs, thus saving taxpayers money, enhancing public safety and improving emergency response in our communities,” said Rep. Wool.
House Bill 176 passed the Alaska House of Representatives today by a vote of 30-0. The bill will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.