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Senate introduces new bill for Medicare ambulance reimbursements

May 19, 2009

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) introduced in the United States Senate the Medicare Ambulance Access Preservation Act (MAAPA).

On May 19, 2009, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) introduced in the United States Senate the Medicare Ambulance Access Preservation Act (MAAPA).  The bill number is S. 1066.  The language of S. 1066 is identical to the House companion bill (H.R. 2443) which Congressmen Richard Neal (D-MA) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced on May 14.  Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were original cosponsors of S. 1066.

 

The provisions would take effect on January 1, 2010 when all the current temporary Medicare ambulance relief provisions are set to expire. The two provisions of the Medicare Ambulance Access Preservation Act are as follows:

  1. 6% increase for ground transports originating in an urban or rural area.  The increase of 6% reflects the findings of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of May 2007. The increase would be to base and mileage rates and would replace the temporary 2% urban and 3% rural increases which also apply to base and mileage rates.
  2. 17% increase for ground transports originating in super rural areas.  Since there is only a rural mileage rate and not one specifically for super rural, the current 22.6% base rate increase for super rural areas would remain in place and the mileage rate would increase by 6%.  The 22.6% base rate and 6% mileage rate increases equal a combined average increase of 17% which reflects the findings of the GAO report.