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President Signs Medicare Ambulance Relief Extensions Bill

Dec 16, 2010

President Obama has signed into law the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act (H.R. 4994). H.R. 4994 includes a one-year extension of current Medicare ambulance relief. More specifically, the new law extends the 2% urban, 3% rural and super rural bonus increases from December 31, 2010 until December 31, 2011. H.R. 4994 also provides funding for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay contractors to reprocess ambulance claims for the first half of this year at the higher retroactive relief rates.

Yesterday evening, President Obama signed into law the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act (H.R. 4994).  H.R. 4994 includes a one-year extension of current Medicare ambulance relief.  More specifically, the new law extends the 2% urban, 3% rural and super rural bonus increases from December 31, 2010 until December 31, 2011.  H.R. 4994 also provides funding for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay contractors to reprocess ambulance claims for the first half of this year at the higher retroactive relief rates.

 

NAEMT had advocated in collaboration with other EMS organizations, most notably, the American Ambulance Association, the extensions of Medicare ambulance relief immediately following the enactment of the current extension which was included in the health care reform law.  As a result of our efforts, ambulance service providers and suppliers will not lose 2% in urban areas, 3% in rural areas and 22.6% to the base rate in super rural areas in Medicare reimbursement starting January 1.  We were also successful in the extensions being enacted before the end of the year and thus avoid the problems associated with retroactively applying the relief.

 

NAEMT would like to thank our members who helped in this advocacy effort by contacting their congressional leaders to urge them to vote in favor of this bill.

Now that this extension as passed, we are talking with the offices of Senators Charles Schumer, Kent Conrad, Pat Roberts and Jeff Sessions and Representatives Richard Neal and Fred Upton about reintroducing the Medicare Ambulance Access Preservation Act (S. 1301, H.R. 2443) early in the next Congress.  These Members of Congress were instrumental in the extensions of Medicare ambulance relief and continue to support permanent Medicare ambulance relief.  We strongly encourage NAEMT members to continue to push permanent relief.  Please plan to attend EMS on the Hill Day in Washington, DC on May 3 and 4.