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NAEMT Board Adopts Position On EMS Reimbursement Reform

Jan 23, 2015

The NAEMT Board of Directors issued a new Position Statement affirming its belief that the EMS industry should work cooperatively with congressional leaders to pass legislation that supports quality patient care, promotes the ability of pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) to provide that care, and ensures financial sustainability.

The statement supports:

  • Making the Medicare ambulance reimbursement “add-ons” permanent;
  • Paying for these add-ons through reductions in payments for non-emergent, repetitive BLS transports, which have been cited by MedPAC as vulnerable to fraud;
  • Cost reporting by all ambulance providers in a format that will demonstrate to congressional leaders and regulators that the industry is supportive of being held to the same measures as the rest of the healthcare system;
  • Incentivizing providers to begin reporting on performance and outcome measures;
  • Offering opportunities for providers to be reimbursed for innovations that improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs, such as mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedic programs, and referring or arranging for alternative patient care.

“EMS reimbursement has not kept pace with changes in EMS,” said NAEMT President Conrad “Chuck” Kearns. “EMS is an essential, patient-centered public service. It has proven to save lives in all types of emergency medical crises, such as trauma, cardiac arrest and stroke. It provides emergency care at all times, to every community in our nation. Moreover, it has increased efficiency and in many cases reduced in-hospital patient care costs. Reform should reflect advances in EMS.”

The full text of the position statement is available here.