|Your Action is Needed for Medicare Ambulance Relief|
|By Member Heather Sharar|
|October 9, 2017|
House Committee Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Bill
On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted out favorably an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the Comprehensive Operations, Sustainability, ant Transport Act of 2017 (HR 3729) by Congressman Nunes (R-CA) and Sewell (D-AL). H.R. 3729 would extend for five years the Medicare ambulance add-on payments of 2% urban, 3% rural and the super rural bonus. The legislation would also implement cost reporting for ambulance service suppliers.
H.R. 3729 is a revised version of the Ambulance Medicare Budget and Operations Act (HR 3236)introduced by Congressmen Nunes (R-CA), Upton (R-MI) and Welch (D-VT). While the AAA supports H.R. 3236, there were several changes made in H.R. 3729 that are very concerning to the AAA. In particular, the addition of an offset which would implement an additional 22% cut to BLS nonemergency transports to and from dialysis centers and a change in the penalty for not filing a time, complete and accurate cost report.
The AAA has grave concerns about the language surrounding overpayments and the proposed offset. This week, AAA Board Members and Volunteer Leaders were in DC and met with both sponsors of the bill and other key offices to express our concerns over these new provisions. The AAA was able to secure the commitment of House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Congressmen Nunes and Sewell to work with us on those two key provisions.
The Committee stated the inclusion of an offset in the bill was necessary for its consideration and the AAA is pushing for our language from S. 967 on prior authorization or similar approach just targeting dialysis transport fraud and abuse to replace the cut. The AAA is also pushing for the Senate to consider S. 967which would make the add-ons permanent and require a random sampling of ambulance services to collect data instead of mandatory annual cost reporting by all ambulance services suppliers.
The AAA encourages its members to write their Senators to cosponsor S. 967.
Details on H.R. 3729
This is all the same as originally found in HR 3236.
HR 3729 would also:
Ask your Senators to Support S.967 – 2017 Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act
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