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State Rep. Martin Causer speaks about a proposed bill to increase reimbursements for EMS agencies.

Harrisburg, Pa. — A bill to increase reimbursements for EMS agencies has gotten approval in committee and will head to the House for consideration.

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee approved legislation State Rep. Martin Causer sponsored that would boost Medicaid reimbursement rates for emergency medical services agencies. 

The increased reimbursements are necessary to help EMS agencies keep their doors open and be ready to respond when people need medical care, Causer said. 

EMS providers have received only two increases in reimbursements for transporting individuals covered by Medicaid in the last two decades with the last increase taking place in 2018. The rate for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services would increase from $300 to $400 per trip, while the rate for Basic Life Support (BLS) services would increase from $180 per trip to $325. 

House Bill 2434 would offer an added premium for rural providers, similar to that offered through Medicare, to recognize the added costs those providers face. Finally, the bill would require that EMS agencies be paid for all loaded miles at a rate of $4 per mile. Currently, Medicaid reimburses $2 per loaded mile, but only after the first 20 miles.

Future reimbursement rates for services and mileage would increase when Medicare rates increase based on changes to the CPI to keep pace with the increased cost of providing this service. 

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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