Support bill to boost reimbursement for ambulance services

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I re-introduced legislation to require emergency medical services agencies be reimbursed for services provided even if transport to a hospital does not take place.

As you may know, under current law emergency medical services (EMS) agencies can only be reimbursed for a covered claim if they transport the patient to a hospital. Many times an ambulance and/or advanced life support squad will render care at an incident and not provide transport, usually because the patient has refused transport to the hospital.

Furthermore, many EMS agencies that provide advanced life support (ALS) service must rely on a contract with a Basic Life Support (BLS) unit, which transports in order to receive payment for services rendered. Today’s EMS delivery system has grown with many changes and requirements in EMS protocols.

Specifically, my proposal amends Act 284 of 1921, known as the Insurance Company Law, under Section 2116 relating to emergency services. My legislation allows for a transport exception under the following conditions:

The BLS or ALS unit must be dispatched by a county 911 center.

The EMS provider must have rendered care even though transport was refused.

Too many times EMS providers must wait to respond to a 911 call only to show up at the incident and provide care and treatment, but not transport for various reasons. In either case, the EMS provider responded to the call and expended time and resources on responding to the call. No other sector of the "healthcare” industry operates in this fashion.

Please join me in sponsoring this very important proposal to assist our EMS providers throughout the Commonwealth.

PA State Rep. Stephen Barrar

160th Legislative District of Pennsylvania

Darby, Pa.

Editor's note: The bill has now advanced to the state senate for consideration.

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