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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 02:11 PM
From: Senator Joe Pittman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reallocation of EMS Grant Funds to Increase Medicaid Reimbursement Rate

I plan to introduce legislation to reallocate the $4.5 million currently awarded to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) annually through the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program (FCEMSGP), and use it to increase their Medicaid reimbursement rate for transporting Medicaid recipients.  In doing so, it will allow us to capture federal funds and increase our ability to increase Medicaid reimbursements to EMS by $9 million.
In Pennsylvania, most EMS agencies outside of larger cities are supported almost entirely by reimbursements from Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers.  Unfortunately, these minimal reimbursements cover only a fraction of the actual costs incurred, which can include 24/7 staffing levels, training, equipment, supplies and administrative expenses.  These below-costs reimbursements, combined with recruitment and retention issues, have taken a huge toll on EMS agencies.  Many struggle to continue to operate, and are in danger of closing completely. 
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the financial strain on EMS agencies serving on the front lines of defense against the virus.  I believe re-allocating this funding source to increase the EMS Medicaid reimbursement rate is an efficient way to provide much needed revenue. Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation to utilize this funding where it is needed the most.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Anne Achenbach, of my staff, at 7-4404 or aachenbach@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB526