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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 3, 2021 11:32 AM
From: Senator Joe Pittman
To: All Senate members
Subject: ARP Funding for EMS Agencies
I plan to introduce legislation to provide American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds to cover financial losses suffered by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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-cost 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 severely added to the financial strain on EMS agencies serving on the front lines of defense against the virus.  Analysis completed by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS) shows that between April and October 2020 EMS agencies across the commonwealth lost more than $24 million in revenue compared to the same period in 2019.  BEMS figures are a conservative estimate calculated by utilizing the commonwealth’s Medicaid rate but still highlight the impact COVID-19 has had on EMS agencies in Pennsylvania.
My legislation recognizes the need for the services provided by EMS agencies in all communities across the commonwealth and will enable EMS agencies to apply for ARP funds to cover their financial losses from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.  The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services shall have oversight over the application process and disbursement of ARP funding to qualified EMS agencies.

I hope you will consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Alex Fefolt, of my staff, at afefolt@pasen.gov or 724-357-0151.

Introduced as SB994