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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 26, 2023 04:52 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Directing DHS to Submit a Medicaid State Plan Amendment to CMS to Provide Reimbursement for EMS for "Treat and Release" of Medicaid Patients
I will be introducing a Resolution urging the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to submit a Medicaid State Plan Amendment to the federal Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide reimbursement for emergency medical services (EMS) for the “treat and release” of Medicaid patients.
According to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, 5,168 Pennsylvanians died from overdoses in 2021.  On average, 15 Pennsylvanians died every day from an overdose in 2021.
The introduction of overdose reversal medications and statewide orders to ensure free access to these tools in 2015 for emergency personnel has undoubtedly saved thousands of lives throughout the Commonwealth.  EMS providers are required to carry overdose reversal products like Naloxone and to administer them for free to those they treat. 
Our EMS providers are struggling, and the volume of substance abuse related calls for Medicaid patients that do not result in a transport to hospitals or treatment facilities is not only unfortunate for the individuals involved, but increasingly costly to the EMS providers on scene who do not get reimbursed for their response or the treatment they provide to these Medicaid patients.
While this is just one example of treat and release calls faced by our EMS providers, there are many other examples.  The intent of this Resolution is to help make these organizations whole as our communities, constituents, and health care system depend on them.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important Resolution.

Introduced as SR140