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Bill Introduced to Ensure Fair Air Ambulance Service Reimbursements


There has been an air of uncertainty with regards to Medicare reimbursements of air ambulance services, especially when it comes to rural areas. The uncertainty has loomed for long but now a solution is near. Rep. Greg Walden has introduced a legislation that ensures rural air ambulance service providers are appropriately paid. It has been named The Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 745).

The Act will End Air Ambulance Service Reimbursement Worries

Previously, the law was such that the Medicare rates would not cover the actual cost of air ambulance services, especially when serving rural areas. In the past, the Congress would, at regular intervals, pass short-term legislative fixes so that the air ambulance services are adequately paid. However, there was always an uncertainty as the date of expiry of these fixes would approach. The new legislation will ensure that adequate reimbursements are made. The new legislation comes up with “permanent appropriate rates” for air ambulance services. Walden’s primary aim was to help rural Oregon, where delivery of healthcare was getting affected because of air ambulance service reimbursement hassles.

How is it Helping Air Ambulance Service?

The providers of air ambulance service can now confidently administer medications and provide life-saving care as they are assured of reimbursement. The confusion over coverage of such measures was hampering rural patient care earlier. People usually call air ambulance services without taking into consideration whether they can actually afford the cost. In fact, cost is not the main concern in mind when one is trying to save a loved one. The new legislation allows for peace of mind for both patients and air ambulance service providers.

Rep. Greg Walden had initially introduced the bill in 2014; however, it became a law only this year. He is also a member of House Energy & Commerce Committee and is known for his efforts at bettering healthcare in rural areas of Oregon.

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