Talking Points – Lawmaker Outreach
Make it personal. Follow these guidelines.
- Describe your EMS agency and its impact on the lawmaker’s community.
- Explain the “WHY”.
- Economic Impact.
- Community Outreach & Education
- Charity Work
- Describe COVID-19 Impact
THIS IS MY 9-1-1 CALL FOR HELP!
Currently, all Medicaid emergency and non-emergency ambulance transportation is paid well below the current Medicare allowable rate. <<<< requesting a 20% increase in the current Medicaid allowable pay rate. This increase will bring us closer to the current Medicare allowable rate and will provide for continued financial viability for our agencies as we navigate the increased costs and reduced call volume associated with this public health emergency. This adjustment will help to ensure our ambulance agencies can continue to provide medical care and appropriate readiness capabilities.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Our medics put aside their concern for their personal safety, and that of their family’s, to care for the people in their communities. It is incumbent upon our member agencies to support these heroes with the appropriate level of protective equipment. Our EMS counterparts in the firefighting community are not reporting major issues with securing PPE. However, our member agencies are facing limited availability and sharply increased costs for PPE. This is especially critical for the private ambulance community who provide emergency and non-emergency ambulance services to many communities urban, rural and super-rural throughout Texas.
The Association is thankful for all the support and resources provided by Chief Nim Kidd’s efforts but the needs are still posing a potential issue with the continuation of service for many of our member agencies. To protect our medics, our healthcare partners and our non-positive patients from possible exposure to COVID-19, our member agencies are using PPE on almost every transport (including Baslc Life Support calls). This sharp increase in usage, coupled with dramatic increased cost of the PPE, is causing a deep financial burden on our agencies.
To help mitigate that burden, we are requesting that all Basic Life Support (BLS) calls be reimbursed equivalent to the Medicaid Advanced Life Support (ALS) emergency rate structure. We also ask that some of the stringent prior authorization rules be relaxed for the ambulance industry during this public health emergency as done for other sectors of the healthcare industry.
The current public health emergency has also resulted in rising costs for the uncompensated care our member agencies provide on a daily basis. EMS is one of the very few in the healthcare industry that does not have access to other sources of funding to help mitigate uncompensated care.
EMS plays in our state’s healthcare system and quick legislative and administrative action is needed to keep our member agencies financially able to continue to provide life-saving care to the communities they serve.