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AAA Update:  Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act and more...
February 14, 2014 - Run Time 17:57
Guest:  Tristan North, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, American Ambulance Association, Washington, D.C.


For the past few years, to include the most recent quarter that ends March 31, 2014, the Medicare base and mileage rates an ambulance provider can bill has simply reflected an ongoing extension of temporary adjustments.  The factors that influence the rates are inflation and practice expense.  An ambulance service accepts assignment when conveying a Medicare or Medicaid patient, which means no negotiation on the fee structure.  It is what it is when it comes to how much and what you can bill and when you get the final payment.

There’s been recent conversation and ongoing collection of data that has potential in offering a better outlook for ambulance services when it comes to Medicare’s fee structure and State rates paid for Medicaid patients.  We often hear how low Wisconsin’s Medicaid rate is compared to other states like Minnesota’s.  It’s important to manage costs, but at who’s expense?  When the information is available, and the state ranking for Medicaid fees is released, we’ll report on it.

There is a responsibility to maintain healthy, sustainable ambulance operations across the state and nationally.   Insurance continues to be the center of the conversation, whether it is Center for Medicare and Medicaid extensions, exempting volunteer EMS workers from the Affordable Care Act, or a surge in private pay patients as insurance deductibles threaten to increase significantly for many.

We’ll cover these important topics with Tristan North, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the American Ambulance Association.  Tristan is based in Washington, D.C. and is a key contact with the latest information.

Supporting Information:


The American Ambulance Association released on March 10, 2014 its 2014 State Medicaid Rate Survey results.
Below is a chart showing Wisconsin’s Medicaid ambulance rate and that of surrounding states from AAA's Medicaid Rate Survey.

STATE
BLS
ALS
 ALS-2 PER MILE
OXYGEN
SUPPLIES
Wisconsin
 $94.90   $113.88  $260.97  $5.56
 $14.73  $14.73
Illinois (Lake County)
 $127.34  $198.49  $198.49  $5.00  $15.05  
Iowa
 $69.98  $113.29    $2.16  $10.79  $4.32
Michigan  $105.32  $191.88  $191.88  $3.27    
Minnesota  $206.33  $250.06  $573.13  $6.97    

To view the 2014 State Medicaid Rate Survey, please click here.


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