Wednesday, December 14, 2011

House of Representatives Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Extensions

Late last night (December 13th) the U.S. House passed H.R.3630. The bill included language extending the current Medicare ambulance bonus payments for another one-year period, while mandating the General Accounting Office (GAO) to update the ambulance cost report. Tabbed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, the legislation would extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and provide a “fix” for physician payments.

Unfortunately, President Obama has already announced that he will veto the bill due to several policy riders and some of the offsets that are part of the bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has also announced that H.R. 3630 is “dead on arrival” (definitely no pun intended for the EMS provisions in the bill) in the Senate.  The Senate will take up the issue on their side, probably today. 

Congressional leaders are, however, pushing to negotiate and pass a final bill one way or the other by this weekend so Congress can adjourn for the year with the matter settled.

We thank the American Ambulance Association for providing timely updates.  We’ll continue to monitor all outlets of information available to us to keep you informed of the final decisions and how those decisions will affect your Medicare ambulance fee schedule reimbursements as we head into 2012.
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