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Congress Passes 3-Month Ambulance Relief Extension

December 18, 2013
AAA Member Advisory
TO: AAA Membership
FROM:      Jimmy Johnson, AAA President
RE: Congress Passes 3-Month Ambulance Relief Extension

Moments ago, the U.S. Senate passed a two-year federal budget agreement which contained a three-month extension of the current temporary 2% urban, 3% rural and super rural increases in payments under the Medicare ambulance fee schedule. The increases were scheduled to expire on December 31 of this year and would now expire on March 31, 2014. The House had passed the agreement on December 12. The agreement now goes to the President who has stated he will sign the legislation into law.

Also, on December 12, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved a proposal to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare payments to physicians. As reported last week, the proposal includes a provision to extend for five years the temporary increases in Medicare ambulance payments. The three-month extension of the temporary fix to the physician fee schedule and ambulance increases is intended to provide Congress more time to address a permanent repeal of the SGR formula and the long-term extension of the increases in payments for ambulance services.

The House and Senate have adjourned for the year and will return in January to continue discussions on the SGR repeal and ambulance relief. We will be therefore calling on you right after the New Year to help advocate for the long-term extension of Medicare ambulance relief.

Thank you and Happy Holidays from the American Ambulance Association.

Guaranteed cash flow during transition.