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House Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Extension

March 27, 2014
AAA Member Advisory
TO: AAA Membership
FROM:      Jimmy Johnson, AAA President
RE:           House Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Extension

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302). I am extremely pleased to report that thanks to the efforts of the AAA and its champions on Capitol Hill, the bill includes a one-year extension of Medicare ambulance relief. The 2% urban, 3% rural and super rural bonus increases currently set to expire on March 31 would now expire on March 31, 2015. The Senate is expected to consider and pass H.R. 4302 on March 31 if not sooner.

H.R. 4302 would extend the “physician fix” and certain other Medicare provider payment increases for another year as well. While the ambulance provision is unfortunately not the five-year extension the AAA had successfully advocated for inclusion in the permanent “physician fix” advanced by the Senate Finance Committee in December, it ensures that the increases will continue without interruption. The one-year extension will allow the AAA and its champions to press for more permanent relief and a cost data collection system based on surveying a statistically significant sampling of the various types of ambulance service providers.

Also included in H.R. 4302 is a one-year delay in the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets. The new code sets would now be implemented on October 1, 2015 instead of October 1 of this year. The AAA will use the additional time to further educate and prepare its members on the change in code sets.

For a copy of H.R. 4302, please go to: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140324/BILLS-113hrSGRv2-SUS.pdf.

Thank you to all of you who have joined the AAA in advocating for Medicare ambulance relief!

Guaranteed cash flow during transition.