NEW YORK STATE – EMS ADVOCACY ALERT - YOUR ACTION REQUESTED
This is a call for any New York State EMS provider to request the Governor to sign a bill that will help New York ambulance services get payments directly from insurance companies.
Background: Historically the insurance companies strong arm providers into accepting a lower rate in order to get the payment sent directly to them. If they don't agree to take a fraction of the bill as payment, they may send a bill direct to the patient and leave it up to ambulance services to collect that money.
The quickest and easiest method for EMS agencies and providers to request Gov. Hochul to sign these passed bills into law, is to visit the The EMS Leadership Academy in Albany, NY (use the link provided here) on their web site to their letter to Governor Hochul. You can go to www.emsleadershipacademy.com/advocacy-ny to add your support.
WE URGE EVERY NYS EMS PROVIDER TO CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE AND SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION -----it will take less than 5 minutes to fill out the advocacy form (your title and agency, and contact information) and to submit the letter electronically.
==== Text of the Communication ===
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
SUBJECT: Support for Signing S1466A Breslin /A250 Magnarelli into Law -- Direct Pay Reimbursement of Ambulance Services
Dear Governor Hochul,
I am writing to you to request your support S1446A/A250 that was recently passed by the Legislature with unanimous support. This legislation will help our EMS organization get paid for the services we provide and improve care delivery to our community. We appreciate your continued support of emergency medical providers throughout New York State.
Signing this legislation would ensure payments intended for ambulance services get sent directly to the ambulance service provider and not the patient directly -- these are monies that were always intended for the ambulance service.
Ambulance services treat patients with dozens of different health insurance companies and it is not practical to expect us to be participating with every insurance company, nor can an individual choose when they will have an emergency and expect them to choose a participating provider. We know that insurance companies have used direct payment through their in-network contracts as leverage to force ambulance services to accept lower reimbursement rates. Recent inflationary pressures have raised the costs of supplies and equipment dramatically, without corresponding new revenue from health insurers.
We thank you for your consideration and urge you to sign S1446A/A250 into law.
SAMPLE WORDING FOR COVER LETTER FOR SQUADS TO PUT ON OWN LETTERHEAD
We are pleased to add our support along with the New York State Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Association regarding pending legislation relating to reimbursement (Direct Payment) of ambulance services.
The "direct pay" legislation (S.1466/A.250-A) would streamline the process by which ambulance service providers are reimbursed (at no cost to the State or local governments) by health insurers by allowing for health insurers to send payments directly to ambulance providers. Not only are patients overburdened with health insurance bills and mountains of paperwork, but far too often, ambulance providers don't ever see the money they are owed. Often payment is sent directly to patients. Unfortunately, either due to abuse or the confusion of the mountain of paperwork many of those patients never pass on those payments to the ambulance providers. This repeated lack of payments time after time weakens our EMS system.
The legislation also applies to out-of-network health insurance plans, which is important since New Yorkers can't always choose which ambulance shows up. Health insurers are already paying patients directly. Making payments to ambulance services directly would simplify the process and avoid confusion and abuse.
The intent behind this legislation is simple – to make accessing critical healthcare services easier for patients and essential workers.
Thank you for your time and consideration