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New State Law Says EMS Providers Can Receive More Reimbursement from Medicaid

Nome's Public Safety Building in April 2014, where the Nome Volunteer Ambulance Department is currently housed. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers in Alaska can now claim additional money for transporting Medicaid patients.

Yesterday, Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 176 into law, which allows EMS providers to seek supplemental reimbursement from the Medicaid program. According to a statement from Representative Adam Wool of Fairbanks, the main sponsor of the legislation, more than 200,000 Alaskans are enrolled in Medicaid.

Wool says, “this bill will free up millions in federal funding… (and) ensure that help is on its way when Alaskans need it the most.”

Currently, EMS providers around the state only receive payment for 30% of their costs when transporting patients eligible for Medicaid. According to the Legislature’s figures, in fiscal year 2017, the average claim submitted under Medicaid was $1,100, but only $300 of that was reimbursed for each ground-based EMS transport.

Rep. Wool expects this new law will bring in more than $11 million in federal funding to cover EMS providers’ costs related to Medicaid patients.

Image at top: Nome’s Public Safety Building, where the Nome Volunteer Ambulance Department is currently housed. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file (April 2014).

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