The MAA Board of Directors have been hard at work on Beacon Hill working to correct the issues involving our industry as part of the HEALTH Act. Originally, this bill placed a cap rates that would have set non-participating provider rates at 160% of the prevailing Medicare amount. Quoting the Mass. Municipal Association (MMA) the impact on local EMS to be a reduction “…by as much as 50% if this rate-capping language becomes law.” The broad based impact that this measure would have had on our industry is devastating to every ambulance operator. We have been actively working in advance of the bill being released to contain its impact by participating as part of the MA Senate’s Special Committee on Healthcare Cost Containment Roundtable and meeting Senate leadership over the course of five months.
We are pleased to report that the redrafted Senate cost containment bill shows that EMS language has been struck from the bill. This is a significant achievement by all of us (MMA, PFFM, FCAM and MAA) collectively. Thank you to our partners for participating in all of the meetings to date and committing their respective organizations to fixing what would have been a disaster to EMS providers across the state. We still have more work to do in the Senate and House but it is a significant achievement to have the Senate on record not wanting to cut EMS funding. The Senate President’s office, Senate Ways and Means and Senate Health Care Finance staff were very accommodating to us throughout this process and I am very pleased that they listened to us and ultimately removed the language.