TI-Rescue 2015 LEGISLATIVE & POLICY AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS
In today’s environment of running a high profile EMS agency, TI-Rescue must look into the future and effectively seek achievable goals to successfully make and create change.
Our goal is the continued sustainability and evolution of emergency medical and patient care in the non-profit, volunteer, and combination (departments of paid and volunteer staff) service. The consistent and reliable delivery of these public safety elements is crucial to the welfare of our communities and their residents.
Part of this goal is the advocacy of legislation and public policy that supports the activities of organizations just as TI-Rescue. TI-Rescue’s legislative agenda must be a crucial element to either assist in creating favorable legislation or fight legislation coming forth in New York State that can detrimentally effect us.
The financial challenges that our governments and citizens are already experiencing concerning healthcare is very real. Inevitably it also effects delivering pre-hospital EMS as well. EMS agencies as TI-Rescue must emphasize the importance of identifying methods and opportunities for fulfilling this mission that are effective, innovative, and cost efficient.
DIRECT INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT – S1764 Seward
This legislation requires health insurance companies to pay ambulance services directly instead of sending payment to the patient.
Some insurance companies are demanding discounts from ambulance services. As a consequence for not receiving a discount, some insurance companies then send payments to patients instead of the ambulance service. This delays the ambulance service’s receipt of payment, it increases administrative costs to track and recover the payment, and some payments are never turned over to the ambulance service.
DUAL SIGNATURE PAYMENTS – S1763 Seward / A931 Pretlow
Require that insurers issues joint signature checks to both patients and ambulance providers.
When insurers pay patients directly for healthcare services, ambulance service providers such as TI-Rescue have an increasingly difficult time getting paid for their services. In an effort to collect payment from patient and eliminate fraud, this bill would require that insurers issue joint signature checks to both the patient and the ambulance providers in order for the check to be cashed.
Enabling Community Paramedicine
Community Paramedicine is the provision of healthcare using patient-centered, mobile resources in the out-of-hospital setting. Currently, New York State law does not specifically authorize the practice of Community Paramedicine. This can be rectified by amending PHL Article 30, authorizing emergency medical services personnel to operate in non-emergency and out-of-hospital settings.
Ambulance Worker Background Checks
TI-Rescue is advocating for legislation that would require prospective volunteer ambulance workers to authorize a background check for sex offense convictions if the individual wishes to proceed with his or her application. Additionally, to allow individual ambulance companies to determine if the prospective volunteer shall be eligible to become a volunteer member of such ambulance company if a sex offense is found.
WORKERS COMPENSATION/VAWBL REFORM
Reform the Volunteer Ambulance Workers Benefit Law so as not to punish EMS agencies comprised of both compensated and volunteer personnel.
Currently these combination organizations are paying workers compensation premiums twice; once for the volunteer personnel and again for the career staff. This creates an added cost for having volunteer personnel, and is detrimental to their continued existence.
AMBULANCE SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM
New York’s non-profit community-based ambulance services provide critical emergency response and medical transport services that rely on philanthropic charitable donations to provide the financial means to operate. When called, non-profit ambulance service providers transport ALL patients, without any regard to or knowledge of a patient’s ability to pay. Philanthropy provides the fundamental means of a non-profit ambulance provider to fulfill its mission to the community and covers the transport costs for an individual that does not have any insurance or has reduced insurance reimbursements from public insurance programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid).
Changes to General Municipal Law 209b
TIERS strongly OPPOSES any changes that would destroy the most cost effective mechanism for delivering ALS to rural areas and to harm the EMS system as a whole. TIERS does multiple paramedic intercepts with our neighboring EMS departments. Passage of 209b would prohibit us from billing for these services.
Municipal Certificate of Need
TIERS OPPOSES changes to the (Municipal CON) or (muni-CON process that would further the inequities between municipal ambulance services and all other types of ambulance providers. The muni-CON process brought forward by municipalities creates an unfair advantage over the usual CON law establish by Department of Heatlh that all other agencies would have to navigate through.
Currently Emergency Medical Services in under the wing of Department of Transportation. In 1963 when the “EMS White Paper” was written by US officials; the “White Paper” advocated for emergency response to the multiple car crashes and deaths that were occurring on our roadways. As a result, Emergency Medical Services training curriculum and oversight was established under DOT.
In the more modern era of emergency medicine and the prehopital care environment associated with advanced life support and medical emergencies; EMS should be overseen by Health and Human Services. This would also create an equitable funding program through Medicaid, Medicare that is seen in other allied medical professions.