Over the past five years, there has been substantial work done to reform the payment and regulation of our non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers. A few years ago, the Health and Human Services Budget bill established the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Advisory Committee, which has been working diligently.
Last session, the Health and Human Services budget bill contained many policy recommendations made by the Advisory Committee that did not have a cost implication to DHS. This year’s bill is another product of the work of the Advisory Committee, and includes rate increases that have fiscal implications. This bill represents a compromise between the many stakeholders.
Most of the policy changes are made in relation to the Department of Transportation’s inspection and certification of these vehicles. Within the realm of health and human services, S.F. 1292 changes the description of services available for reimbursement by MA and the types of records that providers have to keep in order to receive payment.
The bill also makes substantial changes to the rates for NEMT providers under MA. The new language ties the rates paid to the type of transportation service provided, not the type of vehicle. The language also provides a rate add-on if the services are provided in certain rural areas. Finally, the bill eliminates the 4.5% rate decrease levied upon NEMT and ambulance services that started in 2012.
STATUS: The bill is in the Finance Committee. (S.F. 1292)
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