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Maryland General Assembly’s Heath and Government Operations Committee hear arguments for and against House Bill 562

February 27, 2015
FROM:          Chuck Humphrey, Enhanced Management Services, Inc.
RE:              Maryland General Assembly’s Heath and Government Operations Committee hear arguments for and against House Bill 562

A hearing was held this week by the Maryland General Assembly’s Heath and Government Operations Committee to hear arguments for and against House Bill 562 which was introduced and read in the Maryland House on February 11, 2015. Entitled, AN ACT Concening Health Insurance- Ambulance Service Providers- Direct Reimbursement- Repeal of Termination Date the bill is being sponsored by Delegates Kramer, Afzali, Barkley, Dumais, Fraser-Hidalgo, Ghrist, Glass, McComas and W. Miller. 

The purpose of the bill is to specifically repeal the termination date of certain provisions of law related to direct reimbursement by health insurers, nonprofit health service plans and health maintenance organization for transportation by ambulance; and generally relating to direct reimbursement of ambulance service provider under health insurance.

House Bill 562 would remove what is known as the “Sunset Provision” that was included in law enacted in 2011 becoming fully enforceable on January 1, 2012 which requires the health insurance payers mentioned above to directly reimburse the providers of ambulance service. Prior to 2012, these insurance payers routinely made payment for ambulance transportation claims direct to the patients who then were responsible to pay the EMS agency for the service provided. This caused delay in payment being collected by the EMS agency and in many cases payments were never collected, causing a burden on EMS agencies with added collection costs and lost revenue.

The original act included a termination date of June 30, 2015 for these provision unless new law is introduced and passed to permanently extend the direct reimbursement provisions indefinitely. House Bill 562 was introduced to take that very action.

Enhanced will continue to follow action in the Maryland General Assembly and report on the latest information as this Bill moves on to the Assembly floor. Maryland-based EMS agencies should consider contacting their legislative Delegate in support of this initiative.

A copy of the bill is posted here for review.

Guaranteed cash flow during transition.