Reps. Sewell and LaHood Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Ambulance Services, Combat Ambulance Fraud
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, June 28, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) and Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) introduced H.R. 6269, a bipartisan bill to prevent upcoming Medicare cuts to reimbursements for ambulance service providers. In order to pay for better reimbursement rates, the legislation reduces reimbursements for fraudulent ambulance service providers, specifically targeting providers who primarily provide non-emergency transportation.
“Today’s bill ensures that good actors in the ambulance industry don’t have to pay for the crimes of bad actors,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “When emergency strikes, our communities depend on a network of reliable ambulance providers, and today’s bill supports that network by preventing Medicare cuts to ambulance reimbursement. In order to strengthen Medicare, our bill also cracks down on fraud within the ambulance industry, weeding out deceptive providers who take advantage of fragile dialysis patients and drain Medicare of funds with unnecessary ambulance transports. Today’s legislation finds a commonsense solution to the challenge of providing all Americans with access to emergency transportation which Members on both sides of the aisle can support.”
“It is vital that we support emergency services providers in our rural areas, yet upcoming modifications to Medicare payments threaten to unfairly impact 24-7 emergency ambulance services in rural America. These changes will disrupt providers’ ability to plan and offer comprehensive services around the clock to rural patients, like many of my constituents throughout Central & West Central IL,” said Rep. Darin LaHood. “Our bill would correct this by reforming the program to reflect the reality of the work these providers do in our communities, while continuing to assist all ambulance services to assure they meet the needs of Medicare patients in the 18th District. I want to thank my colleague Congresswoman Sewell for co-authoring this bipartisan legislation with me, as well as the stakeholders throughout the 18th District, and I look forward to working together to get this vital legislation passed.”
Bill text can be found HERE. The legislation is anticipated to have a bipartisan Senate companion introduced in the coming weeks.
On February 9, 2018, the House passed a government funding bill which included a proposal by Rep. Sewell to increase ambulance reimbursements for providers in rural areas. The proposal passed the Ways and Means Committee as a stand-alone bill in September of last year.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.