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Ambulances Services Center

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Proposal to Establish a Medicare Ground Ambulance Services Data Collection System

  • Section 50203(b) of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 added paragraph (17) to section 1834 (l) of the Social Security Act (the Act) which requires ground ambulance providers and suppliers to submit cost and other information. Specifically, section 1834(l)(17)(A) of the Act requires the Secretary to develop a data collection system (which may include use of a cost survey) to collect cost, revenue, utilization, and other information determined appropriate by the Secretary for providers and suppliers of ground ambulance services. The data collection system must be designed to collect information: (1) needed to evaluate the extent to which reported costs relate to payment rates under the Ambulance Fee Schedule; (2) on the utilization of capital equipment and ambulance capacity, including information consistent with the type of information described in section 1121(a) of the Act; and (3) on different types of ground ambulance services furnished in different geographic locations, including rural areas and low population density areas described in section 1834(l)(12) of the Act (super rural areas).
  • In the CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule, we are proposing a data collection instrument and other proposals relating to the data collection system including data collection and reporting periods, determination of representative sample, and a 10 percent payment reduction for failure to report. To submit electronic comments on the proposed rule, see http://www.regulations.gov/.
  • To view the draft data collection instrument, see Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Instrument. To view the accompanying report on the development of the proposed data collection system, see Medicare’s Ground Ambulance Data Collection System: Sampling and Instrument Considerations and Recommendations.

 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 (Public Law 115-123)

  • The BBA of 2018 includes three major Medicare ambulance services provisions pertaining to: Extensions of certain ground ambulance add-on payments, Development of a data collection system for ground ambulance providers and suppliers, and Payment reduction for non-emergency ESRD ambulance transports. A summary of these provisions can be found here.

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