EMS industry lobbies for changes to House Bill 1372

As the bill currently reads, it would allow insurance companies to set the rate for patient transports. EMS agencies say this would severely impact the industry.

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 8:25 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2020 8:28 AM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) -- Ambulances were lined up outside the statehouse on Wednesday.

EMS professionals were in attendance for a hearing on House Bill 1372.

The goal of the proposed legislation is to help patients not receive surprise bills. As the bill currently reads, it would allow insurance companies to set the rate for patient transports.

EMS agencies say this would severely impact the industry.

Insurance reimbursements rates for EMS transports are 74-percent less than they were in 2017.

This is leaving some patients with bills much larger than anticipated.

If this bill passes in its current state, this could hurt EMS revenue, which could result in EMS services closing, lost jobs and longer patient transfer times. The industry is already experiencing a nationwide paramedic shortage.

Many industry leaders testified in front of the senate committee on insurance and financial institutions on Wednesday.

One local representative that was in attendance for the hearing was Russell Farrell, CEO of Trans-Care Ambulance Service.

Trans-Care Ambulance Service employs roughly 350 people across the state. The company’s headquarters is based in Terre Haute.
News 10 talked to Farrell after the hearing.

“Everything is right here in Terre Haute pouring dozens and dozens of people with an excess payroll of mil five in payroll, just for that infrastructure alone, so we may have to reduce that if this bill were to pass. So luckily we’re looking to protect those jobs,” Farrell said.

President of the Indiana EMS Association Nathaniel Metz shared his reaction to the hearing with News 10.

“It went okay,” Metz said. “I think our representatives understand that there’s an issue, and passing this legislation as is has unintended consequences, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Lawmakers are continuing to work on this legislation.

News 10 will continue to follow its progress.

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