The TASA sponsored HB0879/SB0704 has recently passed the Government Operations Committee on the House side and the Commerce & Labor Committee on the Senate side. These bills now move to their respective Finance, Ways & Means committees – next week (4-4-2017 Senate @ 0830 – 4-5-2017 House @ 1030). We have been informed that these could be rolled to the following week due to other budget items that may take precedence on the calendar.
Q: The bill has a fiscal note of $10,305,700.00. How does this impact the State’s budget? (view fiscal review statement)
A: This fiscal note is covered by the ambulance assessment fee that every TN ground ambulance service will contibute based upon transports. Ultimately there is no cost to the state – even the $75,000 administrative costs are covered within the assessment fee.
Q: What’s the next steps for the program after the bill passes?
A: The legislation will be forwarded to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for review. If they determine the legislation meets the necessary program requirements – they will give the State the go-ahead to proceed. Our legislation mirrors Utah and they were able to receive a response within 30 days of submission.
1. Upon CMS appoval, TnCare will begin having meetings with TASA to work out the exact details of the process for this program within the guidelines of the legislation.
2. Rule-making hearings will be held within TnCare to promulgate the details.
3. TN Office of EMS will likely hold a rule-making hearing to promulgate their responsibilities (i.e. tracking of transports, identifying process of compliance by all ambulance services, etc.)
Q: When can we expect to begin receiving the increased reimbursements?
A: As soon as the rules within TnCare and EMS are promulgated and the administrative logistics are in place. This all depends upon how much time is needed to complete the rule-making process. We anticipate before December 31, 2017 – however it could be much sooner.
Q: When should we expect to begin paying our quarterly assessment fee?
A: The second quarter AFTER the increased reimbursement starts.
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