Carter Introduces Bipartisan Access to Critical Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services Act: U.S. Representative Buddy Carter

WASHINGTON DC – Representatives Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), and Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) today introduced The Non-Emergency Critical Transportation Services Access Actthat expands access to non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for vulnerable patients with dual Medicare and Medicaid eligibility.

Currently, Medicare beneficiaries must obtain pre-approval before accessing ambulance rides to dialysis or diabetes wound care services, threatening patients’ access to regular health care services essential to their health. . This bill will require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate with states to ensure that low-income Medicare patients dual-enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare who are denied ambulance NEMT can access Medicaid NEMT with appropriate modes of transportation. It would also ensure that Medicare beneficiaries who qualify as dual-eligibility partial beneficiaries receive assistance enrolling in Medicaid and have access to Medicaid transportation benefits.

“This is a common sense decision that will increase patient access to healthcare, especially for elderly, low-income and diabetic patients,” said Congressman Carter. “This bipartisan bill will ease the transportation burden for the nation’s most vulnerable Americans. I thank my fellow Democrats for supporting this bill. Unnecessary bureaucracy should never be an obstacle to high quality medical care.

“No one on Medicare and Medicaid should have to wait just to access lifesaving health care,”
said Congressman Cárdenas. “Our bill will help vulnerable people who need recurring care like dialysis or wound treatment by making non-emergency medical transportation services more widely available to those who need it most. Part of our work in as members of Congress is to ensure that no one is harmed by the unintended negative consequences of legislation, and that is what we have done with the Non-Emergency Critical Transportation Services Access Act.”

“Providing access to non-emergency medical transportation to people with dual eligibility will make a significant difference in improving health outcomes and reducing avoidable hospitalizations. These benefits will be especially welcome for people with end-stage kidney disease who are now struggling to get transport to life-saving dialysis treatment,”
said Congressman Bishop.

Learn more in
Medpage today.

Read the full text of the invoice here.

This bill adjusts the Repetitive, Scheduled, Non-Emergent Ambulance Transport (RSNAT) model originally developed by the CMS Centers for Program Integrity and for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and expanded nationwide in under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. The RSNAT model is an important program integrity initiative that uses prior authorization to ensure appropriate use of ambulance services in Medicare. However, evaluation of the RSNAT model expansion showed that nearly half of beneficiaries who lose ambulance service are disproportionately low-income, frail, disabled and elderly. The overwhelming majority have access to kidney dialysis or diabetes wound care.


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