DHHR will increase ground ambulance medical transport services

(LOOTPRESS) – Led by Governor Jim Justice, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Office of Medical Services plans to submit an amendment to the state plan seeking approval for increase land ambulance medical transportation services to 100% of Medicare’s applicable geographic fee.

This will provide approximately 208 ambulance providers with a 10% increase in their reimbursement rates and an estimated additional $11.8 million per fiscal year.

“This is important to the West Virginia Medicaid program to ensure continued access to essential health care services,” said Cindy Beane, commissioner of DHHR’s Office of Medical Services.

The Medical Services Board expects this rate increase to take effect July 1, 2022.

The West Virginia EMS Coalition released the following statement:

The West Virginia EMS Coalition appreciates Governor Jim Justice’s continued leadership in addressing the emergency medical services crisis in West Virginia. The Justice Governor’s announcement at Wednesday’s COVID briefing that Medicaid rates will be increased from 10% to 100% Medicare for land ambulance service is an important step toward stabilizing EMS agencies in Virginia- Western.

Workforce shortages and insufficient funding are affecting emergency medical services nationwide. But West Virginia is emerging as a leader in resolving this crisis. Governor Justice’s EMS initiative launched last week to recruit and educate EMS personnel along with improved Medicaid reimbursement rates provide a roadmap that other states can follow to address the crisis.

The administration of justice has demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenges facing emergency medical services and has taken unprecedented steps to address them. Additional help will be needed to strengthen EMS in our most rural communities, but we are confident that solutions will be found based on the growing support we have received from the Governor and members of the West Virginia Legislature.

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