Ambulance Services: Changes Needed to Improve Medicare Payment Policies and Coverage Decisions

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 required Medicare to change its payment system for ambulance services. In response, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), proposed a fee schedule to standardize payments across provider types on the basis of national rates for particular services. Under the act, the fee schedule was to have applied to ambulance services furnished on or after January 1, 2000. HCFA published a proposed rule in September 2000 and has received public comment, but it ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. November 15, 2001.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 required Medicare to change its payment system for ambulance services. In response, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), proposed a fee schedule to standardize payments across provider types on the basis of national rates for particular services. Under the act, the fee schedule was to have applied to ambulance services furnished on or after January 1, 2000. HCFA published a proposed rule in September 2000 and has received public comment, but it has not yet issued a final rule. This testimony discusses the unique concerns of rural ambulance providers and the likely effects of the proposed fee schedule on these providers. Many rural ambulance providers face a set of unique challenges in implementing an appropriate payment policy. Rural providers--particularly those serving large geographic areas with low population density--tend to have high per-trip costs compared with urban and suburban providers. The proposed Medicare fee schedule does not sufficiently distinguish the providers serving beneficiaries in the most isolated rural areas and may not appropriately account for the higher costs of low-volume providers."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 15, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Ambulance Services: Changes Needed to Improve Medicare Payment Policies and Coverage Decisions, text, November 15, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289780/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.