Direct Pay bill could benefit ambulance squads

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - A bill with bipartisan support in the state legislature could be a lifeline for struggling ambulance squads.

Ambulance services across the state treat and transport anyone, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

But when the provider isn’t a member of the patient’s insurance network, the patient is paid directly instead of the ambulance agency. Assembly Bill A250A, nicknamed the Direct Pay Bill, would mandate insurance providers to directly reimburse ambulance companies no matter the circumstances.

Ambulance squads favor the change.

“It’s going to get them the money that they should be getting for the services they’re providing. The more money they have in their accounts, the more they’ll be able to pay, the more benefits they’ll have. It’ll be easier to recruit and retain more paramedics if the industry as a whole has more money,” said Jeffrey Call, United New York Ambulance Network.

Insurance companies argue this could allow ambulance squads to charge whatever they want. The bill needs the governor’s signature to become law.