Wednesday, March 21st
Please make plans to join AAMS on Capitol Hill as we take to the halls of Congress to advocate for the“Ensuring Access to Air Ambulance Services Act” (H.R. 3378 and S. 2121), companion bills that seek to address the shortfall in Medicare reimbursements for air medical services. By bringing in both air medical aircraft and personnel, AAMS hopes to increase awareness and visibility of these important services which are often seen in only the most dire of emergency circumstances. AAMS believes that the best way to increase public awareness of the value of these services and the highly advanced medical and aviation technology employed by air medical helicopters in their emergency medical mission, is to provide the public and our elected legislators with a firsthand experience of those aircraft provided by the highly trained flight crew members themselves. Contact Chris Eastlee at email@example.com if you plan to attend.
Unable to attend? Schedule conflict?
Not a problem, you can still lend your voice to the effort.
Congress returned from its President’s Day recess this week. With the Reverend Billy Graham to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday, the House is holding an abbreviated voting session, with no votes scheduled after Tuesday. The Senate’s floor agenda will again focus on votes to confirm executive and judicial branch nominees.
On Monday, the House approved the “Military Injury Surgical Systems Integrated Operationally Nationwide to Achieve ZERO Preventable Deaths Act” (H.R. 888), which would amend “the Public Health Service Act to require the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to certain trauma centers to enable military trauma care providers and trauma teams to provide trauma care and related acute care at those trauma centers.” The House also passed a resolution that “recognizes the importance, effectiveness, and need for trauma-informed care among existing programs and agencies at the Federal level” (H.Res. 443). On Tuesday, the House was slated to vote on a measure changing capital requirements for systemically important banks (H.R. 4296).
House Panel Examines Aviation Safety
On February 27, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing on “The State of Aviation Safety”. Witnesses who testified at the hearing included:
- Ali Bahrami, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration;
- Akbar Sultan, Deputy Director of Airspace Operations and Safety Programs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
- John DeLisi, Director of the Office of Aviation Safety, National Transportation Safety Board;
- Matthew Hampton, Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits, Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation; and
- Captain Tim Canoll, President, Airline Pilots Association, International.
AAMS fully supports the “Ensuring Access to Air Ambulance Services Act” (H.R. 3378 and S. 2121) to address the shortfall in Medicare reimbursements for air medical services. AAMS encourages members to contact their Senators and Members of Congress to ask them to cosponsor the legislation.
The bills would reform the Medicare fee schedule for air ambulance services, starting with a cost reporting and analysis program conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), followed by: rebasing of air medical reimbursements in 2021; and implementation of a Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program beginning in 2024. The bill would enhance transparency by establishing cost and quality reporting requirements, as well as solve for a growing gap between Medicare payments and costs.
Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3378. The following Members of Congress have cosponsored the bill since its introduction:
- Tom Cole (R-OK);
- Jason Smith (R-MO);
- Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO);
- David Loebsack (D-IA);
- Mike Kelly (R-PA);
- Kenny Marchant (R-TX);
- Terri Sewell (D-AL);
- Ed Perlmutter (D-CO);
- Julia Brownley (D-CA);
- Jacky Rosen (D-NV);
- Ami Bera (D-CA);
- Scott Tipton (R-CO);
- Mike Coffman (R-CO);
- Luke Messer (R-IN);
- Filemon Vela (D-TX); and
- Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).
Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO), introduced the Senate version of the bill. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Todd Young (R-IN) have also cosponsored the bill.
More Information on the legislation, as well as on how to contact your Member of Congress and Senators:
- AAMS background on the legislation and the need to reform outdated Medicare rates.
- Cosponsors of H.R. 3378.
- Cosponsors of S. 2121.
- The House of Representatives tool for identifying your Member of Congress by zip code.
- The U.S. Senate’s contact information for all 100 Senators.