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.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved the “Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act of 2017” (H.R. 1222); the “Action for Dental Health Act of 2017” (H.R. 2422); the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017” (H.R. 1865); and a measure changing capital requirements for systemically important banks (H.R. 4296). The Senate passed the “Taiwan Travel Act” (H.R. 535); the “TARGET Act” (H.R. 1625); the “Rural Wireless Act” (H.R. 1621); and confirmed judicial and executive branch nominations.
This week, the House is scheduled to vote on the “Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017” (H.R. 1917); and the “Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act” (H.R. 1119). The Senate may consider the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” (S. 2155), as well as U.S. District Court nominations.
On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Administration’s Infrastructure Proposal”. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is scheduled to testify. The Trump Administration released its infrastructure proposal on February 12.
On February 27, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) issued a statement declaring that he would proceed to move an FAA reauthorization bill in the House without air traffic control (ATC) privatization. Shuster said that while he continues “to believe that the air traffic control provisions of the 21st Century AIRR Act are good government reforms, and necessary for the future efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of…[the] aviation system and its users”, there are not sufficient votes in the House to pass the legislation. Shuster also stated that he plans to “work with” Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) to “move forward with a reauthorization bill to provide long-term stability for the FAA.”
President Trump signed a six-month extension bill, the “Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act” (H.R. 3823) on September 29, 2017. The prior FAA authorization, enacted as the ‘‘FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016” (P.L. 114-190), expired on September 30, 2017. The current extension runs through March 31, which will likely require passage of an additional temporary reauthorization bill.
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);
- Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ); and
- Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
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.
Additional 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.