|Date:||December 14, 2017|
The state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved legislation Tuesday that would require insurance companies and Medicaid to reimburse emergency medical services agencies for services provided even when transport to a hospital does not take place, according to the committee chairman, Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.
White said Senate Bill 1003, a measure he introduced, would ensure that EMS agencies are properly reimbursed for their services when called out to provide care.
Currently, insurance companies and Medicaid are only required to reimburse EMS organizations for those services when they include transportation to a hospital.
“There are cases where crews respond to a scene to provide care and treatment, but transportation is unnecessary or refused. Not every case requires hospital treatment or, in some cases, the patient is reluctant to seek further treatment,” White said in a news release.
“That means that these responders can be stiffed for payment by insurance companies, and that’s just not fair.”
The committee also approved Senate Bill 637, a measure introduced by White that would establish a Pharmaceutical Transparency Commission to review drug prices in Pennsylvania and require pharmaceutical companies to disclose information about their pricing.
“Health care costs overall are out of control and pharmaceuticals are a big part of that. Given the magnitude of the industry, there is a great need for transparency and accountability,” White said.
“Prescription medications have certainly improved health care and they may even reduce the aggregate costs of health care. However, there is little information available as to why they cost so much. Nothing holds down costs better than an informed consumer, which is the goal behind the Pharmaceutical Transparency Commission.”
The commission would be funded through an annual assessment on pharmaceutical manufacturers.
It would consist of the Insurance Commissioner and the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, a pharmacist designated by the Pennsylvania Pharmacist Association, a consumer advocate designated by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a physician designated by the Pennsylvania Medical Society and an insurance producer representative designated by the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters.
The legislation will now move to the full Senate for debate.