The New York state Senate on Wednesday passed a legislative package aimed to expand resources for emergency service providers, Democratic leadership announced.

The legislation is made up of bills that would:

  • authorize Medicaid reimbursements to emergency medical service agencies for providing emergency medical care to Medicaid enrollees without requiring the transportation of these patients from the place where medical care was administered. It would also permit Medicaid payments to be made to EMS services when they transport individuals to alternative care facilities instead of only hospitals. 
  • permit more ambulance services and advanced life support first responders to store, administer and distribute blood. All ambulances, whether airborne or grounded, would qualify to transfuse blood products to patients to resuscitate them during transport
  • allow the state Department of Health to charge ambulance service providers a universal service assessment fee to cover increased medical assistant payment rates for their services
  • increase the volunteer firefighters’ and ambulance workers’ personal income tax credit from $200 to $800 for eligible individuals, and from $400 to $1,600 for eligible married joint filers.
  • declare general ambulance services as an essential service, establish special districts for the financing and operation of generation ambulance services, and provide for a statewide comprehensive emergency medical system plan.

“Emergency medical service providers are the backbone of our healthcare system in times of crisis. This legislative package ensures they have the support and resources necessary to continue their life-saving work,” state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “By addressing financial, operational, and systemic challenges, we are reaffirming our commitment to the health and safety of all New Yorkers.” 

State lawmakers are pushing their priorities before the legislative session ends on June 6.


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