Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Q&A

Let’s Review

Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Q&AWe’ve shared in this space as well as our QMC EMS Board and Collar Podcast Series about the proposed rule announcing the Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection mandate which begins in 2020.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what information will be requested to be reported, we thought we’d take a minute to do a Q&A format of the high-level things you, as an ambulance administrator, should begin to do to be prepared for complying with your first cost data collection request.

So here we go…

Q. What is Medicare Ground Ambulance Cost Data Collection?

A. It is a Congressionally mandated initiative to collect information about how much it costs ground ambulance provider and suppliers to conduct EMS services in America.

Q. When will the initiative start?

A. Barring any unforeseen delays, we anticipate the final rules will be published sometime in November 2019 and the project will begin in early 2020.

Q. Who must participate?

A. If your ground ambulance agency billed 1 claim to Medicare in 2017, your agency will be required to report costs.

Q. How many ambulance agencies will be required to participate?

A. Each year in a 4-year period (first period 2020-2024) will see 25% of all agencies participating so that after a 4-year period, 100% of all ground ambulance agencies in the United States have reported.

Q. How will our ambulance agency be notified when it’s our turn to report?

A. CMS/Medicare will notify your agency by mail when it is your turn to report. The request will be mailed to the address that is on file in the National Provider Identifier (NPI) system known as NPPES. NOTE- IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE STEPS TODAY TO BE CERTAIN YOUR NPI RECORD IS UP-TO-DATE ONLINE.

Q. How will I report?

An online tool will be the reporting method. All ground ambulance agencies must use this online tool to report costs. You can view a PDF version sample of the toll online at https://www.cms.gov/Center/Provider-Type/Ambulances-Services-Center.html

Q. What if my agency decides not to report our costs?

A. All agencies must report when requested. Ground ambulance agencies will be required to report using the online tool within 5 months of receiving the request to participate. If your agency has not reported within that time period, within 90 days of the deadline your agency will be assessed a 10% penalty on future Medicare reimbursements. CAUTION! THIS PENALTY CAN ADD UP TO THOUSANDS OF LOST DOLLARS FOR YOUR GROUND AMBULANCE AGENCY!!

NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE! DON’T WAIT!

If QMC is your billing partner, we will do everything we can to help. Be sure to read this bi-weekly blog space as we outline some of the requirements for reporting as they become final and available. Our regular podcast series the QMC EMS Board and Collar will feature updates on this subject and other initiatives such as the new ET3 program so be sure to subscribe and download our podcast regularly on all of the major podcast channels.

Additional information for QMC clients and those of you reading this space who may wish to talk to us about becoming a QMC client can be obtained by e-mailing Gary Harvat and our Client Services Team at clientservices@quickmedclaims.com.

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