Emergency Service Providers are Calling on Gov. Hochul to pass the “Direct Pay Legislation” EMTs Call on Hochul to pass the "Direct Pay Legislation"

EMTs in Central New York are pushing for higher reimbursement rates

AUBURN, N.Y. (NCC News)-  Emergency service providers are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to pass the “direct pay legislation,” a bill that, if passed, would warrant insurance companies to pay EMTs directly.

Currently, EMTs are paid through insurance checks given to patients. The bill is seen as a chance to bypass the patient and allow insurance companies to compensate EMTs.

The Director of Operations at the City of Auburn Ambulance, Kezia Sullivan, said the bill would give proper reimbursement to workers.


Auburn, N.Y- City of Auburn Ambulance sign at the Ambulance station.
Auburn, N.Y- City of Auburn Ambulance sign at the Auburn station.
© 2021 Ireland Walker

“All ambulance services, they are struggling with insurance reimbursement rates, and they really haven’t kept up with the cost of doing business,” Sullivan said.

If passed, the legislation would not impact uninsured patients and would not answer the questions of why EMTs are not properly getting reimbursed and why patients are withholding checks.

However, Sullivan said the current billing process can be confusing for some patients, and they can withhold checks, keep the money or even throw the checks away, which could be a reason for the lack of reimbursement.

“Some people just don’t open their mail, or they cash the check and keep the money, or they just don’t know what to do with it,” Sullivan said. “And so it leads to inefficiencies in reimbursement.”

The bill has passed both the state Senate and Assembly, and Governor Hochul told NCC News she will review this legislation.

The bill does have opposition, and some organizations in the state are concerned that it would increase the cost of insurance.

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