The top priority for the 129th Legislature is to increase MaineCare reimbursement for ambulance services. After several years without a statutorily specified rate, in 2013 the MAA was successful in getting legislation passed to set the MaineCare rate at no less than 65% of the allowed Medicare rate.
This was an important step, but much more needs to be done.
During the 128th Legislature, with broad support from the Health & Human Services Commitee and the full House and Senate, it looked like the rate would be increased to 70%. However, in the final days as the Appropriations Committee and the Governor's Office were hammering out last minute details, the increase for ambulance services was left on the table unchanged.
This year, during the 129th Legislature, the MAA has been working with Senate President Troy Jackson and legislators on both sides of the aisle to have the MaineCare rate set at 100% of the allowed Medicare rate. The bill should be printed soon and will then go through the Committee and floor votes.
This increase is essential for the survival of many ambulance services (of all sizes) and it's important that legislators know about the impact of inadequate reimbursement has affected business basics such as payroll, training, equipment, and maintenance.
The MAA is fortunate to have both an experienced lobbyist and an experienced Executive Director who are known and highly respected by the Legislature. This combination enables us to communicate and work closely with our allied health and public safety colleagues on a variety of issues that arise throughout the session.
The MAA Legislative Committee has weekly conference calls to discuss bills of interest and plan our involvement. All MAA members are welcome to participate on these calls. Following these conference calls, a Legislative Update is distributed to all members and posted in the Members Area of this website.
If you are interested in receiving these updates, please click here to be added to the distribution list.
The MAA is a regular attendee at Maine EMS meetings such as the Board of EMS, Medical Directions & Practice Board, and the Interfacility Transfer Committee.
At these meetings, the MAA represents all members and provides essential input to state EMS leaders.
The MAA is also traveling throughout the state to conduct training on how to interact with the legislature and the Board of EMS. This training is open to all (members and non members) at no cost. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please send us an email by clicking here.