Today, we had the great honor of welcoming Senator Catherine Cortez Masto to the REMSA Health Campus so that we could present her with the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration’s Advocacy in Integrated Healthcare Award and the American Ambulance Association’s 2021 Legislator of the Year Award.
During one of the most difficult times in the history of the EMS industry, Senator Cortez-Masto championed key legislation to allow for Medicare reimbursement for treatment in place provided by ground ambulance service organizations during the ongoing Public Health Emergency. The Senator also introduced the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021, which would extend the Medicare Add-On Payments for urban, rural, and super-rural providers and address rural ZIP code designation issues as a result of the 2020 census data.
Additionally, in response to provider shortages in rural communities that could affect the health care coverage of nearly 8,000 Nevadans, Cortez-Masto cosponsored the Marketplace Certainty Act to stabilize the health care markets, lower premiums for consumers and prevent insurers from leaving rural counties. The Senator has a deep understanding of the complexities of the health care system, as well as how the out-of-hospital health care provided by ambulance transport and mobile health care organizations fit into that landscape – in an urban and rural environment.
More recently, the Senator showed her commitment to broadening the position of mobile healthcare by introducing a bill, along with Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), allowing the removal of a barrier that prevented ground ambulance service organizations from being reimbursed for health care services they provide. The bill brought into focus the idea that ambulance transport agencies and mobile health care organizations are uniquely positioned to navigate patients to the right level of care – a key component in the overarching goal of stabilizing health care.
For many years, the efforts of Senator Cortez-Masto have been critical in ensuring the sustainability of the EMS industry and increasing patient’s access to quality mobile healthcare services. We are incredibly grateful to the Senator and her staff for all of their dedicated and thoughtful work.
Senator Cortez-Masto is a true champion for EMS and healthcare in Nevada and throughout our country and we could not be more thankful for her unwavering support and leadership. Moving forward, we will be meeting regularly with Senator Cortez-Masto’s staff to keep them updated on the challenges and success our organization and our industry encounter. She expressed happiness at being back in Nevada – if only for a short time today and also pride for having a connection to this community – the community in which we provide compassionate, clinically-excellent patient care.