Administration and Leadership, Industry News

Mobile Life Warns New York State Budget Cuts Will Lead to Reduced Resources, Increased Response Times Statewide

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — Mobile Life Support Services, the largest emergency medical provider in the Hudson Valley, has been working with other local agencies to raise awareness of a cut in the proposed New York State budget for fiscal year 2019 that could have dire consequences for emergency service providers across the state.

The proposed budget includes a provision that would cut what is called the Medicaid Crossover Payment for Ambulance Services. Currently, for patients who have Medicare primary insurance and Medicaid secondary insurance, Medicare pays approximately 80 percent of the ambulance bill and Medicaid then pays the remaining balance. The proposed provision would eliminate the secondary Medicaid coverage for ambulance services. 

Ambulance providers receive only 3 percent more per call from Medicaid than they did in 1987. Adversely, the cost of providing the service has increased at a dramatically faster rate. Further loss of revenue for emergency medical providers will result in a reduction of available resources and increased response times throughout the Hudson Valley.

“I’ve been involved in EMS since 1981 and I’ve never seen a proposed legislative action that would negatively impact EMS so drastically. Every ambulance provider who bills insurance for service will be affected by this – commercial and volunteer alike,” said Mobile Life President and CEO Scott Woebse. “The impact of the proposed budget cut will be felt by many in need of emergency services. The reduced revenue may cause delays in service, prolonging ambulance response times.”

In a 2017 study conducted by the NYS Dept. of Health, it was confirmed that EMS is already grossly under-reimbursed by Medicaid at an unsustainable rate. Just last month, the largest ambulance service provider in Fulton County, N.Y., closed its doors, citing inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates as one of the main factors. A few weeks later, in a neighboring community, Johnstown Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps followed suit.

“Any additional cuts will directly affect operations,” added Chief of New Paltz Rescue Squad Matthew Goodnow.

Representatives from Mobile Life have been in Albany this week meeting with NYS Senators and Assembly members to explain the impact this will have on an industry that is already stretched thin, and as a result, how it will affect the emergency services provided to their constituents.

Mobile Life encourages community residents to contact their local elected officials and oppose this budget cut. Residents can find their local Senator by visiting www.nysenate.gov/senators-committees. To find Assembly members, please visit www.nyassembly.gov/mem.

About Mobile Life Support Services, Inc.
Mobile Life Support Services, Inc. is a New York State Certified Advanced Life Support paramedic ambulance company that provides emergency services to communities and healthcare facilities throughout the Hudson Valley Region of New York State, including the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester. Founded in 1981 by Rick and Gayle Metzger, Mobile Life is composed of more than 500 EMS professionals across the region and operates a fleet of more than 60 ambulances and 26 stations. With a collective population of more than 1,000,000 residents, Mobile Life handles approximately 100,000 calls per year. For more information, visit www.mobilelife.com.