AHA-supported legislation introduced yesterday in the Senate would permanently extend add-on payments for ambulance services, which are set to expire Dec. 31. The Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act (S.967) was introduced by Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Susan Collins (R-ME). “Your legislation is of particular consequence in rural communities, since Congress has routinely provided for additional payments for ambulance services which require longer travel distances,” noted AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter of support to the sponsors. “In addition to protecting access to ambulance services through adequate payment, the bill directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study how the additional payments should be modified (if at all) to account for the costs of providing ambulance services in urban, rural and super-rural areas. This would ensure that federal payments are aligned with appropriate data and utilization patterns.”