Florida Senate - 2018                                     SB 556
       By Senator Stewart
       13-00758-18                                            2018556__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to emergency medical air
    3         transportation services; creating s. 401.2515, F.S.;
    4         providing a short title; providing definitions;
    5         directing the Department of Health to establish the
    6         Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act Account
    7         within the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund;
    8         requiring the department to use the moneys in such
    9         account for specified purposes; providing duties of
   10         the director of the Division of Emergency Preparedness
   11         and Community Support; providing conditions for the
   12         department to increase Florida Medicaid reimbursement
   13         payments to emergency medical air transportation
   14         services providers; amending ss. 318.18 and 318.21,
   15         F.S.; requiring an additional penalty to be imposed
   16         for certain moving violations; providing for
   17         distribution and use of the moneys received; providing
   18         an effective date.
   20         WHEREAS, emergency medical air transportation services
   21  providers offer lifesaving transportation for the most critical
   22  patients from motor vehicle accident scenes directly to trauma
   23  centers, and
   24         WHEREAS, emergency medical air transportation services
   25  providers transport all emergency patients without knowing
   26  whether the patient has medical insurance or the ability to pay
   27  for the service, and
   28         WHEREAS, emergency medical air transportation services
   29  providers are not eligible to apply for additional federal
   30  funding for providing services to high numbers of Medicaid,
   31  uninsured, or underinsured patients pursuant to Florida’s
   32  Medicaid program, and
   33         WHEREAS, emergency medical air transportation services
   34  providers provide coverage to multiple counties within a 100
   35  mile radius of their bases, and often their transports originate
   36  in a county other than the county in which the provider is
   37  based, which makes it difficult for providers in small counties
   38  to be locally funded, and
   39         WHEREAS, the Florida Medicaid program reimburses emergency
   40  medical air transportation services providers at a rate far less
   41  than what it costs the providers to provide emergency air
   42  transportation and does not reimburse the providers if the
   43  patient is indigent and ineligible for Medicaid, and
   44         WHEREAS, fines and penalties for traffic violations
   45  discourage dangerous driving behavior and, for certain traffic
   46  violations, a portion of the fines and penalties is used to fund
   47  programs that provide health care and rehabilitation to victims
   48  of dangerous drivers, and
   49         WHEREAS, an additional penalty for each moving traffic
   50  violation will provide support for emergency medical air
   51  transportation services, which are the most critical services
   52  for persons injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, and
   53         WHEREAS, emergency medical air transportation services play
   54  a key role in the statewide emergency medical services system,
   55  including disaster response and homeland security, and,
   56  therefore, it is important for the state to support these vital
   57  services, NOW, THEREFORE,
   59         Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   61         Section 1. Section 401.2515, Florida Statutes, is created
   62  to read:
   63         401.2515Emergency medical air transportation services.—
   64         (1)This section may be cited as the “Emergency Medical Air
   65  Transportation Act.”
   66         (2)As used in this section, the term:
   67         (a)“Air mileage rate” means the per-mile reimbursement
   68  rate paid for services rendered by rotary-wing and fixed-wing
   69  providers.
   70         (b)“Director” means the director of the Division of
   71  Emergency Preparedness and Community Support.
   72         (c)“Fixed-wing” means a type of aircraft, commonly
   73  referred to as an airplane, which generates lift through the use
   74  of the forward motion of the aircraft and wings that do not
   75  revolve around a mast but are fixed in relation to the fuselage
   76  of the aircraft.
   77         (d)“Provider” means a provider of emergency medical air
   78  transportation services.
   79         (e)“Rotary-wing” means a type of aircraft, commonly
   80  referred to as a helicopter, which generates lift through the
   81  use of wings, known as rotor blades, which revolve around a
   82  mast.
   83         (3)The department shall establish the Emergency Medical
   84  Air Transportation Act Account within the Emergency Medical
   85  Services Trust Fund in an amount determined by the Legislature
   86  to be used pursuant to this section.
   87         (4)In cooperation with the Agency for Health Care
   88  Administration, the department shall use the moneys in the
   89  Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act Account to generate
   90  federal matching funds to augment reimbursement payments made to
   91  providers by the Florida Medicaid program. The director shall:
   92         (a)By September 1, 2018, meet with providers to develop
   93  the most appropriate methodology for distribution of
   94  reimbursement payments.
   95         (b)Implement the methodology developed under paragraph (a)
   96  in a timely manner.
   97         (c)Seek amendments to the Medicaid state plan and waivers
   98  of federal laws, as necessary, to implement this section. Moneys
   99  in the account may be distributed pursuant to this section until
  100  federal approvals of waiver requests are received.
  101         (5)(a)Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the
  102  department shall use moneys in the Emergency Medical Air
  103  Transportation Act Account and federal matching funds generated
  104  pursuant to subsection (4) to increase the Florida Medicaid
  105  reimbursement paid to providers to not more than the customary
  106  fees charged by the providers for such services.
  107         (b)Notwithstanding any other provision of law and pursuant
  108  to this subsection, the department must increase the Florida
  109  Medicaid reimbursement payments pursuant to paragraph (a) if the
  110  following conditions are met:
  111         1.Moneys in the Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act
  112  Account are sufficient to cover the cost of increased
  113  reimbursement payments.
  114         2.General revenue funds are not used to offset the cost of
  115  increased reimbursement payments.
  116         Section 2. Subsection (23) is added to section 318.18,
  117  Florida Statutes, to read:
  118         318.18 Amount of penalties.—The penalties required for a
  119  noncriminal disposition pursuant to s. 318.14 or a criminal
  120  offense listed in s. 318.17 are as follows:
  121         (23)In addition to any other penalty, $1 for a moving
  122  violation under chapter 316, except for penalties imposed under
  123  subsections (7) and (15). Within 30 days after the last day of
  124  each calendar quarter, each municipality and county shall
  125  transfer moneys collected under this subsection to the Emergency
  126  Medical Services Trust Fund within the Department of Health,
  127  established under s. 20.435, for deposit into the Emergency
  128  Medical Air Transportation Act Account, established under s.
  129  401.2515, to be used as provided in s. 401.2515.
  130         Section 3. Subsection (22) is added to section 318.21,
  131  Florida Statutes, to read:
  132         318.21 Disposition of civil penalties by county courts.—All
  133  civil penalties received by a county court pursuant to the
  134  provisions of this chapter shall be distributed and paid monthly
  135  as follows:
  136         (22)Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), the proceeds
  137  from the additional penalty imposed under s. 318.18(23) shall be
  138  distributed as provided in that subsection.
  139         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.