Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1080
       By Senator Legg
       17-00374A-16                                          20161080__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to emergency air medical service;
    3         amending s. 20.435, F.S.; conforming a provision to
    4         changes made by the act; creating s. 401.2515, F.S.;
    5         defining terms; imposing an additional penalty for
    6         certain traffic violations; requiring municipalities
    7         and counties to transfer certain moneys collected to
    8         the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the
    9         Department of Health; creating a separate account
   10         within the trust fund; providing for the
   11         administration and use of the funds; requiring the
   12         Department of Health to seek federal matching funds
   13         for certain purposes; providing an effective date.
   15         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulances provide lifesaving
   16  emergency transportation directly from automobile accident
   17  scenes to trauma centers for the most critical patients, and
   18         WHEREAS, in rural areas, emergency air ambulances are the
   19  only means of transport to get patients to trauma centers in a
   20  reasonable amount of time, and, in urban areas, air ambulance
   21  services are able to avoid traffic congestion, and
   22         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulance service providers
   23  transport emergency patients without knowing if the patient has
   24  any form of medical insurance or an ability to pay for the
   25  service, and
   26         WHEREAS, many patients transported by air ambulances do not
   27  have insurance or the ability to pay for the service but are
   28  given the same high level of care as those with medical
   29  insurance, and
   30         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulance service providers provide
   31  coverage to multiple counties within a 100-mile radius of their
   32  bases, and often their transports originate in a county other
   33  than where they are based, which makes local funding difficult,
   34  and
   35         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulance service providers are
   36  reimbursed by the state’s Medicaid program far below what it
   37  costs to cover emergency air transportation and are not
   38  reimbursed if the patient is indigent or not eligible for
   39  Medicaid, and
   40         WHEREAS, unlike the hospitals to which emergency air
   41  ambulance service providers deliver patients, air ambulance
   42  service providers are not eligible to apply for federal funding
   43  to cover providing services to high numbers of Medicaid,
   44  uninsured, or underinsured patients, and
   45         WHEREAS, a portion of the penalty for certain traffic
   46  violations is used to fund other programs and providers that
   47  make health care and rehabilitation available to patients, and
   48         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulance services are the most
   49  critical means of supporting patients who are injured as a
   50  result of major traffic collisions, and
   51         WHEREAS, an additional fee of $1 per moving traffic
   52  violation will result in a very small percentage increase on
   53  each traffic violation penalty to be used to support air
   54  ambulance services, and
   55         WHEREAS, emergency air ambulance services play a key role
   56  in the statewide emergency medical services system, including
   57  disaster response and homeland security, and it is important for
   58  the state to support these vital services, NOW, THEREFORE,
   60  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   62         Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (13) of section
   63  20.435, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   64         20.435 Department of Health; trust funds.—The following
   65  trust funds shall be administered by the Department of Health:
   66         (13) Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund.
   67         (a) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund
   68  shall be administered in accordance with ss. 318.14, 318.18,
   69  318.21, 395.403, and 395.4036, and 401.2515 and parts I and II
   70  of chapter 401.
   71         Section 2. Section 401.2515, Florida Statutes, is created
   72  to read:
   73         401.2515 Emergency air ambulance services.—
   74         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   75         (a) “Director” means the director of the division.
   76         (b) “Division” means the Division of Emergency Preparedness
   77  and Community Support of the Department of Health.
   78         (c) “Provider” means a provider of emergency air ambulance
   79  services.
   81         (a) Except for red light violations, toll violations, and
   82  parking offenses, a penalty of $1 is imposed upon every motor
   83  vehicle moving violation of chapter 316 or a local ordinance
   84  adopted pursuant to the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law. The
   85  penalty is in addition to any penalty assessed pursuant to
   86  chapter 316.
   87         (b) Each municipality and county, within 30 days after the
   88  last day of each calendar quarter of the year, shall transfer
   89  moneys collected under this section to the Emergency Medical
   90  Services Trust Fund established by s. 20.435. The department
   91  shall keep the moneys collected in a separate account named the
   92  Emergency Air Ambulance Service Account.
   94         (a) The Emergency Air Ambulance Service Account shall be
   95  administered by the division. Moneys in the account shall be
   96  made available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the
   97  department to pay administrative costs and then to augment
   98  emergency air ambulance service provider reimbursement payments
   99  made through the Florida Medicaid program.
  100         (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
  101  department shall increase the Florida Medicaid reimbursement for
  102  emergency air ambulance service providers if:
  103         1. Moneys in the Emergency Air Ambulance Service Account
  104  cover the cost of increased payments;
  105         2. Any reimbursement amount does not exceed the normal and
  106  customary charges of the provider; and
  107         3. The state does not incur any general revenue expense to
  108  pay for the increase.
  109         (4) METHODOLOGY.—
  110         (a) The department, working with the Agency for Health Care
  111  Administration, must seek to obtain federal matching funds to
  112  augment the Florida Medicaid reimbursement for emergency air
  113  ambulance service providers.
  114         (b) The director shall:
  115         1. By July 1, 2017, meet with air ambulance service
  116  providers to determine the most appropriate methodology to
  117  distribute the funds for air ambulance services;
  118         2. Implement in a timely manner the methodology determined
  119  most appropriate, giving great weight to the needs of the air
  120  ambulance service providers;
  121         3. Work in coordination with the Agency for Health Care
  122  Administration to submit any state plan amendment or waiver
  123  request that may be necessary to implement this section; and
  124         4. Seek federal approvals or waivers as may be necessary to
  125  implement this section and to obtain federal financial
  126  participation to the maximum extent possible for the payments
  127  under this section. If federal approvals are not received,
  128  moneys in the fund may be distributed pursuant to this section
  129  until federal approvals are received.
  130         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2016.