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. 14 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, 59 60 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 61 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,
and395.4036, 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. 80 (2) TRAFFIC VIOLATION PENALTY.— 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. 93 (3) ADMINISTRATION AND USE OF FUNDS.— 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.