Medicaid Reimbursement Increases
Medicaid reimburses ambulance service providers far below the actual cost of providing these services that Wisconsin’s volunteer, career, municipal and private services provide. These unjust reimbursement rates in Wisconsin are contributing to an ever-increasing financial problem for our ambulance services, causing an incredible strain on an already fragile EMS system. The current Medicaid reimbursement rates add to our challenges of both recruitment and retention of EMS personnel. While officials did approve a slight increase in reimbursement rates for some calls – the move actually decreased reimbursement rates for calls requiring more advanced care. At the end of the day, as an industry, we have had no meaningful increases in reimbursement rates in more than a decade.
Gaining Essential Service Status for EMS
WEMSA supports making EMS an essential service. This would require all levels of local government (village, city, and county) to provide a similar publicly funded service as they do with police protection. When you call 911 you are guaranteed that a police officer will respond but there are no guarantees and no requirements that an ambulance will respond to that call. The federal government does not provide any direct funding for EMS, therefore, leaving it up to the state and local governments to dictate how EMS is funded leaving them defined as 'non-essential'.
Wisconsin License Cycle change to coincide with NREMT
In 2017, state officials changed the renewal period for the EMS industry to 3 years. Although it was done in a good faith effort to help EMS providers, this change had unintended consequences and has complicated license renewal schedules. We would like to amend Wisconsin Act 350 to better align the state of Wisconsin’s EMS license renewal cycle to 4 years to align with other national EMS renewal cycles.
UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS
BUDGET LISTENING SESSIONS
The co-chairs of Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will hold four public hearings on the 2021-23 state budget this spring. Three budget hearings will be held in-person. The fourth session will be held virtually. The hearings will allow the public to provide input to the Joint Finance Committee on the 2021-23 state budget.
The dates for the in-person budget hearings are:
Fri., April 9 - at UW-Whitewater
Wed., April 21 - at the Hodag Dome in Rhinelander
Thurs., April 22 - at UW-Stout
The virtual budget hearing is:
Wed., April 28
All in-person public hearings will begin at 10 a.m. and will follow the local public health requirements or that of the UW institution hosting the meeting. For the virtual session, pre-registration will be required. More details on how to register will be announced at a later time and will be available at this website. This will include links to the Joint Finance Committee website with the public hearing information and the virtual registration instructions as they become available.
LEGISLATIVE LISTENING SESSIONS
In addition to the statewide hearings described above there are going to be additional hearings in select districts around the state. While the events are open to the public, you must be a constituent living within their districts to participate.
JOINT LISTENING SESSIONS
State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), State Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and State Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) – Budget listening session will be on Friday, March 19, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Belmont Community Center, 222 S. Mound Ave., Belmont
State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and State Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) – Budget listening session Monday will be on March 29, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Browntown Fire Department Community Room, 107 S. Mill St., Browntown
State Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-LaCrosse), State Rep. Jill Billings (D-LaCrosse) and State Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) – Virtual budget listening session will be on Monday, March 22, 4:30 p.m. Registration for this event is required. RSVP by visiting https://bit.ly/3rmFnPZ.
State Rep. Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R-Fox Crossing) and State Rep. Lee Snodgrass (D-Appleton) – Bipartisan Budget Town Hall Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m., Fox Crossing Municipal Complex, 2000 Municipal Drive, Neenah
State Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) – Budget listening sessions
Wednesday, March 17, 4:30 p.m., Protecting our Natural Resources (Environment, PFAS, Climate Change)
Friday, March 19, 8 a.m., Investing in our Kids (Childcare, K12 Education, Higher Education)
Please keep comments brief, around one minute - time limits will be enforced.
To RSVP for an upcoming budget listening session, please register here (registration is required): https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSekkgIM-ZhLVhsMtJ…/viewform
State Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam)
Monday, March 22, 12 p.m., Hartford City Hall
Friday, March 26, 10 a.m., Iron Ridge Village Hall
Friday, March 26, 1 p.m., Hustisford Village Hall
Friday, March 26, 2 p.m., Ashippun Town Hall
Monday, March 29, 1 p.m., Beaver Dam, Location TBD
State Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) – Virtual budget listening sessions
Friday, March 19, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 20, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Rep. Jesse James (R-Altoona) – Budget listening sessions
Friday, March 19, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Lake Hallie Village Hall, 13136 30th Ave., Chippewa Falls
Friday, March 19, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Fall Creek Village Hall, 122 E. Lincoln Ave., Fall Creek
Friday, March 19, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Augusta City Hall, 145 W. Lincoln St., Augusta
Monday, March 22, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Osseo City Hall, 13712 8th St., Osseo
Monday, March 22, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fairchild Community Center, 121 Farmers St., Fairchild
Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Boyd Village Hall, 705 E. Murray St., Boyd
Saturday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Soo Line Park, 201 E. 1st Ave., Stanley
Saturday, March 20, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Marieke Gouda, 200 W. Liberty Drive, second floor, Thorp
Saturday, March 20, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Owen City Hall, 833 3rd St., Owen
Monday, March 22, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., American Legion, 108 S. Main St., Greenwood