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A WEMSA Win! Funding to Support and Stabilize EMS in Wisconsin.

Governor Tony Evers Announces $27.4 Million Plan to Help Stabilize Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) during his State-of-the-State address this evening announced a plan to support and stabilize Wisconsin’s emergency medical services (EMS) system across the state with a nearly $30 million investment. According to the release: "The governor’s plan includes efforts to supplement the Funding Assistance Program (FAP), which provides annual grants to all public ambulance service providers, including volunteer fire departments, nonprofits, and counties and municipalities, create a new grant program to help those providers who are not eligible for FAP, and fund a 16 percent reimbursement rate increase for private and municipal ambulance providers for emergency medical transportation.”

“In Wisconsin, we rely on nearly 800 emergency medical service providers—more than half are either operated exclusively by volunteers or through a combination of volunteers and paid staff. These folks are doing outstanding work, but many have been doing it for years, and it’s sometimes difficult finding new volunteers to step into these important roles."

“No one should be calling for an ambulance and have to wonder whether help will come. So, tonight, I’m announcing we’re investing nearly $30 million into supporting emergency medical service providers and services across our state.” - Governor Ever's State of the State Address

"This announcement and investment will be a tremendous help for EMS in Wisconsin, especially our rural and smaller services,” stated Alan DeYoung, Executive Director of the Wisconsin EMS Association. "The Governor’s allocation of nearly $30 million will go a long way to help EMS deal with the major challenges we are facing"

This announcement includes nearly $30 million in funding in 3 parts to help all EMS departments from non-transport first responder (EMR) departments to full critical care departments.

Breakdown of the $27.4 Million EMS Plan:

$8 Million - Supplementing the EMS Funding Assistance Program

  • Funding will be from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

  • $8 million investment will bring funding for the Funding Assistance Program (FAP) from $2.2 million to $10.2 million for Fiscal Year 23.

  • Typically, 320-340 EMS providers apply for FAP funding. This $8 million increase will allow EMS services the opportunity to receive a larger FAP allocation.

$12 Million - EMS One-Time Flexible Grants

  • Funding will be from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

  • A grant opportunity prioritizing small, under resourced EMS providers who do not qualify for the EMS Funding Assistance Program (FAP) and creating opportunities for Municipal/Non-Profit/Private EMS services to apply for a one-time flexible grant.

  • The intent is to design the program to be flexible and allow EMS providers to use funds for staff, equipment, supplies, or other expenses.

$7.4 Million to Fund Additional 16% EMS Medicaid Rate Increase

  • The Wisconsin Medicaid program reimburses private and municipal ambulance providers for emergency medical transportation. Despite recent rate increases, Medicaid rates are still below Medicare and commercial rates, contributing to an erosion of EMS provider stability as they also experience increased staffing and operating costs amid a global pandemic.

  • This is in addition to the Jan. 1, 2022, rate increase that was included in the 2021-23 budget that provided nearly $5.6 million in 2021-22 and more than $11.1 million in 2022-23 to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for selected ambulance services to 80% of the 2021 Medicare urban rates applicable in Wisconsin.

WEMSA helped to create and fund the FAP (Funding Assistance Program) decades ago that helps provide supplemental funds for Emergency Medical Services departments across Wisconsin for training, equipment, vehicles, etc.

"We are thankful and appreciative that the Governor recognized the challenges that emergency medical services are facing in Wisconsin" said Alan DeYoung. "This funding will help ease some of the major challenges and will help EMS departments breathe a little easier as they support our local communities across Wisconsin".

This is a win for the members of WEMSA and all of EMS in Wisconsin. This funding will help to support Emergency Medical Services in Wisconsin.

View the Governor's Announcement Here:

Download PDF • 110KB

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