Ambulance companies rally against proposed state budget

Ambulance with Rural/Metro Medical Services, Syracuse N.Y.

CICERO, N.Y. – Emergency Medical providers throughout New York State have come out against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget. In particular, the proposed cuts to Medicaid Crossover and supplemental funds.

In New York State, ambulance companies are reimbursed for individuals who are covered under Medicare and Medicare. Under Cuomo’s proposed budget, the reimbursement would all but be eliminated. This would drastically affect small agencies throughout the state, and cause larger agencies like Menter Ambulance in Oswego County and American Medical Response in Syracuse to reduce staffing.

“It would impact our ability to buy ambulances and equipment,” says Evan Grenier, the Director of Operations at NAVAC Ambulance in North Syracuse.

Companies like NAVAC rely on Medicaid reimbursement as it covers about 20 percent of the transport cost for patients that rely on state assistance.

The biggest issue that stems from the proposed cuts is that smaller agencies would be forced to make choices between keeping an ambulance staffed with trained responders or saving critical funds by not staffing an ambulance or two during off hours like overnights and weekends.

The Governor’s budget is due to the State Assembly and Senate by April 1st for approval.