State Assembly Lawmakers Hold Statewide Call to Action, Urging Governor Hochul to Sign “Direct Pay” (A.250-A/S.1466) Bill for Ambulance and Emergency Medical Service Providers

Legislation would streamline the process for reimbursing ambulance service providers, remove unnecessary burdens from patients

Albany, NY – A coalition of Assembly lawmakers from across the state are holding a call to action, urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign the “direct pay” legislation (A.250-A/S.1466) into law. The bill, which passed both the Senate and Assembly unanimously this past legislative session, will change the pay model for ambulance/EMS service providers so that they are reliably paid directly by health insurers. It will ensure ambulance/EMS service providers receive the critical resources needed to continue doing their jobs safely and effectively for patients across New York State.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli as prime sponsor of the bill since 2015 helped to organize these events with his colleagues and ambulance/EMS providers to bring attention to this critical issue.He is joined in Syracuse by Assemblyman Al Stirpe.

Joining Assemblyman Magnarelli in this call to action will be his colleagues hosting events in Binghamton (Assemblymember Donna Lupardo), Rochester (Assemblymembers Sarah Clark, Jen Lunsford, Harry Bronson, Demond Meeks), Utica (Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon), and Albany (Assemblymembers John McDonald, Patricia Fahy).

“No longer will ambulance providers have to wonder if they will be paid for the services they are mandated to provide, nor will New Yorkers be held accountable for paying for out-of-network emergency medical services. This legislation will strengthen the Ambulance/EMS system and provide relief to patients during some of the most stressful situations. I am proud that my colleagues and I were able to end the legislative session with this measure approved. Now we strongly urge Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it into law,” said Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (129th Assembly District – Syracuse, Towns of Geddes and Van Buren).

“Emergency ambulance medical service is critical pre-hospital care that is essential in our communities and should be rightfully compensated. We all saw the grueling and lifesaving service EMS provided during the pandemic, but they too were suffering. Their industry experienced extreme workforce shortages and discrepancies in reimbursement to ambulance service providers. Fair and direct reimbursement for these services is what these first responders are calling for and it is due time we have their backs and respond to their call for help. Thank you to Assemblymember Magnarelli and state Senator Breslin for spearheading this critical legislation; I’ve supported its passage in the Assembly and we need to ensure it is signed into law,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe (127th Assembly District – Towns of Clay, Cicero, Manlius and Cazenovia)

“On behalf of the United New York Ambulance Network (UNYAN) and our over 40 members who provide vital ambulance services for the entire state, I ask Governor Kathy Hochul to sign this crucial legislation so that it becomes law. It will provide for a more efficient system in delivering the reimbursement to the providers who are entitled to it, strengthening the EMS system and ensuring better healthcare for all New Yorkers,” said Jeffrey Call, Chairperson of the United New York Ambulance Network.

“With numerous EMS agencies statewide facing financial challenges, the passage of Bill A.250-A would strengthen the sustainability of our vital services,” said Chris Cullen, Director of Operations of Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps.

“The WAVES Board and staff strongly urge the Governor to sign S1446A/A250 direct pay legislation into law. It is crucial for the survival of EMS services, especially for the smaller organizations. Public Health emergencies, like Covid exemplified EMS as an essential service, the demand for ambulance service still remains high since the pandemic, these revenues are needed to continue providing essential services to our communities, “ said Eric Kehoe, AEMT-P, Executive Director, Western Area Volunteer Emergency services, Camillus and Minoa EMS 

“EMS providers maintain a high state of readiness so they can respond at a moment’s notice and render life-saving care to patients in their time of greatest need. The vast majority of EMS agencies across New York State do this without tax burden to the communities they serve. This legislation will aid in the long-term sustainability of New York's EMS systems by ensuring providers are paid directly by insurers. The legislation will also remove the economic burden on our patients and make emergency medical services more accessible,” said Mike Addario, Vice President of Operations for AMR’s New York State market.

Ambulance service providers are on the front lines, playing a vital role in public health and safety services across New York State. It is time health insurance companies pay providers what they are owed without burdening patients. The intent behind this legislation is simple – make accessing critical healthcare services easier for patients and essential workers.