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305 ILCS 5/5-4.2
(305 ILCS 5/5-4.2)
Ambulance services payments.
services provided to a recipient of aid under this Article on or after
January 1, 1993, the Illinois Department shall reimburse ambulance service
providers at rates calculated in accordance with this Section. It is the intent
of the General Assembly to provide adequate reimbursement for ambulance
services so as to ensure adequate access to services for recipients of aid
under this Article and to provide appropriate incentives to ambulance service
providers to provide services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Thus,
it is the intent of the General Assembly that the Illinois Department implement
a reimbursement system for ambulance services that, to the extent practicable
and subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the General Assembly
for this purpose, is consistent with the payment principles of Medicare. To
ensure uniformity between the payment principles of Medicare and Medicaid, the
Illinois Department shall follow, to the extent necessary and practicable and
subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the General Assembly for
this purpose, the statutes, laws, regulations, policies, procedures,
principles, definitions, guidelines, and manuals used to determine the amounts
paid to ambulance service providers under Title XVIII of the Social Security
(b) For ambulance services provided to a recipient of aid under this Article
on or after January 1, 1996, the Illinois Department shall reimburse ambulance
service providers based upon the actual distance traveled if a natural
disaster, weather conditions, road repairs, or traffic congestion necessitates
the use of a
route other than the most direct route.
(c) For purposes of this Section, "ambulance services" includes medical
transportation services provided by means of an ambulance, medi-car, service
(c-1) For purposes of this Section, "ground ambulance service" means medical transportation services that are described as ground ambulance services by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and provided in a vehicle that is licensed as an ambulance by the Illinois Department of Public Health pursuant to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act.
(c-2) For purposes of this Section, "ground ambulance service provider" means a vehicle service provider as described in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act that operates licensed ambulances for the purpose of providing emergency ambulance services, or non-emergency ambulance services, or both. For purposes of this Section, this includes both ambulance providers and ambulance suppliers as described by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
(c-3) For purposes of this Section, "medi-car" means transportation services provided to a patient who is confined to a wheelchair and requires the use of a hydraulic or electric lift or ramp and wheelchair lockdown when the patient's condition does not require medical observation, medical supervision, medical equipment, the administration of medications, or the administration of oxygen.
(c-4) For purposes of this Section, "service car" means transportation services provided to a patient by a passenger vehicle where that patient does not require the specialized modes described in subsection (c-1) or (c-3).
(d) This Section does not prohibit separate billing by ambulance service
providers for oxygen furnished while providing advanced life support
(e) Beginning with services rendered on or after July 1, 2008, all providers of non-emergency medi-car and service car transportation must certify that the driver and employee attendant, as applicable, have completed a safety program approved by the Department to protect both the patient and the driver, prior to transporting a patient.
The provider must maintain this certification in its records. The provider shall produce such documentation upon demand by the Department or its representative. Failure to produce documentation of such training shall result in recovery of any payments made by the Department for services rendered by a non-certified driver or employee attendant. Medi-car and service car providers must maintain legible documentation in their records of the driver and, as applicable, employee attendant that actually transported the patient. Providers must recertify all drivers and employee attendants every 3 years.
If they meet the established training components set forth by the Department, providers of non-emergency medi-car and service car transportation that are either directly or through an affiliated company licensed by the Department of Public Health shall be approved by the Department to have in-house safety programs for training their own staff.
Notwithstanding the requirements above, any public transportation provider of medi-car and service car transportation that receives federal funding under 49 U.S.C. 5307 and 5311 need not certify its drivers and employee attendants under this Section, since safety training is already federally mandated.
(f) With respect to any policy or program administered by the Department or its agent regarding approval of non-emergency medical transportation by ground ambulance service providers, including, but not limited to, the Non-Emergency Transportation Services Prior Approval Program (NETSPAP), the Department shall establish by rule a process by which ground ambulance service providers of non-emergency medical transportation may appeal any decision by the Department or its agent for which no denial was received prior to the time of transport that either (i) denies a request for approval for payment of non-emergency transportation by means of ground ambulance service or (ii) grants a request for approval of non-emergency transportation by means of ground ambulance service at a level of service that entitles the ground ambulance service provider to a lower level of compensation from the Department than the ground ambulance service provider would have received as compensation for the level of service requested. The rule shall be filed by December 15, 2012 and shall provide that, for any decision rendered by the Department or its agent on or after the date the rule takes effect, the ground ambulance service provider shall have 60 days from the date the decision is received to file an appeal. The rule established by the Department shall be, insofar as is practical, consistent with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. The Director's decision on an appeal under this Section shall be a final administrative decision subject to review under the Administrative Review Law.
(f-5) Beginning 90 days after July 20, 2012 (the effective date of Public Act 97-842), (i) no denial of a request for approval for payment of non-emergency transportation by means of ground ambulance service, and (ii) no approval of non-emergency transportation by means of ground ambulance service at a level of service that entitles the ground ambulance service provider to a lower level of compensation from the Department than would have been received at the level of service submitted by the ground ambulance service provider, may be issued by the Department or its agent unless the Department has submitted the criteria for determining the appropriateness of the transport for first notice publication in the Illinois Register pursuant to Section 5-40 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
(f-6) Within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly and subject to federal approval, the Department shall file rules to allow for the approval of ground ambulance services when the sole purpose of the transport is for the navigation of stairs or the assisting or lifting of a patient at a medical facility or during a medical appointment in instances where the Department or a contracted Medicaid managed care organization or their transportation broker is unable to secure transportation through any other transportation provider.
(f-7) For non-emergency ground ambulance claims properly denied under Department policy at the time the claim is filed due to failure to submit a valid Medical Certification for Non-Emergency Ambulance on and after December 15, 2012 and prior to January 1, 2021, the Department shall allot $2,000,000 to a pool to reimburse such claims if the provider proves medical necessity for the service by other means. Providers must submit any such denied claims for which they seek compensation to the Department no later than December 31, 2021 along with documentation of medical necessity. No later than May 31, 2022, the Department shall determine for which claims medical necessity was established. Such claims for which medical necessity was established shall be paid at the rate in effect at the time of the service, provided the $2,000,000 is sufficient to pay at those rates. If the pool is not sufficient, claims shall be paid at a uniform percentage of the applicable rate such that the pool of $2,000,000 is exhausted. The appeal process described in subsection (f) shall not be applicable to the Department's determinations made in accordance with this subsection.
(g) Whenever a patient covered by a medical assistance program under this Code or by another medical program administered by the Department, including a patient covered under the State's Medicaid managed care program, is being transported from a facility and requires non-emergency transportation including ground ambulance, medi-car, or service car transportation, a Physician Certification Statement as described in this Section shall be required for each patient. Facilities shall develop procedures for a licensed medical professional to provide a written and signed Physician Certification Statement. The Physician Certification Statement shall specify the level of transportation services needed and complete a medical certification establishing the criteria for approval of non-emergency ambulance transportation, as published by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, that is met by the patient. This certification shall be completed prior to ordering the transportation service and prior to patient discharge. The Physician Certification Statement is not required prior to transport if a delay in transport can be expected to negatively affect the patient outcome. If the ground ambulance provider, medi-car provider, or service car provider is unable to obtain the required Physician Certification Statement within 10 calendar days following the date of the service, the ground ambulance provider, medi-car provider, or service car provider must document its attempt to obtain the requested certification and may then submit the claim for payment. Acceptable documentation includes a signed return receipt from the U.S. Postal Service, facsimile receipt, email receipt, or other similar service that evidences that the ground ambulance provider, medi-car provider, or service car provider attempted to obtain the required Physician Certification Statement.
The medical certification specifying the level and type of non-emergency transportation needed shall be in the form of the Physician Certification Statement on a standardized form prescribed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Within 75 days after July 27, 2018 (the effective date of Public Act 100-646), the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall develop a standardized form of the Physician Certification Statement specifying the level and type of transportation services needed in consultation with the Department of Public Health, Medicaid managed care organizations, a statewide association representing ambulance providers, a statewide association representing hospitals, 3 statewide associations representing nursing homes, and other stakeholders. The Physician Certification Statement shall include, but is not limited to, the criteria necessary to demonstrate medical necessity for the level of transport needed as required by (i) the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and (ii) the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as outlined in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Pub. 100-02, Chap. 10, Sec. 10.2.1, et seq. The use of the Physician Certification Statement shall satisfy the obligations of hospitals under Section 6.22 of the Hospital Licensing Act and nursing homes under Section 2-217 of the Nursing Home Care Act. Implementation and acceptance of the Physician Certification Statement shall take place no later than 90 days after the issuance of the Physician Certification Statement by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
Pursuant to subsection (E) of Section 12-4.25 of this Code, the Department is entitled to recover overpayments paid to a provider or vendor, including, but not limited to, from the discharging physician, the discharging facility, and the ground ambulance service provider, in instances where a non-emergency ground ambulance service is rendered as the result of improper or false certification.
Beginning October 1, 2018, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall collect data from Medicaid managed care organizations and transportation brokers, including the Department's NETSPAP broker, regarding denials and appeals related to the missing or incomplete Physician Certification Statement forms and overall compliance with this subsection. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall publish quarterly results on its website within 15 days following the end of each quarter.
(h) On and after July 1, 2012, the Department shall reduce any rate of reimbursement for services or other payments or alter any methodologies authorized by this Code to reduce any rate of reimbursement for services or other payments in accordance with Section 5-5e.
(i) On and after July 1, 2018, the Department shall increase the base rate of reimbursement for both base charges and mileage charges for ground ambulance service providers for medical transportation services provided by means of a ground ambulance to a level not lower than 112% of the base rate in effect as of June 30, 2018.
(Source: P.A. 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 101-649, eff. 7-7-20; 102-364, eff. 1-1-22; 102-650, eff. 8-27-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-1037, eff. 6-2-22.)