Western Governors recommend adjustments to Medicare reimbursement policies for improving rural access to healthcare services   

In correspondence with Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Western Governors highlighted challenges to rural health care access that CMS can address by adjusting Medicare reimbursement policy. The letter of April 11, 2024, signed by the Chair of the Western Governors’ Association, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, and its Vice Chair, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, specifically called for CMS to reimburse emergency medical services (EMS) providers for ambulance response and treatment when transport is not required as well as to make community paramedicine, which fills gaps in rural healthcare systems, eligible for reimbursement. “We believe that these adjustments to Medicare reimbursement could help the viability of rural EMS and more accurately reflect the ways in which personnel provide care in these communities,” the letter read. “CMS is an important partner in serving these vulnerable populations, and we look forward to working with you to improve our region’s health care systems.” Read the full correspondence for additional details

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