Friday, October 8, 2010

Medicare ambulance billing coverage

COVERAGE CRITERIA

In addition to the information referenced above, the following coverage criteria must be met before claim can be considered for processing.


Vehicle and Crew Requirements

Ambulance Vehicle: Any vehicle used as an ambulance must be designed and equipped to respond to medical emergencies and, in non-emergency situations, be capable of transporting beneficiaries with acute medical conditions. The vehicle must comply with State or local laws governing the licensing and certification of an emergency medical transportation vehicle. At a minimum, the ambulance must contain a stretcher, linens, emergency medical supplies, oxygen equipment, and other lifesaving emergency medical equipment and be equipped with emergency warning lights, sirens, and telecommunications equipment as required by State or local law. This should include, at a minimum, one 2-way voice radio or wireless telephone.

The ambulance must have customary patient care equipment and first aid supplies, including reusable devices and equipment such as backboards, neck boards, and inflatable leg and arm splints. These are all considered part of the general ambulance service and payment for them is included in the payment rate for the transport.

Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulance – BLS vehicles must be staffed by at least two people, at least one of whom must be certified as an emergency medical technician (EMT) by the State or local authority where the services are being furnished and be legally authorized to operate all lifesaving and life-sustaining equipment on board the vehicle.

Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance – ALS vehicles must be staffed by at least two people, at least one of whom must be certified by the State or local authority as an EMT-Intermediate or an EMT-Paramedic.

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