Do We Need a Rural Payment Differential Under the Medicare Ambulance Fee Schedule?
The purpose of this project is to use national data sources to further explore the need for a payment differential for certain types of rural providers, and, if a payment differential appears to be warranted, to examine which criteria might be useful for targeting increased Medicare payments to rural ambulance providers. We examine how the costs of services for rural and urban providers compared with Medicare payment and which types of rural providers will be winners or losers under the new fee schedule.
Data from the National Survey of Ambulance Providers are linked to Medicare claims or Medicare cost report data for the same year of the survey, depending on whether the provider was an independent or hospital-based provider in that year. Other secondary data files, such as the Bureau of Health Professions Area Resource File (ARF), will also be merged with the analytic file to enable us to determine the demographic characteristics of the counties of location for each of the EMS providers.