VA Postpones Ambulance Service Reimbursement Rule

The changes are intended to lower the cost of air ambulance services by establishing contracts.

Veterans Affairs (VA) officials have decided to delay a rule change regarding ambulance service reimbursements. The postponement follows objections from industry leaders and congressional members concerned about potential risks to veterans in rural areas.

The department will not begin to implement these changes until February 2025, a year later than the original effective date. VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes explained the reimbursement adjustments are intended to bring the department in step with industry standards, citing a 2018 inspector general report that showed the VA was overpaying for air ambulance services by 60 percent.

“The availability of emergency air and ground transportation services in Montana and rural America can be the difference between life and death,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester of Montana. “VA’s hasty implementation of its rate change for these services could have been the final straw for providers in rural America, and I’m glad to see VA answering my call and taking steps to fix this reimbursement issue.”

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said that the goal of the new reimbursement rules is not cost-cutting but rather to encourage local providers to establish formal contracts with the VA for services, ensuring stability and consistent pricing.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary McDonough to receive God’s guidance as he heads the VA department.
  • For VA officials as they seek to lower the costs to serve rural veterans.
  • For those who fly air ambulances and provide life-sustaining medical assistance.

Sources: Military Times, Aviation International News

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