California Senate Subcommittee Hears Request for Increased Medi-Cal Rate for First Responders
Updated: May 11
(SACRAMENTO, CA) A statewide coalition for increased Medi-Cal rates for ambulance first responders made its case before the California Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on Tuesday. The Subcommittee will review the budget request and make a final recommendation to the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. “We’ve been sounding the alarm on the impact of low Medi-Cal rates for years, so it’s encouraging to see some progress,” said Jimmy Pierson, President of the California Ambulance Association. “We hope the subcommittee members will support California’s first responders, our coalition members, and the thousands of Californians throughout the state who are calling for this critical increase.” During the hearing, first responders, management and labor advocates provided impactful testimony on the widespread impact of low Medi-Cal rates on EMS workers and the companies that employ them. The speakers are members of a unique coalition of 13 organizations leading the fight for increased Medi-Cal rates for ground ambulance transports. California currently ranks 46th nationwide in ambulance Medicaid reimbursements, which is crippling the ability of ambulance companies to recruit and retain qualified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. As the call for increased Medi-Cal rates moves forward in the legislature, the public is invited to visit www.fundfirstresponders.org to sign a petition calling on the state legislature to act.