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Understanding Policy and the Ground Emergency Medical Transportation Program

Understanding Policy and the Ground Emergency Medical Transportation Program

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Understanding any American emergency medical services (EMS) policy often means that you need to explore a complicated web of policies, laws and issues, as well as how state, local and federal policies impact that web. When it comes to funding from the federal government, there are certain policies that outline specifically what an organization is qualified to receive, which makes that policy even more complex in multiple ways.

The Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) program is one of these policies. It offers reimbursements from Medicaid for private and public EMS agencies. However, this program further complicates the overall financial picture of many EMS agencies throughout the United States, because all ambulance agencies aren’t eligible for the reimbursement.

Potential Issues with the Ground Emergency Medical Transportation Program

While the program is meant to help with reimbursements for certain patients, there is a chance that some EMS agencies may incur costs that are larger than the Medicaid reimbursement.

Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to EMS agencies, as there are numerous factors that impact the overall budget and financial state of EMS agencies. The Ground Emergency Medical Transportation program certainly assists EMS agencies. But, like many other policy initiatives, the GEMT program complicate some of the funding efforts for some EMS agencies.

Financial Constraints of Emergency Medical Services

Financial problems are not a new thing for emergency medical services. Some EMS agencies have had to close because they have not been able to cover their expenses.

Other agencies are completely comprised of volunteers because that type of staffing cuts down the costs of running an ambulance agency. Budgets have often been tight for EMS agencies, and the GEMT program both helps and hinders those financial constraints.

Understanding EMS policy means understanding the various issues that impact it. The GEMT program is another unique piece of the puzzle that greatly impacts the complicated web of EMS policy, finances and budgetary constraints.

Start a Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four Master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, History, a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is also trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard and a Lifeguard Instructor. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and also serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.