House passes Baird's legislation to address surprise ambulance service bills

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Monday, February 22, 2021

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of legislation authored by State Rep. Beau Baird's (R-Greencastle) addressing surprise nonemergency ambulance bills.

Baird's bill is the first step in solving the issue of surprise billing. Specifically, it establishes a more reasonable reimbursement structure for providers while also collecting cost data to be used in the future to solve the greater surprise billing problem.

Baird authored this legislation after learning of a constituent who received a bill for almost $8,000 for an hour-long nonemergency ambulance ride from an out-of-network provider.

"This constituent had no say in what provider picked him up," Baird said. "I don't know of many industries where we're forced to use a service without fully understanding the potential cost. Unlike a typical emergency situation, there is usually time to discuss options and explain costs for these nonemergency ambulance rides. Because ambulance rides often have a high price attached to them, everyone should have information upfront if they'll be responsible for such medical bills, especially if the bill will be more than anticipated."

Baird's constituent is not the only person who has experienced a surprise medical bill for ambulance service. Research by the journal Health Affairs found during a four-year period that almost three-fourths of all ambulance rides for members of a national insurance plan involved potential surprise bills at a median cost of $450 for ground transportation. By air, it was over $20,000.

Visit iga.in.gov for more information on House Bill 1454. This legislation moves to the Senate for further consideration.

-30-

State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) represents House District 44, which includes
all of Putnam County and portions of Clay, Morgan, Owen and Parke counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.