Funding for Nonemergency Medical Transportation Organizations Supported by Counties

On February 22, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in support of SB 511 – Health and Human Services Transportation Improvement Act of 2023.

The House Health and Government Operations Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, HB 596, on February 28.

SB 511 establishes the Rural Nonemergency Medical Transportation Program for hospitals to coordinate transportation provided by nonprofit organizations operating nonemergency medical transportation networks in Maryland’s rural counties. The bill also appropriates an annual fund to support these organizations. The contributions nonemergency medical transportation nonprofits make to public health in the State are often overlooked, and those areas most in need of this kind of service stand to benefit greatly from the enhanced coordination and financial support called for in SB 511.

From the MACo Testimony:

While just as critical to maintaining public health, historically, nonemergency medical transportation has been largely overshadowed by EMS. The link between service providers and their patients – many of whom require maintenance visits for kidney dialysis or similar care – faces a persistent shortfall in funding as these services lie outside the realm of governmental insurance coverage. In some cases, counties have filled this gap to ensure the safety and health of their residents, but this current patchwork is unsustainable and insufficient. By investing in these nonprofits directly, providers more readily focus on their mission: providing critical medical transportation in areas of need.

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