Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–416. Emergency ambulance service fees.

(a) The Mayor, with the approval of the Council by resolution, and after the Council holds a public hearing, may establish from time to time a fee to be charged for transportation services provided by the emergency ambulance service of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (“Department”) in such amount as may be reasonable in consideration of the interests of the public and the persons required to pay the fee, and in consideration of the approximate cost of furnishing such services; provided, that no one shall be denied the services because of his or her inability to pay and further provided that no one shall be questioned about his or her ability to pay at the time the services are requested.

(b)(1) A health care facility shall reimburse the Department for the cost of emergency ambulance services, as determined under subsection (a) of this section, incurred by a patient resident of the health care facility if the health care facility requests ambulance transport services from the Department and the patient’s healthcare insurance denies payment for the ambulance transport after a determination that the transportation did not meet the medical necessity standard as provided in § 410.40(d) of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:

(A) “Ambulance” means any publicly owned vehicle specially designed, constructed, modified, or equipped for use as a means for transporting patients in a medical emergency or any publicly owned vehicle that is advertised, marked, or in any way held out as a vehicle for the transportation of patients in a medical emergency.

(B) “Health care facility” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-1051.02(5).

(c)(1) There is established as a special fund the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department EMS Reform Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(2) Revenue from the following sources shall be deposited in the Fund:

(A) Fees collected under § 31-2802(a)(2); and

(B) Monies in excess of the Fiscal Year 2016 revenue collected in accordance with this section.

(3) The Fund shall be used for the purpose of reform and improvement of the delivery of emergency medical services in the District of Columbia.

(4)(A) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(B) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated into the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-124, § 502, 23 DCR 8749; Apr. 15, 2008, D.C. Law 17-147, § 4, 55 DCR 2558; May 26, 2011, D.C. Law 18-373, § 2, 58 DCR 613; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3023, 64 DCR 7652.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-316.

1973 Ed., § 4-416.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-147 substituted “The Mayor, with the approval of the Council by resolution, and after the Council holds a public hearing, may” for “The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized, after a public hearing, to”.

D.C. Law 18-373 designated the existing text as subsec. (a); in subsec. (a), substituted “emergency ambulance service of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (’Department’)” for “Emergency Ambulance Service of the Fire Department”; and added subsec. (b).

Applicability

Section 3024 of D.C. Law 22-33 provided that the amendments made to this section by section 3023 of D.C. Law 22-33 shall apply to all health benefit plans issued or renewed in the District 90 or more days after December 13, 2017.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3023 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3023 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 102 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 102 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

Short Title

Short title: Section 3003 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that subtitle B of title III of the act may be cited as the “Ambulance Fee Act of 2008”.

Editor's Notes

Section 3006 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided: “The Mayor shall explore all reasonable options for billing Medicaid and Medicare for costs of ambulance services. If the Mayor cannot raise $3.5 million from Medicaid and Medicare billing, the Mayor shall issue rules pursuant to section 502 of the Revenue Act for Fiscal Year 1978, effective April 19, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-124; D.C. Official Code § 5-416), effective October 1, 2008, to increase ambulance fees to an amount sufficient to raise up to $3.5 million in revenue in fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2010. The rules shall be submitted to the Council not later than September 15, 2008.”

Mayor's Orders

Emergency Ambulance Division established: Mayor’s Order 81-233a, dated November 9, 1981, established an Emergency Ambulance Division in the Fire Department. The Order set forth the functions and supervision of the Division.