Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) set the new Ambulance Inflation Factor (AIF) at 8.7% for the calendar year 2023. Ambulance services will receive this additional Medicare reimbursement now for ambulance transportation.
This is the highest annual ambulance inflation factor since the current fee schedule from 2002. It’s also the largest year-over-year increase on record, according to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.
The AIF is based on a couple of factors. First, it’s calculated by measuring the increase in the consumer price index for urban consumers for the previous 12-month period ending in June of the year before. It’s then reduced by a productivity adjustment.
Rising inflation contributed to this higher claims’ reimbursement amount, which kicked off on January 1, 2023. According to Transmittal 11642, which announced the change, this enables Medicare contractors to accurately determine payment amounts for ambulance services.
The unfortunate aspect is higher inflation means the cost of ambulance services is also more expensive, so the additional money won’t go as far as it normally would.