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PDFWAC 182-546-0200

Scope of coverage for ambulance transportation.

(1) The ambulance program is a medical transportation service. The medicaid agency pays for ambulance transportation to and from covered medical services when the transportation is:
(a) Within the scope of an eligible client's medical care program (see WAC 182-501-0060);
(b) Medically necessary as defined in WAC 182-500-0005 based on the client's condition at the time of the ambulance trip and as documented in the client's record;
(c) Appropriate to the client's actual medical need; and
(d) To one of the following destinations:
(i) The nearest appropriate agency-contracted medical provider of agency-covered services; or
(ii) The designated trauma facility as identified in the emergency medical services and trauma regional patient care procedures manual.
(2) The agency limits coverage to medically necessary ambulance transportation that is required because the client cannot be safely or legally transported any other way. If a client can safely travel by car, van, taxi, or other means, the ambulance trip is not medically necessary and the ambulance service is not covered by the agency. See WAC 182-546-0250 (1) and (2) for noncovered ambulance services.
(3) If medicare or another third party is the client's primary health insurer and that primary insurer denies coverage of an ambulance trip due to a lack of medical necessity, the agency requires the provider when billing the agency for that trip to:
(a) Report the third party determination on the claim; and
(b) Submit documentation showing that the trip meets the medical necessity criteria of the agency. See WAC 182-546-1000 and 182-546-1500 for requirements for nonemergency ambulance coverage.
(4) The agency covers the following ambulance transportation:
(a) Ground ambulance when the eligible client:
(i) Has an emergency medical need for the transportation;
(ii) Needs medical attention to be available during the trip; or
(iii) Must be transported by stretcher or gurney.
(b) Air ambulance when justified under the conditions of this chapter or when the agency determines that air ambulance is less costly than ground ambulance in a particular case. In the latter case, the air ambulance transportation must be prior authorized by the agency. See WAC 182-546-1500 for nonemergency air ambulance coverage.
(5) See also WAC 182-531-1740 Treat and refer services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.021, 41.05.160, and 2017 c 273. WSR 19-19-090, § 182-546-0200, filed 9/18/19, effective 10/19/19. WSR 11-14-075, recodified as § 182-546-0200, filed 6/30/11, effective 7/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, 74.09.530, and 74.09.700. WSR 06-24-036, § 388-546-0200, filed 11/30/06, effective 1/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.09.510. WSR 04-17-118, § 388-546-0200, filed 8/17/04, effective 9/17/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.09.500, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, and 74.04.057. WSR 01-03-084, § 388-546-0200, filed 1/16/01, effective 2/16/01.]
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