EMS funding bill advances to Senate


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A bill that would allow Kentucky’s struggling emergency medical services statewide to benefit from enhanced federal Medicaid payments for ground ambulance runs has passed the Kentucky House.

House Bill 8 primary cosponsor Rep. Rob Rothenburger, R-Shelbyville, said the legislation is the result of over three years of work with the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association and Kentucky Medicaid office. The bill—of which Rep. Mark Hart, R-Falmouth, is also a primary cosponsor—would enable EMS services to assess a fee that would be used to enhance Medicaid payments for ambulance runs.

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“By assessing those EMS services and by working cooperatively with the state Medicaid office, Kentucky like many other states can take full advantage of the federal government’s enhanced Medicaid payment program and realize thousands of additional dollars through their EMS service so that we can continue to deliver emergency medical care to the sick and injured throughout the Commonwealth,” said Rothenburger.

The legislation is expected to result in thousands, “if not millions,” of additional dollars for Kentucky based on experiences in states like Tennessee, which Rothenburger said has had similar legislation in place for about four years.

Tennessee “has realized millions of dollars” under its legislative model, said Rothenburger.

HB 8 passed the House 91-0 and now goes to the Senate.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.