Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection – Updates from CMS

As reported in our last Fire & EMS Newsletter, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in May 2020 that it will be delaying the implementation of the statutorily mandated ambulance data collection system. In sum, ambulance organizations selected to provide cost data for 2020 will be required to report 12-months of consecutive data, by either calendar year or fiscal year, starting in 2021. CMS will also add a new set of ambulance organizations (~2,600 providers) for Year 2 reporting as well. This new list of participants should be made publicly available on the CMS website by December 1st.

What to Expect

Selected providers will receive a notification letter from their designated Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) by mail and/or email. The notification letter:

  • highlights the 10% reduction for noncompliance
  • states where information can be found on the CMS website, and
  • refers to the 12-month reporting period options and MAC notification requirements.

If a provider fails to report their preferred 12-month reporting period to their MAC within 30 days of being selected for participation, they will automatically default to calendar year reporting, beginning January 1, 2021.

How to Prepare

It is important to view and update your current enrollment record in the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). If you haven’t already done so, please review your record as soon as possible. Correspondence from CMS is based on this information, including your notification letter of participation and letter of satisfied compliance. ​Be sure to pay close attention to the following: Practice location(s), Vehicle Information and Ownership.

CMS has released a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and an update to the PDF printable version of the Instrument. Both documents are available on the CMS website, and to ensure you are looking at the latest version, check the bottom left corner for the July 2020 date. The updated version of the Instrument provides some clarity around definitions and requirements of the data elements, especially around depreciation.

Getting Started

PCG understands the administrative burden that this program may bring to ambulance providers. Our more than 33 years of expertise in Medicare and Medicaid cost reporting services and proprietary web-based solution enables us to ensure that your Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection Instrument is completed accurately and properly in accordance with Medicare regulations, so you have the time to focus on innovating your programs.

Please contact us today at for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more.


Posted by Sarah Dicicco

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