Ground Emergency Medical Transport Quality Assurance Fee
In accordance with
Senate Bill (SB) 523 (Chapter 773, Statues of 2017), DHCS established the Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) Quality Assurance Fee (QAF) program to provide supplemental Medi-Cal payments to GEMT providers. Using data collected from GEMT providers, DHCS calculates an annual GEMT QAF rate that will be imposed on each emergency medical transport provided by each GEMT providers subject to QAF. The QAF collected will be used to increase reimbursement to GEMT providers by application of an add-on to the fee-for-services (FFS) fee schedule rate for the affected emergency medical transport billing codes.
DHCS will post notice of the QAF rate by June 15 of each year.
June 9, 2022 Update:
New: GEMT QAF Rate For FY 22-23 , effective July 1, 2022
GEMT QAF Rate for FY 2022-23, effective July 1, 2022
- A GEMT QAF Rate was calculated for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23, in accordance with SB 523. The QAF is assessed on each qualified emergency medical transport, regardless of payer type. The QAF was adjusted based on the transport data submitted for calendar year 2021 for emergency transport codes A0429, A0427, A0433, A0225, and A0434. The QAF rate in effect for FY 2021-22 will be assessed on ground emergency medical transports with dates of service beginning January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. DHCS intends to submit the GEMT QAF SPA 22-0040 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for federal approval in the third quarter of 2022.
- The QAF Rate for FY 2022-23 is: $34.02
New PP-GEMT IGT Program
Assembly Bill (AB) 1705 (Chapter 544, Statutes of 2019) establishes a Public Provider Ground Emergency Medical Transportation Intergovernmental Transfer (PP-GEMT IGT) Program for eligible public GEMT providers.
Providers are eligible to participate in the PP-GEMT IGT program if they meet all of the following criteria:
- provide GEMT services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries
- are enrolled as a Medi-Cal provider for the period being claimed, and
- are owned or operated by the state, a city, county, city and county, fire protection, special districts, community services districts, health care district, or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
The PP-GEMT IGT Program will provide an add-on increase to the associated Medi-Cal fee-for-service fee schedule of emergency medical transports billed with the following codes: A0429, A0427, A0433, A0225, and A0434.
Once the PP-GEMT IGT Program is implemented, public providers will no longer be able to participate in the GEMT QAF Program. This means that public providers will no longer be assessed the QAF prospectively from the implementation date of the PP-GEMT-IGT Program and will not be eligible to receive the add-on pursuant to the GEMT QAF, but will be eligible to receive a reimbursement add-on under the PP-GEMT IGT Program. The PP-GEMT IGT Program is anticipated to be implemented on January 1, 2023, contingent on federal approval.
DHCS intends to submit the PP-GEMT IGT SPA 22-0015 to the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by mid-2022 to obtain federal approval.
For more information, please visit the PP-GEMT IGT web page
GEMT QAF SPA Approval and Payment Schedule FY 2021-22:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved
to continue the GEMT QAF Program for FY 2021-22.
Below is the QAF payment schedule DHCS established for collecting the quarterly QAF assessments, beginning with the July 1, 2021 state fiscal quarter.
|QAF Assessment Date||QAF Payment Due Date||Reporting Period||Transport Date of Service|
|July 1, 2021 (Alliance)||October 1, 2021 (Revised)||Apr – Jun 2021||Jan – Mar 2021|
|July 1, 2021 (Non-Alliance)||October 15, 2021 (Revised)||Apr – Jun 2021||Jan – Mar 2021|
|October 1, 2021||November 1, 2021 (Revised)||Jul – Sept 2021||Apr – Jun 2021|
|January 1, 2022||January 1, 2022||Oct – Dec 2021||Jul – Sept 2021|
|April 1, 2022||April 1, 2022||Jan - March 2022||Oct – Dec 2021|
Gross Receipt Data Submission
On or before August 14, 2021, providers are required to submit data on gross receipts received for ground emergency medical transports between July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. The Gross Receipt Data Submission Form must be submitted to GEMTQAF@dhcs.ca.gov by August 14, 2021. Providers are to use the Gross Receipt Data Submission Form provided below:
Gross Receipt Data Submission Form
GEMT QAF Rate for FY 2021 - 22, effective July 1, 2021
- A GEMT QAF Rate was calculated for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21, in accordance with SB 523. The QAF is assessed on each qualified emergency medical transport, regardless of payer type. The QAF was adjusted based on the transport data submitted for calendar year 2020 for emergency transport codes A0429, A0427, A0433, A0225, and A0434. The QAF rate in effect for FY 2021-22 will be assessed on ground emergency medical transports with dates of service beginning January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
- The QAF Rate for FY 2021-22 is: $33.42
QAF Rate for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 - 21, effective July 1, 2020
A GEMT QAF Rate was calculated for FY 2020-21, in accordance with SB 523. The QAF is assessed on each qualified emergency medical transport, regardless of payer type. DHCS adjusted the QAF based on the transport data submitted for calendar year 2019 for emergency transport codes A0429, A0427, A0433, A0225, and A0434. The QAF rate in effect for FY 2020-21 will be assessed on ground emergency medical transports with dates of service beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The FY 2020-21 QAF rate amount is as follows:
FY 2020-21 QAF Rate: $32.30
Federal Approval of SPA 20-0009
On October 15, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved State Plan Amendment (SPA) 20-0009, which authorizes DHCS to provide a $220.80 add-on in FY 2020-21 effective July 1, 2020, for Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System (HCPCS) codes A0429, A0427, A0433, A0225 and A0434.
The QAF for FY 2020-21 is assessed on HCPCS codes A0429, A0427, A0433, A0434 and A0225. Interest and penalties may be assessed if payments are not submitted by the payment due dates. To view the approved GEMT QAF SPA 20-0009, please visit the
2020 Approved State Plan Amendments page.
HCPCS Code A0434 Policy
Effective for dates of service on or after August 1, 2020, HCPCS code A0434 (Specialty Care Transports) is billable for non-emergency transports. The policy announcement can be found at the
Medi-Cal Update website .
For transports occurring on or after August 1, 2020, only emergency medical transport services billed with HCPCS code A0434 are required to be reported for the GEMT QAF program, will be assessed the QAF, and will be eligible to receive the GEMT QAF add-on. Non-emergency transports billed with HCPCS code A0434 should not be reported for the GEMT QAF program. As instructed on page 12 of the DHCS Medi-Cal Provider Training 2018, all claims for emergency medical transport services should be billed with an "X" indicator on all emergency claim lines in Box 24C of claim form 1500. All non-emergency transports provided and billed under HCPCS code A0434 will not receive the GEMT QAF add-on.
Online Portal for GEMT QAF Payments
An online GEMT QAF portal was established for providers to submit transport data and to calculate the quarterly QAF amount due. An invoice for the QAF amount due for each provider will be generated based upon the transport data submitted by providers, and will include a direct link to pay the QAF through electronic fund transfer (EFT). Providers also have the option to print an invoice and to submit their QAF payment by mail.
To access the online portal and detailed instructions, please visit the
DHCS QAF website.
Reimbursement Rate Add-On
FY 2020-21 Add-On: $220.80
The FY 2020-21 add-on amount is $220.80 and will be provided for eligible emergency Medi-Cal GEMT transports billed with HCPCS codes A0427, A0429, A0433, A0225, and A0434.
Data Collection Process & Deadlines
GEMT providers are required to periodically submit data reports that include the following:
- The total number of emergency medical transports, as defined in statute, by payer type, including Medi-Cal FFS and Medi-Cal managed care, Medicare, dual Medicare/Medi-Cal (Medi-Medi), and all other payer types, for each calendar year quarter.
- The gross receipts, as defined in statue, received from the provision of emergency medical transports for each FY.
GEMT providers are required to submit data to DHCS:
- Total number of emergency medical transports for Codes A0427, A0429, A0433, A0225, and A0434 in Q1 2020 (January 1, 2020 to March 1, 2020). This data can be submitted through the online portal below.
DHCS will utilize the data collected to develop the QAF rate annually as follows:
For FY 2019-20, and each subsequent FY thereafter, the annual QAF rate shall be calculated by a ratio, the numerator of which is the sum of the projected aggregate fee schedule amount multiplied by the state medical assistance percentage and a portion of the administrative costs for the FY, and the denominator is 90% of the total projected emergency medical transports by all GEMT providers subject to the QAF.