October 08, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Health Care Reform
California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 191, a bill that extends funding for Maddy Emergency Medical Services (EMS). This fund is used to offset the costs incurred for care provided to uninsured patients in hospital emergency rooms. The California Medical Association (CMA) and the American College of Emergency Physicians cosponsored the bill.
The law that authorizes the Maddy Fund was set to expire on January 1, 2014. Without this bill providers of emergency medical care throughout the state would have lost $50 million per year that is currently used to offset the costs of uncompensated emergency care.
The Maddy Fund was established over 20 years ago as a means of providing critical resources for the delivery of emergency medical care to the uninsured. The funds are managed at the county level, with funding generated through the assessment of an additional penalty of $2 for every $10 collected in fines, penalties and forfeitures for criminal offenses. Emergency room physicians who treat uninsured patients who are unable to pay for their care can submit a claim to their county Maddy Fund for partial reimbursement.