(305 ILCS 5/5-5.7b)
    Sec. 5-5.7b. Pandemic related stability payments to ambulance service providers in response to COVID-19.
    (a) Definitions. As used in this Section:
    "Ambulance Services Industry" means the industry that is comprised of "Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Providers", as defined in this Section.
    "Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider" means a "vehicle service provider," as that term is defined in Section 3.85 of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act, which operates licensed ambulances for the purpose of providing emergency, non-emergency ambulance services, or both emergency and non-emergency ambulance services. The term "Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider" is limited to ambulance and EMS agencies that are privately held and nonprofit organizations headquartered within the State and licensed by the Department of Public Health as of March 12, 2020.
    "Eligible worker" means a staff member of a Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider engaged in "essential work", as defined by Section 9901 of the ARPA and related federal guidance, and (1) whose total pay is below 150% of the average annual wage for all occupations in the worker's county of residence, as defined by the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics or (2) is not exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions.
    (b) Purpose. The Department may receive federal funds under the authority of legislation passed in response to the Coronavirus epidemic, including, but not limited to, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, P.L. 117-2 (the "ARPA"). Upon receipt or availability of such State or federal funds, and subject to appropriations for their use, the Department shall establish and administer programs for purposes allowable under Section 9901 of the ARPA to provide financial assistance to Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Providers for premium pay for eligible workers, to provide reimbursement for eligible expenditures, and to provide support following the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on the Ambulance Services Industry. Financial assistance may include, but is not limited to, grants, expense reimbursements, or subsidies.
    (c) Non-Emergency Service Certification. To be eligible for funding under this Section, a Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider that provides non-emergency services to institutional residents must certify that it will provide non-emergency ambulance services to individuals enrolled in the State's Medical Assistance Program and residing in non-institutional settings for at least one year following the receipt of funding pursuant to this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly. The provider shall maintain the certification in its records. The provider shall also maintain documentation of all non-emergency ambulance services for the period covered by the certification. The provider shall produce the certification and supporting documentation upon demand by the Department or its representative. Failure to comply shall result in recovery of any payments made by the Department.
    (d) Premium Pay Initiative. Subject to paragraph (c) of this Section, the Department shall establish a Premium Pay Initiative to distribute awards to each Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider for the purpose of providing premium pay to eligible workers.
        (1) Financial assistance pursuant to this paragraph
    
(d) shall be scaled based on a process determined by the Department. The amount awarded to each Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider shall be up to $13 per hour for each eligible worker employed.
        (2) The financial assistance awarded shall only be
    
expended for premium pay for eligible workers, which must be in addition to any wages or remuneration the eligible worker has already received and shall be subject to the other requirements and limitations set forth in the ARPA and related federal guidance.
        (3) Upon receipt of funds, the Qualifying Ground
    
Ambulance Service Provider shall distribute funds such that an eligible worker receives an amount up to $13 per hour but no more than $25,000 for the duration of the program. The Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider shall provide a written certification to the Department acknowledging compliance with this paragraph (d).
        (4) No portion of these funds shall be spent on
    
volunteer staff.
        (5) These funds shall not be used to make
    
retroactive premium payments prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
        (6) The Department shall require each Qualifying
    
Ground Ambulance Service Provider that receives funds under this paragraph (d) to submit appropriate documentation acknowledging compliance with State and federal law on an annual basis.
    (e) COVID-19 Response Support Initiative. Subject to paragraph (c) of this Section and based on an application filed by a Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Provider, the Department shall establish the Ground Ambulance COVID-19 Response Support Initiative. The purpose of the award shall be to reimburse Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Providers for eligible expenses under Section 9901 of the ARPA related to the public health impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including but not limited to costs related to COVID-19 testing for patients, COVID-19 prevention and treatment equipment, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and other emergency medical response treatments.
        (1) The award shall be for eligible expenditures
    
incurred no earlier than May 1, 2022 and no later than June 30, 2023.
        (2) Funds awarded under this paragraph (e) shall
    
not be expended for premium pay to eligible workers.
        (3) The Department shall require each Qualifying
    
Ground Ambulance Service Provider that receives funds under this paragraph (e) to submit appropriate documentation acknowledging compliance with State and federal law on an annual basis.
    (f) Ambulance Industry Recovery Program. If the Department designates the Ambulance Services Industry as an "impacted industry", as defined by the ARPA and related federal guidance, the Department shall establish the Ambulance Industry Recovery Grant Program, to provide aid to Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service Providers that experienced staffing losses due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
        (1) Funds awarded under this paragraph (f) shall
    
not be expended for premium pay to eligible workers.
        (2) Each Qualifying Ground Ambulance Service
    
Provider that receives funds under this paragraph (f) shall comply with paragraph (c) of this Section.
        (3) The Department shall require each Qualifying
    
Ground Ambulance Service Provider that receives funds under this paragraph (f) to submit appropriate documentation acknowledging compliance with State and federal law on an annual basis.
(Source: P.A. 102-699, eff. 4-19-22.)