Author: AAA Staff

2022 AAA Board of Director Nominations Open

Nominations Now Open for AAA Board, More!
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Nominations Due 6/17 for
Board Candidates, Ethics Committee, and Honorary Members

Board Nominations

Nominations are open for AAA members in good standing who wish to serve the association in one of the following positions:

  • President-Elect
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Region I Director
    (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT & PR)
  • Region II Director
    (AL, DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, PA, SC, VA, WV)
  • Region III Director 
    (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN, WI)
  • Region IV Director
    (AR, IA, KS, LA, MN, MO, OK, ND, NE, SD, TX)
  • Region V Director
    (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY)

The nomination form must be completed by June 17th to be included in the election.

Individuals who wish to be considered for an elected position as President-Elect, Treasurer-at-Large, or Secretary must meet the following criteria:

1. Be an employee of and the designated representative of an Active member of the AAA, in good standing;

2. Be ready to devote time and effort to matters which concern the Board of Directors and to actively participate in all Board activities;

3. Be prepared to assist other AAA members with concerns and problems which relate to the ambulance industry and the workings of the AAA; and,

4. Understand that these positions provide no compensation for time or reimbursement for expenses. All travel-related expenses, including transportation, lodging and food are the responsibility of the individual and/or the sponsoring organization.

5. Be willing to comply with all governance policies of the association including, Conflict of Interest, Standards of Conduct, and Board Confidentiality, Public Comment and Lobbying Agreement (PDF).

6. Have served on the AAA Board within the past five (5) years prior to his or her declaration as a candidate for election as a President-Elect, Treasurer-at-Large, or Secretary.

Individuals who wish to be considered for an elected position as Regional Director must:

1. Be the designated representative of an Active member of the AAA, in good standing;

2. Be ready to devote time and effort to matters which concern the Board of Directors and to actively participate in all Board activities;

3. Be prepared to assist other AAA members with concerns and problems which relate to the ambulance industry and the workings of the AAA; and,

4. Understand that these positions provide no compensation for time or reimbursement for expenses. All travel-related expenses, including transportation, lodging and food are the responsibility of the individual and/or the sponsoring organization.

5. Be willing to comply with all governance policies of the association including, Conflict of Interest, Standards of Conduct, and Board Confidentiality, Public Comment and Lobbying Agreement (PDF).

There are no restrictions against an individual running for more than one position in the same election cycle, though no person shall hold more than one position simultaneously.All those who wish to stand for election and believe they are qualified are requested to complete a Nomination Form. Please note that we do not have two separate forms this year- just one form including the nominee info & candidate questionnaire! The form must be completed by June 17, 2022 to be included in the candidate ratification. 

Candidates’ statements and pictures, as well as the position(s) for which they are running for will be listed on the AAA website.

2022 Election Timeline

6/17 | Nominations Close
6/24  | Approval of Candidates by AAA Nominating Committee
6/28  | Approval of Candidates by AAA Board of Directors
8/1 | Voting Opens
Election will be paperless. Ballots will be delivered to AAA Active Member primary contacts via email.
9/1 | Voting Closes 11:59pm
9/18 | Election results announced at the Annual Membership Meeting at the AAA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN.

Get Involved!
(Nominations Due 6/17)

About Honorary Membership
AAA accepts written nominations for worthy individuals who have significantly contributed to the accomplishments of the AAA and should therefore be recognized through the granting of Honorary Membership. Honorary Member Form►

About the Ethics Committee
It is the mission of the Ethics Committee to define and distribute guidelines that promote self-imposed high ethical standards for providers of ambulance services. The committee is responsible for hearing complaints and making appropriate recommendations regarding violations of the AAA Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Ethics Committee Form►


Complete Board Candidate Form

Complete Honorary Member Form

Complete Ethics Committee Form

Please contact Meghan Winesett at mwinesett@ambulance.org or
(703) 203-9885 with any questions. 

Women Lead the Charge at Booming Healthcare Software Company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Rhonda Stitman 

Phone: 888-364-9995 ext. 450  

Email: Rhonda@ninthbrain.com 

Website: www.ninthbrain.com 

 

Women Lead the Charge at Booming Healthcare Software Company 

Ninth Brain, a software company that streamlines compliance, training, and 

communication in the healthcare sector, celebrates twenty years of success this Spring. 

FRANKENMUTH, Mich., April 28, 2022 – With a modest history begun as notes on a napkin by two nurses, the company now known as Ninth Brain sought a simple 

yet rigorous solution for the complicated compliance requirements faced by healthcare and first responder  organizations. This spring, Ninth Brain will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Lisa Tedford, uniquely titled  “Captain Grey Matter,” and Holly Taylor, “Chief Hat Holder,” run Ninth Brain with a passion for helping  clients and having a little fun along the way. Tedford says, “I was the first developer to bring the napkin  idea to life over 20 years ago. The best part of this journey has been hearing the feedback from the users  of our system and how it has helped them with their day-to-day. I enjoy seeing where the next big ideas  from our team and clients will take us.” 

When asked about their overall business philosophy, Taylor says, “We focus on caring about our  employees and our clients, the rest just falls into place. Focusing our efforts on being consultative  partners to our clients, in turn, creates advocates in the industry which naturally grows our business. We  look forward to celebrating continued success with our amazing team of devoted brainiacs and loyal  clients.” 

Using crowdsourced suggestions from clients and industry partners alike, Ninth Brain has grown from  Employee Health tracking into an expansive platform known for consultative training and onboarding,  workforce scheduling, risk assessments, and quality improvement. These tools have become especially  important during this time when Healthcare and First Responder industries are experiencing  unprecedented change, staffing turnover, compliance demands, and vaccine-mandate management. 

“Ninth Brain has changed how we provide education within our organization, taking us to the digital era by  reducing the amount of time used to track and document competencies, required education and  credentials,” said Lindsey Castle, Director of Education & Clinical Services at MedFlight.  

ee“PatientCare EMS Solutions has been using many of the features provided by NBS to enhance our  performance and maintain CAAS and CAMTS accreditations for several years. They listen to our “bright  ideas” for improvement and adopt many in their evolving version releases. They are truly customer  focused which is not something you get with every vendor. We know our customer support team by  name, and we can count on them to be available when we need them.” Stated Debbie Vass, Corporate  VP of Quality at PatientCare EMS Solutions.  

In the spirit of collaboration Ninth Brain is known for, Ninth Brain will celebrate its 20th birthday with nine  birthday parties with select clients, provide opportunities to sign up for birthday box surprises and  celebrate nominated Ninth Brain super users. You can check out what they are up to here https://www.ninthbrain.com

### 

About Ninth Brain Suite, LLC: Ninth Brain is a team of diverse, talented, energetic collection of brains,  skill sets, and hearts. Our system started with an idea to design a better, quicker, safer, and more  accurate way to manage compliance and meet regulatory requirements for the healthcare industry. Ninth  Brain Suite is recognized as one of the premier solutions for managing data, providing continuing  education, and tracking regulatory requirements. Our healthcare knowledge, friendliness and superb  support is how we build long lasting relationships with our clients.

 

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NHTSA’s Office of EMS Thanks You for Your Service

The Office of EMS (OEMS) at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is celebrating our nation’s dedicated EMS clinicians during National EMS Week, May 15-21, 2022. We would like to thank you for your commitment to providing high-quality care and compassion to your patients. Your work makes your communities safer and healthier every day.

Please take a moment to watch this video to hear a special message from OEMS Director, Gam Wijetunge, expressing his heartfelt gratitude for EMS clinicians nationwide.

EMS Week Thank You Video


This year’s EMS Week theme is “Rising to the Challenge,” addressing the courage and perseverance EMS clinicians demonstrate every day. Despite the obstacles, EMS clinicians remain dedicated to treating patients in the face of a continued pandemic response while handling the typical challenges of working in EMS.

Take advantage of this opportunity to educate others about all that you and your fellow clinicians do, like Office of EMS EMS Specialist, Kate Elkins, featured on an episode of the Everything is Public Health podcast, scheduled for release on May 19, 2022.

From all of us here at the Office of EMS, NHTSA, and the Department of Transportation: Thank you.

Deadline Approaches for Public Safety Input on Annual Grant Program

EMS & 911 Can Comment on
Funding Needs & Impact on Highway Safety

The Office of EMS and the National 911 Program—housed within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. DOT—encourage 911 and EMS professionals to provide input about their annual Highway Safety Grant Program. The DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy describes the major actions the DOT will take to significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, including specific references to the role that EMS and 911 systems play in this effort.

How to Participate: NHTSA seeks feedback on its formula grant program which awards more than $630 million annually to carry out highway safety programs nationwide. EMS and 911 systems play an important role in efforts that are funded through this grant program.

NHTSA published a Request for Comment (RFC) in the Federal Register to solicit feedback on the upcoming changes to the Highway Safety Grant Program. The RFC will be open for comment until May 23, 2022.

Submit Written Comment

For more information, please visit the Federal Register website and email questions to nhtsaropdprogramquestions@dot.gov.

NHTSA Names New 911 Program Coordinator

Please see the following statement from NHTSA announcing their newly named 911 Program Coordinator
911 program coordinator

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services announced today that Brian Tegtmeyer, ENP (Emergency Number Professional) will assume the role of National 911 Program Coordinator effective May 9, 2022. 

Mr. Tegtmeyer brings more than 26 years of experience in the field of public safety communications to the position.

“NHTSA’s long-term commitment to supporting 911 systems continues with the selection of Brian as the new coordinator for the National 911 Program,” said Gam Wijetunge, Director of the Office of EMS. “His deep knowledge of 911 systems and history of working within the 911 community, at a state, regional and national level is the experience needed to collaborate on updating and improving 911 across the nation.”

Brian began his career as a dispatcher at Hazel Crest Illinois Police Department and continued serving in various leadership roles in 911 systems before assuming his most recent position as Executive Director of DuPage Public Safety Communications in 2007. There he managed a 911 center with 44 agencies that serves a population of over 850,000 citizens.

“Next Generation 911 is the future of public safety communications. This evolution will impact every aspect of a communications center from the technology to operations to our most valuable resource—our telecommunicators,” said Tegtmeyer. “I am excited to join the National 911 Program’s efforts to help state and local 911 systems provide optimal 911 services to their communities.”

Brian has spent over a decade as a national educator teaching Public Safety Telecommunicator courses. He has also been an active member of multiple public safety organizations, including the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and has been active in Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforces (TERT) on a state and national level.

Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology at Western Michigan University and also served as a firefighter-EMT at the start of his career.

NEMSAC | Webcast May 11-12

The National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) will host a virtual meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, 2022. Members of the public can register for the webcast here.

The NEMSAC meets several times each year to discuss issues facing the EMS community. Members of NEMSAC provide counsel and recommendations regarding EMS to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS).

Daily agendas include time for NEMSAC subcommittee deliberations in the morning and the publicly webcasted portion of the meetings begin at 1:00 pm ET, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, and 12:00 pm ET on Thursday, May 12, 2022. Items on the agenda include:

  • Updates from Federal Emergency Services Liaisons
  • Discussion about FICEMS & NHTSA Initiatives
  • Subcommittee Reports
  • Public comment

Individuals registered for the meeting who wish to address the council during the public comment periods can review the current draft and interim advisories and submit comments in writing to NHTSA.NEMSAC@dot.gov by 5:00 pm ET on May 3, 2022.

Draft advisories:

Interim advisory:

This meeting will be open to the public. NHTSA is committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all program participants. Persons with disabilities in need of accommodation should send their request to Clary Mole by phone at (202) 868-3275 or by email at Clary.Mole@dot.gov no later than May 3, 2022. A sign language interpreter will be provided and closed captioning services will be provided for this meeting through the WebEx virtual meeting platform.

Register Now

Notice of Public Meeting: This notice announces a meeting of the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC).

www.federalregister.gov

CMS | Ambulance Ground Transport: Comparative Billing Report in April

From CMS on April 21, 2022

In late April, CMS will issue a Comparative Billing Report (CBR) on Medicare Part B claims for ambulance ground transport. Use the data-driven report to compare your billing practices with those of peers in your state and across the nation.

CBRs aren’t publicly available. Look for an email from cbrpepper.noreply@religroupinc.com to access your report. Update your email address in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System to ensure delivery.

For More Information:

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

Infection Prevention and Control for the EMS/911 Workforce: Public Comment Requested

Draft Report on Infection Prevention and Control for the EMS/911 Workforce Released: Public Comment Requested
From EMS.gov on April 12, 2022

The draft report for the technical brief on Infection Prevention and Control for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/911 workforce has been released by the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The draft report is available for review and feedback through April 22, 2022 on Effective Healthcare’s website.

The technical brief summarizes the latest evidence on infectious pathogen exposure among the EMS/911 workforce and offers recommendations for the prevention, recognition, and control of infectious diseases and other related exposures that may be acquired in occupational settings.

The AHRQ is requesting feedback from the community to improve the final technical brief. The agency values feedback and will consider all comments received.

Submit Input

AHRQ is a government agency that produces evidence-based guidance to improve the quality of healthcare delivery. It coordinates these efforts with partners in the field to ensure the evidence is understood and put into practice. For more information on the EPC Program, visit here. This project is supported by NHTSA’s Office of EMS, which strives to reduce death and disability by providing leadership and coordination to the EMS community in assessing, planning, developing, and promoting comprehensive, evidence-based emergency medical services and 911 systems.

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

Ukraine Relief | OSF Healthcare System

OSF Healthcare System of Peoria, Illinois, is working to organize donations of medical supplies and retired ambulances for Ukraine. Most recently, they were able to send 350 pallets of cargo in addition to an ambulance to assist.

If your organization would like to participate, please reach out to Christopher Manson, Vice President of Government Relations, at Christopher.M.Manson@osfhealthcare.org.

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragic conflict.

 

CAAS | GVS V3.0 Draft for Public Comment #2

CAAS_Logo_Final_for_Avectra_200by200.jpg
Driven to a Higher Standard
CAAS Releases GVS V3.0 Draft for Public Comment #2
CAAS GVS Announcement
GVS-LOGO-V3-1BD-FINAL-200by2200px(1)_2106244.jpg

The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) formed a Ground Vehicle Standard Revision Committee to develop V3.0 of the GVS document.  Based on industry collaboration, this Committee has developed a list of proposed changes to V2.0.

Based on the feedback received during Public Comment Period #1, CAAS has now opened Public Comment Period #2, which starts April 1, 2022 and concludes May 31, 2022. In accordance with ANSI protocol, only items that have been changed through the Public Comment #1 period are open for additional comment and review during this second period. Those items are highlighted in yellow on the attached proposal document. Comments on other provisions are not accepted during this process. Interested parties who care to comment on the changes should complete the online feedback form and submit their input during this public comment period. The GVS Committee will review all submissions received during the Public Comment Period #2 and will consider each of the comments received. The CAAS GVS V3.0 document has a scheduled effective date of July 1, 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Van Arnam, Administrator, CAAS GVS.

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Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS)

1926 Waukegan Road Phone: (847) 657-6828
Suite 300 Fax: (847) 657-6825
Glenview, Illinois E-mail: CAAS Staff
60025-1770 Website: www.caas.org

Ukraine Relief | OSF Healthcare System

OSF Healthcare System of Peoria, Illinois, is working to organize donations of medical supplies and retired ambulances for Ukraine. Most recently, they were able to send 350 pallets of cargo in addition to an ambulance to assist.

If your organization would like to participate, please reach out to Christopher Manson, Vice President of Government Relations, at Christopher.M.Manson@osfhealthcare.org.

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragic conflict.

 

NACIDD & NACSD | Public Meetings 4/1 & 4/6

From ASPR on March 31, 2022

The National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters (NACSD) and the National Advisory Committee on Individuals with Disabilities and Disasters (NACIDD) will soon host public meetings of these two advisory committees.

The next NACIDD meeting takes place on Friday, April 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET and the next NACSD meeting is on Wednesday, April 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

Join board members, distinguished guests, federal leaders, and other experts to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and priorities in meeting the unique health needs of older adult populations and people with disabilities during and after disasters and public health emergencies.

Advanced registration for these meetings is required and can be accessed, along with additional meeting agendas and public information, through the online event pages for the NACIDD and NACSD.

The agendas for each of the next meetings include time to hear from the public. The floor will be open to hear as many relevant comments as possible. To learn how to request a speaking time, please visit each committee’s event page. You can send questions about the NACSD to NACSD@hhs.gov and questions about the NACIDD to NACIDD@hhs.gov.

HHS PRF | EMS Funding Letter to Secretary Becerra

Download PDF Letter

March 24, 2022

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Becerra:

Ground ambulance service organizations and fire departments continue to struggle financially from the enduring economic effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Our respective members face sharp increases in the costs of fuel, equipment, medical supplies, and staffing as we deal with a severe shortage of paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) which has been an issue for years but exacerbated by the pandemic. We implore you to help ensure communities around the country have access to 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency ground ambulance services through the remainder of the PHE and beyond with an infusion of $350 million from returned and/or unspent money in the Provider Relief Fund (PRF).

We greatly appreciate the funding that ground ambulance service organizations and fire departments have already received from the PRF. The funds have been a lifeline for many of our respective members and their ability to continue to serve their communities. However, as the Phase 4 distribution of funds demonstrated, more funding is needed for ground ambulance services. Our members indicate the funds they received in Phase 4 covered approximately 50% of their lost reimbursement and increased costs from July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, whereas previous distributions were closer to 88%. We therefore respectfully request an immediate distribution of $350 million or 10% of the annual Medicare expenditure on ground ambulance services.

We request that the funds be distributed in a similar manner as the Tranche 1 distribution from the PRF. The automatic, across-the-board deposit of funding was especially helpful for small and rural ground ambulance service organizations. These rural organizations provide care in underserved areas and are often daunted even by an abbreviated application process. To ensure equity for all communities, we support universal direct deposit.

Additionally, we encourage HHS to make these payments based on the National Provider Identification (NPI) number of the ground ambulance service organization or fire department rather than Tax ID Number (TIN). In the case of moderate and large cities, many municipal departments may share a TIN while maintaining distinct NPIs. Providing these payments according to TIN may unintentionally comingle funds intended for different departments such as fire departments, public health departments, and local government-run hospitals or clinics.

The American Ambulance Association (AAA), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), and National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) represent the providers of vital emergency and non-emergency ground ambulance services and the paramedics, EMTs and firefighters who deliver the direct medical care and transport for every community across the United States.

Our members take on substantial risk every day to treat, transport, and test potential COVID-19 patients, and play a vital role in providing vaccinations to individuals in their homes. Ground ambulance service organizations and fire departments, however, urgently need the additional

$350 million to help offset the increased costs and lower reimbursement resulting from our vital response to the pandemic.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

American Ambulance Association

International Association of Fire Chiefs

International Association of Fire Fighters

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

National Volunteer Fire Council

NASEMSO | Model EMS Clinical Guidelines v3

From NASEMSO on March 23, 2022

The NASEMSO Model EMS Clinical Guidelines project team is delighted to unveil Version 3 of the National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines. In completing Version 3, the project team has reviewed and updated all existing guidelines, as well as added four new guidelines. Version 3 of the Guidelines, similar to the original version released in 2014, was completed by a team of EMS and specialty physicians comprised of members of the NASEMSO Medical Directors Council and representatives from six EMS medical director stakeholder organizations. In addition, all guidelines were reviewed by a team of pediatric emergency medicine physicians, pharmacologists and other technical reviewers.

Overview

The National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines Project was first initiated by NASEMSO in 2012 and has produced three versions of model clinical guidelines for EMS: the first in 2014, a revision 2017, and now this third version in 2022. The guidelines were created as a resource to be used or adapted for use on a state, regional or local level to enhance prehospital patient care and can be viewed here. These model protocols are offered to any EMS entity that wishes to use them, in full or in part. The model guidelines project has been led by the NASEMSO Medical Directors Council in collaboration with six national EMS physician organizations, including: American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine (AAP-COPEM), American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) and Air Medical Physician Association (AMPA). Co-Principal Investigators, Dr. Carol Cunningham and Dr. Richard Kamin, led the development of all three versions. Countless hours of review and edits are contributed by subject matter experts and EMS stakeholders who responded with comments and recommendations during the public comment period.

NASEMSO gratefully acknowledges the Technical Expert Panel, the Technical Reviewers, and many others who volunteered their time and talents to ensure the success of this project.

The comprehensive review and revision of these guidelines was made possible by funding support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS and the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau EMS for Children Program.

For More Information

Andy Gienapp, MS, NRP
Deputy Executive Director
andy@nasemso.org

HHS IEA | COVID-19 Update for March 21, 2022

HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs COVID-19 Update for
March 21, 2022  
CASE UPDATE
New Cases (based on 7-day rolling average)

  • 79,571,321 U.S. cases
  • 17.3% decrease in new cases (7-day average), as of March 18, 2022

Testing

  • 837,949,940 tests completed (3/21)
  • 2.3% positive test rate as of the week of 3/11 – 3/17/22 (was 2.7 % last week)

Hospitalizations

  • 4,581,254 total COVID hospital admissions (3/18)
  • The 7-day average (3/12 – 3/18) number of new confirmed COVID-19 admissions decreased from 2,642 to 2,010 admissions per day

Deaths

  • 969,114 total U.S. deaths
  • The 7-day average (3/12 – 3/18) number of reported deaths decreased from 1,199 to 973 deaths per day

Vaccines

  • 558,678,770 vaccine doses administered (3/21/22)
  • 76.8% (255 million people) of the population has received 1 or more doses and 65.4% (217.1 million people) of the population have been fully vaccinated
  • 81.6% of people five years and older have received at least 1 dose and 69.5% have been fully vaccinated
VACCINE UPDATES
COVID-19 Vaccines Continue to Protect Against Hospitalization and Death Among Adults: CDC released a statement that COVID-19 vaccination continues to help protect adults against severe illness with COVID-19, including hospitalizations and death, according to two reports released in last week’s MMWR . During Omicron, COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates increased for all adults, regardless of vaccination status, but rates were 12 times higher among adults who were unvaccinated compared to adults who received a booster or additional doses. Hospitalization rates were also highest among non-Hispanic Black adults and nearly 4 times as high among Black adults than White adults during the peak of Omicron. CDC continues to recommend that everyone 5 years and older stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster dose for those who are eligible. We also must work to ensure everyone has equitable access to vaccines and treatments by focusing efforts on reaching people who have been disproportionately affected, so that they can be protected from the effects of the virus, including severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

FDA to Hold Advisory Committee Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccines to Discuss Future Boosters: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a virtual meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Wednesday, April 6, to discuss considerations for future COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and the process for selecting specific strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for COVID-19 vaccines to address current and emerging variants. Along with the independent experts of the advisory committee, representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health will participate in the meeting.

One-Year Anniversary of Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program: Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized the one-year anniversary of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA)  Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program , which received funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and has provided COVID-19 vaccines directly to thousands of HRSA-supported health center sites nationwide. To date, health centers have administered more than 20 million vaccines in underserved communities across the country through the HRSA program and partnerships with states.

TESTING AND TREATMENT
FDA Safety Communication on At-Home COVID-19 Tests: The FDA  issued a safety communication  to alert people of the potential for harm if FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 tests are not used according to the manufacturer’s test instructions. The FDA is also reminding people to keep the tests out of reach from children and pets. The FDA has received reports of injuries caused by the incorrect use of at-home COVID-19 tests, such as people putting the test chemicals in their eyes, due to the small vials of test solution were mistaken for eye drops. The FDA is also aware of children putting small plastic vials in their mouth and swallowing test solution. This safety communication provides:

  • Recommendations for people using FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests
  • Background on the issue and the FDA’s actions
  • Instructions for reporting problems with at-home COVID-19 testing to the FDA

EUA for At-Home Test: The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for PHASE Scientific International, Ltd.’s INDICAID COVID-19 Rapid Antigen At-Home Test, an OTC #COVID19 antigen diagnostic on March 16. The FDA is committed to increase the availability of appropriately accurate and reliable at-home COVID19 diagnostic tests, and to facilitate consumer access to these tests.

RESEARCH
COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Among Adults During SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron Variant Predominance: CDC released an MMWR on COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among adults during SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variant predominance by race/ethnicity and vaccination status from fourteen states between July 2021 – January 2022. SARS-CoV-2 infections can result in COVID-19–associated hospitalizations, even among vaccinated persons. In January 2022, unvaccinated adults and those vaccinated with a primary series, but no booster or additional dose, were 12 and three times as likely to be hospitalized, respectively, as were adults who received booster or additional doses. Hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black adults increased more than rates in other racial/ethnic groups. All adults should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination to reduce their risk for COVID-19–associated hospitalization. Implementing strategies that result in the equitable receipt of COVID-19 vaccinations among persons with disproportionately higher hospitalizations rates, including non-Hispanic Black adults, is an urgent public health priority.

Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19-Associated Invasive Mechanical Ventilation and Death: CDC released an MMWR on the effectiveness of mRNA vaccination in preventing COVID-19-associated invasive mechanical ventilation and death in the United States from March 2021 – January 2022. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines provide protection against COVID-19 hospitalization among adults. However, how well mRNA vaccines protect against the most severe outcomes of COVID-19–related illness, including use of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) or death, is uncertain. Receiving 2 or 3 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a 90% reduction in risk for COVID-19–associated IMV or death. Protection of 3 mRNA vaccine doses during the period of Omicron predominance was 94%. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are highly effective in preventing the most severe forms of COVID-19. CDC recommends that all persons eligible for vaccination get vaccinated and stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination.

Marvin B. Figueroa, Director
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Intergovernmental and External Affairs
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

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HHS OIG Report on Telehealth for Medicare Beneficiaries in COVID-19

From HHS Office of Inspector General on March 15, 2022

Telehealth Was Critical for Providing Services to Medicare Beneficiaries During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

WHY WE DID THIS STUDY

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for how Medicare beneficiaries accessed health care. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a number of actions to temporarily expand access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. CMS allowed beneficiaries to use telehealth for a wide range of services; it also allowed beneficiaries to use telehealth in different locations, including in urban areas and from the beneficiary’s home.

This data brief provides insight into the use of telehealth in both Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2020 through February 2021. It is a companion to a report that examines the characteristics of beneficiaries who used telehealth during the pandemic. Another report in this series identifies program integrity concerns related to telehealth during the pandemic. Understanding the use of telehealth during the first year of the pandemic can shed light on how the temporary expansion of telehealth affected where and how beneficiaries accessed their health care. This information can help CMS, Congress, and other stakeholders make decisions about how telehealth can be best used to meet the needs of beneficiaries in the future.

HOW WE DID THIS STUDY

We based this analysis on Medicare fee-for-service claims data and Medicare Advantage encounter data from March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, and from the prior year, March 1, 2019, to February 29, 2020. We used these data to determine the total number of services used via telehealth and in-person, as well as the types of services used. We also compared the number of services used via telehealth and in-person during the first year of the pandemic to those used in the prior year.

WHAT WE FOUND

Over 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth during the first year of the pandemic. This was more than 2 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries. In total, beneficiaries used 88 times more telehealth services during the first year of the pandemic than they used in the prior year. Beneficiaries’ use of telehealth peaked in April 2020 and remained high through early 2021. Overall, beneficiaries used telehealth to receive 12 percent of their services during the first year of the pandemic. Beneficiaries most commonly used telehealth for office visits, which accounted for just under half of all telehealth services used during the first year of the pandemic. However, beneficiaries’ use of telehealth for behavioral health services stands out. Beneficiaries used telehealth for a larger share of their behavioral health services compared to their use of telehealth for other services. Specifically, beneficiaries used telehealth for 43 percent of behavioral health services, whereas they used telehealth for 13 percent of office visits.

WHAT WE CONCLUDE

Telehealth was critical for providing services to Medicare beneficiaries during the first year of the pandemic. Beneficiaries’ use of telehealth during the pandemic also demonstrates the long-term potential of telehealth to increase access to health care for beneficiaries. Further, it shows that beneficiaries particularly benefited from the ability to use telehealth for certain services, such as behavioral health services. These findings are important for CMS, Congress, and other stakeholders to take into account as they consider making changes to telehealth in Medicare. For example, CMS could use these findings to inform changes to the services that are allowed via telehealth on a permanent basis.

 

House Passes MedPAC Ambulance Report Delay

Last night, the United States Senate passed language as part of the FY 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Package that would delay the due date of the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) report analyzing ambulance cost data. The U.S. House of Representatives had passed the package on Wednesday. The delay in the MedPAC report is a victory for the AAA and our members as we spearheaded efforts for the delay.

We thank Senators Chuck Schumer, Catherine Cortez Masto, Ron Wyden, Mike Crapo and Debbie Stabenow and Representatives Richard Neal, Kevin Brady, Frank Pallone and Catherine McMorris Rogers for championing and assisting with passage of the provision.

The delay in the timing of the MedPAC report was necessary due to CMS postponing the beginning of ambulance cost data collection by two years to account for the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though data collection had been delayed, MedPAC indicated that they were compelled to stick to the statutory deadline of issuing a report – with very little or no new ambulance data – to Congress by March 15, 2023.

With little to no new data, MedPAC would have likely reinstated their recommendations from their 2002 ambulance report which did support most of the temporary ambulance increases but at the cost of cutting BLS non-emergency services by 5.75%. MedPAC had also recommended doing away with rural and super rural increases in favor of a low volume adjuster which would disrupt reimbursement levels for rural providers without having more detailed data if indeed the proper approach.

The language from the FY2022 Omnibus Appropriations Package is as follows:

SEC. 311. REVISION OF THE TIMING OF MEDPAC REPORT ON AMBULANCE COST DATA.

Section 1834(l)(17)(F)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395m(l)(17)(F)(i)) is amended by striking ‘‘Not later than March 15, 2023, and as determined necessary by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission thereafter’’ and inserting ‘‘Not later than the second June 15th following the date on which the Secretary transmits data for the first representative sample of providers and suppliers of ground ambulance services to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and as determined necessary by such Commission thereafter,’’.

Next week, we will be launching a Call to Action asking AAA members to reach out to their members of Congress to cosponsor the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act (H.R. 2454, S. 2037) Medicare Ambulance which would extend the temporary Medicare ambulance increases for five years. The increases expire at the end of this year and the five-year extension is necessary to provide time for the MedPAC report and the Congress to act.

Brave of Heart Scholarship

The Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020 by the Foundations of Cigna and New York Life and administered by E4E Relief. It was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19.

Now, the Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.

Applications are now being accepted online.

Up to $25,000.00 annually is available in scholarship funding, depending on an eligible applicant’s academic focus, student status, and other criteria.

Eligible Applicants

  • Must be a spouse, domestic partner, or child of a healthcare worker, volunteer, or support staff whose life was lost in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Must plan to enroll in accredited studies at the undergraduate or graduate levels, in community college, or in vocational and technical schools.
  • May be non-traditional students and individuals enrolled in part-time coursework.
  • Do not have to be previous recipients of Brave of Heart Fund grants; recipients of previous grant funding are also still eligible.

Application Deadline

For Fall 2022 semester scholarships:
April 20, 2022

3:00PM Central Standard Time