Author: AAA Staff

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Did you know? All American Ambulance Association PDF E-Books are now free to members! This $1000+ value is yet another way that AAA is delivering value through membership.

New releases include the 2021 Medicare Reference Manual, 2021 HIPAA Manual, and 2021 Human Resources Toolkit!

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Video | TrueNorth Companies | Affiliate Member

Sponsored post by AAA affiliate member TrueNorth Companies

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At TrueNorth, we believe commercial ambulance providers face unique and complex risks. Due to the ever-changing nature of the industry, failure to adapt can result in an insurance program that is both inadequate and inaccurate, leaving your business at risk for uncovered claims, fines, penalties, and litigation.

As a result of our focus and experience working within the EMS industry, we are uniquely qualified to handle the difficult exposures an ambulance service may face.

Watch the video below for a look into TrueNorth’s Ambulance Risk Management Program and the partnership created with our clients.

Have questions? Contact Clay Swanson at cswanson@truenorthcompanies.com!

American Ambulance Association affiliate members can share resources with our membership through the AAA Affinity Program.

EMS Week Featured Service Application

EMS Week will take place from May 16–22, 2021.  To celebrate the extraordinary contributions of ambulance services to the communities they serve, we will be featuring specific services throughout EMS week on AAA’s website and social media.

If you would like to apply to have your service featured, please complete and submit all fields below by May 14. Thank you for your service to your community!

 

 

 

HR2454 | Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021

From Representative Terri Sewell

Rep. Sewell Introduces Legislation to Protect Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services for Rural and Underserved Communities

Washington, D.C. – This Congress, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), along with Reps. Devin Nunes (CA-22), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), introduced H.R. 2454, the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021. The bill would ensure that ambulance service providers, including rural providers and those in underserved communities, are able to continue delivering quality critical first responder and health care services.

“When tragedy strikes and medical emergencies happen, we should feel confident that our first responders have the resources they need to deliver life-saving care,” said Rep. Sewell. “Unfortunately, inadequate Medicare reimbursement rates are putting a strain on ambulance service providers in the most vulnerable communities across the country and making it harder for them to care for our neighbors.”

“The problem is particularly severe for rural communities and has been worsened by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic,” continued Sewell. “That is why I am proud to introduce the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021. This bill would permanently adjust Medicare reimbursement practices so that vital ambulance services remain vibrant and available to all Americans.”

“This bipartisan bill includes key reforms to ensure that rural Americans are not harmed by the delay in updating the Medicare ground ambulance fee schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Nunes, Lead Republican Co-Sponsor. “Extending these temporary Medicare ground ambulance add-on payments for another five years and expanding coverage for those who live in zip codes with fewer than 1,000 people per square mile will keep ambulance costs affordable for Americans when they need ground ambulance transportation.”

“Rural ambulance services save lives and provide needed care in underserved areas every day,” said Rep. Peter Welch, Lead Democratic Co-Sponsor. “This bipartisan bill will ensure that patients in rural areas have access to critical ambulance services and that the providers of these services receive fair, consistent reimbursement for their important work. It’s time for Congress to pass this bill and give ambulance services the certainty they need to continue serving all Americans.”

“Ambulance services are critically important to rural Americans who may live close to an hour away from the nearest emergency room,” said Rep. Mullin, Lead Republican Co-Sponsor. “Providing this care literally means the difference between life and death for many people. As we continue to battle the closures of critical access hospitals across Oklahoma, ambulance services are more important now than ever before. We must ensure that rural Americans receive the care they need. I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of this bill which would enhance and increase resources for first responders in Oklahoma.”

Currently, ambulance service providers across the country are reimbursed by Medicare at rates below the cost of providing services, as determined by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Consequently, providers rely on “add-on” payments to continue providing services. Add-on payments vary depending on whether a provider is located in an urban, rural, or “super rural” ZIP Code.

Congress has extended current add-on payment rates through December 31, 2022, and planned to review Medicare cost data in considering whether they should be made permanent. However, due to the upcoming ZIP Code reclassification which will occur following the 2020 Census, providers are faced with uncertainty regarding the future of these payments. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the first two rounds of data collection, compounding this uncertainty.

Background on the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021

H.R. 2454, the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021, would end the band-aid approach and make permanent adjustments to the reimbursement methodology for services in urban, rural, and “super rural” areas by building the temporary add-ons into the base rate fee. Specifically, it would extend the current temporary Medicare ground ambulance increases of 2% urban, 3% rural, and the super rural bonus payments for five years and would ensure that rural zip codes continue to be classified as rural following the ZIP Code reclassification.

These payments are vital to the financial viability of the ambulance community and have been extended numerous times on a bipartisan basis, most recently for 5 years. This five-year extension would allow a new data cost collection system time to be put into place and collect meaningful data following the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NRHA applauds Representative Terri Sewell for her leadership in working to preserve ground ambulance services in rural America. Throughout the pandemic ambulance services have provided critical first responder services in our most rural communities. Passing H.R. 2454, the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021, is critical to ensuring that these important services remain in their communities long after the public health emergency,” said Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Health Association.

“The Alabama Rural Health Association lends its full support behind the ‘Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021’ (H.R. 2454).  As rural EMS transportation is one of the greatest challenges for quality access to care in rural Alabama, support is greatly needed to reinforce the existing emergency transportation system.  With additional funding and flexibility created in the system, states like Alabama will have the ability to provide improved emergency transportation in critically rural and underserved areas and allow patients to receive the care that they need in a timely manner.  We are thankful for Rep. Sewell’s introduction of this language, and we encourage support for H.R. 2454,” said Ryan Kelly, Administrator of the Alabama Rural Health Association. 

The legislation is also supported by the following organizations:

  • American Ambulance Association (AAA)
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
  • National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)

H.R. 2454 can be found here.

Thank you to Representatives Rep. Terri Sewell, Congressman Devin Nunes, Peter Welch, and Congressman Markwayne Mullin…

May 6, 2021
Press Release

 

EMS Week | EMS for Children Resources

From EIIC, the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center

Celebrate the 5 Days of EMS Week

EMS Week celebrates both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum. Each year, every weekday of EMS Week is appointed a theme that represents the multi-faceted nature of EMS. This section provides fact sheets, with a pediatric focus, identifying their importance, and providing ideas on ways to celebrate them.

EMSC Day Proclamation

Includes a customizable proclamation and a sample letter to a state or city official to attract public attention to your local activities by designating Wednesday of EMS Week, as EMS for Children Day.

EMS Professionals Appreciation Templates

Includes certificates of appreciation and thank you cards (for use by preschoolers, elementary students, teens/adults) to honor the EMS and acute care professionals for the work they do on behalf of children.

Social Media Artwork

This includes social media graphics, web banners, email badges, and a postcard to help you spread the word about National EMS for Children Day.

Child Activity Sheets

Includes coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, crosswords, and much more to enhance awareness among children on how to prepare for and respond to a health care emergency and how to prevent childhood injury and illness.

EMSC History and Background

Includes fact sheets to promote greater awareness of EMSC activities, resources, and accomplishments

EMS Week 2021!

EMS Strong banner
Dear EMS Professional,

Over the last year, the pandemic has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals. The sacrifice and dedication of EMTs, paramedics and other EMS practitioners has rightfully earned them admiration and gratitude in their communities. Calling us heroes sometimes obscures the fact that—behind those masks—are people who, every day, take on many crucial roles: Healthcare professional. Emergency manager. Social worker. Crisis counselor. Consoler. Caregiver.

What is EMS Strong?

EMS Strong is a campaign that seeks to celebrate, unify and inspire the men and women of our nation’s emergency medical services. Learn More

Download the 2021
EMS Week Planning Guide

FINDING NEW WAYS TO CARE FOR HER COMMUNITY

Paramedic, firefighter and R.N., Jessica Banks, of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, has built many successful programs designed to improve patient care and outcomes. Read More

SOUTH DAKOTA PARAMEDIC FINDS HIS CALLING

Paramedic Ralph Young is an emergency medicine advocate who has spent three decades supporting the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Ambulance Service in South Dakota. Read More

LEARNING FROM HER FIREHOUSE FAMILY

20-year-old Kaylee Eckert, a volunteer at Goochland County Fire & Rescue Department, manages long transports in rural Virginia. Read More

BUILDING A CAREER AS A CONSTRUCTION SITE MEDIC

EMT Savanna Fatony has spent the past two years employed as a health and safety medical technician for Amphibious Medics, a company that provides occupational health and wellness services on construction sites and in industrial settings. Read More

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITIES DURING A PANDEMIC

It was a year like no other. During EMS Week 2020, Philadelphia Fire Department crews faced staff shortages due to COVID-19. Read More

EMS WEEK 2021 IS ALMOST HERE!

Get ready to recognize and honor EMS in your community.
Now more than ever, it’s important to acknowledge all of your team members and educate your community about the valuable role that EMS plays. Read More

5 THEME DAYS FOR 5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE

National EMS Week, May 16-22, celebrates both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum. Here are the themes for each weekday:

Monday: EDUCATION DAY
Tuesday: SAFETY DAY
Wednesday: EMS FOR CHILDREN DAY
Thursday: SAVE A LIFE DAY (CPR & National Stop the Bleed Day)
Friday: EMS RECOGNITION DAY
Read More

PRESENTED BY ACEP IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NAEMT

PLATINUM SPONSORS

GOLD SPONSOR

FEDERAL PARTNER

CERTIFICATION PARTNER

BRONZE SPONSORS

STRATEGIC ASSOCIATION PARTNERS

STRATEGIC MEDIA PARTNERS

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Copyright © 2021 EMS Strong, All rights reserved.

Employee Turnover Survey Due 5/6 | iPad Raffle!

AAA / Newton 360 2021 Ambulance Industry Employee Turnover Study

The American Ambulance Association is partnering with Newton 360, an ambulance industry partner and Human Resource support firm, to conduct our third annual industry turnover study. Our intent is to comprehensively collect and analyze ambulance industry employee turnover data so as to produce a report that provides useful and actionable data. We are inviting EMS organizations to participate in the study. The study will be conducted and managed by Dennis Doverspike, PhD, and the Center for Organizational Research at The University of Akron. Each individual or organizational response will be strictly confidential.

The purpose of the study is to better quantify and understand the reasons for turnover at nearly every organizational level within the EMS Industry. Thank you very much for your time and support.

Laying the Groundwork for Reducing Employee Turnover

Why participate in the survey?

  1. Educate elected officials, municipalities, and healthcare clients. The insight gained from this survey can help influence the actions, practices, or decisions of officials regarding regulatory and funding policies at the federal, regional, or local level. Specifically, this important data can help validate the critical staffing challenges faced by the EMS industry. This year, we added queries to the survey related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) to better understand impacts of the PHE on EMS turnover and its related costs.
  2. This study is critical to gaining insight into combating staff shortages. The AAA / Newton 360 2021 Ambulance Industry Employee Turnover Study aims to yield the information that organizations need to identify and benchmark their turnover challenges. Over the years this survey has been conducted, it has generated the largest response to a turnover survey ever published for the private EMS industry.
  3. Participating organizations will have full access to the final report at no charge. The comprehensive results of the study will be shared exclusively with each participating organization. Shorter write-ups and summaries of the results may be shared at conferences or published in relevant periodicals or journals.

Before You Start

It is recommended you gather information about your employees and about turnover before completing the questionnaire.

In this survey, we will be asking about headcount (filled and open positions), number of employees leaving the organization, and reasons for employees leaving. We will be asking these questions for each of the following job categories: supervisor, dispatch, EMT, part-time EMT, paramedic, and part-time paramedic. Headcount refers to the number of filled and open positions for each job category at the end of 2020. Filled positions refer to the number of employees in each job category that were on payroll at the end of 2020. For each job category, the number of filled positions should be added to the number of open positions at the end of 2020 to determine the total headcount.

Take Survey by May 6

Share your data by MAY 6 and you will be entered to win an iPad! No purchase necessary.

Registration Open! Annual & Stars In Texas

Annual & Stars of Life—Even Better Together!

The 2021 American Ambulance Association Annual Conference & Trade Show and Stars of Life EMS recognition event will take place TOGETHER in Grapevine, Texas, this November.

It has been a LONG year, but the wait is over and we can finally get together in person. Please join us in Texas in November to celebrate all that EMS has overcome, as well as to work collaboratively to solve the problems of today—and tomorrow.

Early Bird rates for the 2021 Annual Conference & Trade Show are available now! This is the best opportunity to save on registration for the EMS leadership event of the year. Save even more on registration when you bring a team of two or more!

Learn from the industry’s best, reconnect with peers from across the country, and return to your service with a renewed sense of purpose. What are you waiting for? We can’t wait to see you in Texas in November. Register now for AAA 2021!

► This year only, the American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life will take place at the same location in Texas! Register your Stars for the November 2–3 Stars of Life event using the same convenient online process you use to register your leadership team for the November 1–3 Annual Conference & Trade Show.◄
AAA 2021 features a star-studded lineup of industry experts. Check out this year’s speakers and review the full agenda to find out what we have in store for you in Texas!

Elliot Eisenberg | The Macroeconomics of EMS
Chief Economist, Graphs & Laughs
Internationally acclaimed, member-recommended speaker and economics expert.
@Econ70 | Facebook
Good Morning American Ambulance Association!
Join Rob Lawrence (Pro EMS, California Ambulance Assoc), Alexia Jobson (REMSA), and Mark Tenia (Richmond Ambulance Authority) for an EMS morning show that will energize, inspire, and connect.
The American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.

Recognize the unsung heroes at your ambulance service—nominate EMTs, Paramedics, Dispatchers, and other EMS professionals for this year’s class of Stars. Stars of Life honors the contributions of these heroes while shining light on the critical role EMS plays in our healthcare infrastructure.

2021 Stars of Life will take place in Grapevine, Texas November 2–3 in conjunction with the American Ambulance Association’s Annual Conference & Trade Show. Visit www.annual.ambulance.org to nominate YOUR Stars today! 

Stars of Life 2021 Agenda

Tuesday, November 2

  • 15:00 | Expo Hall Closing Reception (Optional)
  • 16:00 | Awards at President’s Reception
  • Dinner with Hosting Agency Leaders (Optional)

Wednesday, November 3

  • 09:30 | Secrets of EMS Post Secret Keynote
  • 10:30 | EMS Improv Class
  • 13:00 | Luncheon with AAA Leaders
  • 14:00 | Safetech Leadership Workshop
  • 16:30 | Adjournment

Note: We regret that we are not presently able to accommodate family member guests at the full 2021 Stars of Life event. There are no face-to-face or virtual legislator visits planned for this year’s Stars of Life.

Experience the Gaylord Texan
Everything is bigger in Texas and that undoubtedly includes Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center! Standing on the shores of Lake Grapevine with 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, several world-class restaurants, a 10-acre outdoor waterpark, seasonal resort pool, and indoor lap pool, this is a hotel that could only make its home in The Lone Star State.Enjoy the convenient location near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Grapevine Mills® shopping centerLEGOLAND®, and the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club.The Gaylord Texan’s spacious hotel rooms and suites provide an exceptional opportunity to relax, and you can unwind even more at the resort’s on-site spa, Relâche Spa & Salon. Make your time at the AAA conference extraordinary at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center! Reserve your rooms for Annual and Stars of Life now at low AAA rates!►
New for 2021, the American Ambulance Association is offering even more opportunities to connect with new colleagues!
Put your brand in the spotlight! If you are interested in showcasing your organization at our tradeshow, email hello@ambulance.org to receive information when booth registration opens mid-May.

Exec Order to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors

From the White House Briefing Room on April 27

Biden-Harris Administration Issues an Executive Order to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors

Today, President Biden is issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to hundreds of thousands of workers who are working on federal contracts. These workers are critical to the functioning of the federal government: from cleaning professionals and maintenance workers who ensure federal employees have safe and clean places to work, to nursing assistants who care for the nation’s veterans, to cafeteria and other food service workers who ensure military members have healthy and nutritious food to eat, to laborers who build and repair federal infrastructure.

This executive order will:

Increase the hourly minimum wage for federal contractors to $15. Starting January 30, 2022 all agencies will need to incorporate a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and by March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement the minimum wage into new contracts. Agencies must also implement the higher wage into existing contracts when the parties exercise their option to extend such contracts, which often occurs annually.
Continue to index the minimum wage to an inflation measure so that every year after 2022 it will be automatically adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living.

Eliminate the tipped minimum wage for federal contractors by 2024. Federal statute allows employers of tipped workers to pay a sub-minimum wage as long as their tips bring their wage up to the level of the minimum wage. The Obama-Biden executive order raised the wages for tipped workers, but didn’t completely phaseout the subminimum wage for these workers. This executive order finishes that work and ensures tipped employees working on federal contracts will earn the same minimum wage as other employees on federal contracts.

Ensure a $15 minimum wage for federal contract workers with disabilities. To ensure equity, similar to the Obama-Biden minimum wage executive order for federal contractors, this executive order extends the required $15 minimum wage to federal contract workers with disabilities.

Restore minimum wage protections to outfitters and guides operating on federal lands by revoking President Trump’s executive order 13838 “Exemption From Executive Order 13658 for Recreational Services on Federal Lands.”
This order will build on the Obama-Biden Executive Order 13658, issued in February 2014, requiring federal contractors to pay employees working on with federal contracts $10.10 per hour, subsequently indexed to inflation. The minimum wage for workers performing work on covered federal contracts is currently $10.95 per hour and tipped minimum wage is $7.65 per hour.

This executive order will promote economy and efficiency in federal contracting, providing value for taxpayers by enhancing worker productivity and generating higher-quality work by boosting workers’ health, morale, and effort. It will reduce turnover, allowing employers to retain top talent and lower the costs associated with recruitment and training. It will reduce absenteeism, a change that has been linked to higher productivity, not just by the employees who are more present, but by their co-workers, too. And, it will reduce supervisory costs. One recent study focusing on warehouse workers and customer service representatives at an online retailer found that raising hourly wages by $1 yields a return of approximately $1.50 through increased productivity and reduced costs. As a result of raising the minimum wage, the federal government’s work will be done better and faster.

At the same time, the executive order ensures that hundreds of thousands of workers no longer have to work full time and still live in poverty. It will improve the economic security of families and make progress toward reversing decades of income inequality. Extensive, high-quality research shows that higher minimum wages have the intended effect of raising wages without significantly reducing employment outcomes. Higher minimum wages increase earnings growth for workers at the bottom of the income distribution, and those gains persist for years. A higher minimum wage, and an elimination of the tipped minimum wage, will benefit many women and people of color who likely have children and are the breadwinners in their households. It will help improve the economic security of their families and narrow racial and gender disparities in income. In addition to directly lifting the wages of hundreds of thousands of contract workers, the executive order will have impacts beyond federal contracting, as competitors in the same labor markets as federal contractors may increase wages, too, as they seek to compete for workers. Employers may seek to raise wages for workers earning above $15 as they try to recruit and retain talent. And, research shows that when the minimum wage is increased, the workers who benefit spend more, a dynamic that can help boost local economies.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Federal Acquisition and Regulatory Council will engage in rulemaking to implement and enforce this Executive Order.

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Sponsored | Ohio Billing EMS Week Press Release

Sponsored Post | Affiliate Member

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Contact: Kelsey Binsley, Director, Marketing and Communications P: 330-407-1260 or E: kbinsley@ohiobilling.com

EMS Week 2021: Caring for Our Communities

(Bolivar, Ohio) – Ohio Billing, Inc. is announcing the continuation of their support of the annual campaign to honor EMS (Emergency Medical Services) professionals. National EMS Week, May 16 – 22 this year, is designed to pay tribute to the men and women who are always in service.

Ohio Billing, Inc salutes those men and women alongside these fine partners: Advatech, Brahlers, Buckeye Career Center, Cookies by Design, Hall Public Safety, HRN, IMS, P Fund, Penncare, Lisa Hoy/State Farm, UH Cleveland Clinic, VFIS, and Whelen, to deliver cookies to the over 100 EMS agencies Ohio Billing, Inc. serves.

“The courageous men and women who serve our communities often go without thanks. We believe that it is vital to recognize them for what they do each day,” noted Kelsey Binsley, Director of Marketing and Communications. “They have also had to embrace the new normal that is life during a pandemic, and they have done so without skipping a beat. They are our heroes.”

“We want to show our unwavering appreciation for what these individuals do for our communities while also supporting a local business during this uncertain time,” added Kelsey.

Ohio Billing, Inc. encourages you to take time to thank the heroes in your community that are called to care.

For more information, please contact Kelsey Binsley, Director of Marketing and Communications      P: 330-407-1260 or E: kbinsley@ohiobilling.com

NYT | Rural Ambulance Crews Have Run Out of Money and Volunteers

From the New York Times by Ali Watkins on April 25, 2021

Like & Share on Facebook | Retweet on Twitter

Strained by pandemic-era budget cuts, stress and a lack of revenue, at least 10 ambulance companies in Wyoming are in danger of shuttering — some imminently.

Washakie County’s conundrum is reflective of a troubling trend in Wyoming and states like it: The ambulance crews that service much of rural America have run out of money and volunteers, a crisis exacerbated by the demands of the pandemic and a neglected, patchwork 911 system. The problem transcends geography: In rural, upstate New York, crews are struggling to pay bills. In Wisconsin, older volunteers are retiring, and no one is taking their place.

Read Now

EMS.gov | On-Demand Webinar | Experts Address the Next Phase of the Pandemic

From EMS.gov on April 21

EMS and Public Health Experts Address the Next Phase of the Pandemic

In last month’s EMS Focus webinar, “What the Vaccine Means for EMS Operations,” Florida’s State EMS Medical Director, Kenneth Scheppke, MD, and Commander Bryan Christensen, PhD, with the US Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tackled topics ranging from PPE to quarantine rules to the long-term impacts of the pandemic on EMS.

Download Slide Deck

Millions of EMS clinicians and members of the public across the nation have now received a COVID-19 vaccine. But exactly what does that mean for EMS systems and organizations? In this webinar, learn what we know, and what we don’t know yet, about how the vaccines are changing our approach to the coronavirus pandemic. You’ll hear from experts helping to create and implement guidance for EMS services during these unprecedented times. They’ll address topics such as:

  • Testing and quarantine implications
  • EMS clinicians who have not been vaccinated
  • Vaccines and coronavirus variants
    Lessons learned for the next pandemic

Presenters:

  • Bryan E. Christensen, PhD, is an epidemiologist and industrial hygienist with the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is also an environmental health officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. During the COVID-19 response, Bryan has been deployed in several capacities and has served on the Prehospital/EMS Team as part of the Federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group.
  • Kenneth A. Scheppke, MD, FAEMS, is Florida’s State EMS medical director. A board-certified EMS and emergency physician, he also serves as chief medical officer for several fire-rescue agencies in southeast Florida, and has been a leader in the state’s response to coronavirus.
  • Jon Krohmer, MD, director of NHTSA’s Office of EMS and team lead for the Federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group EMS/Prehospital Team, will moderate.

Press Release | First Responders Are Human

Press Release
Norm Robillard
Paramedic and Public Information Officer
613-884-4544

www.firstresponderarehuman.com | Facebook Page | Twitter Hashtag

Five years ago in May 2016 a group of intrepid cyclists and support crews decided to take their message on the road “No One Should Suffer In Silence”. On May 7, 2016 they rode bicycles from Ottawa, ON to Washington, DC (“The Capital-to-Capital Mental Health Campaign and Ride”). It took 14 days for riders to cover 1,000 miles\ 1,600 kms. At many steps along that two-week journey First Responders of all stripes met these riders at their stations, firehouses, headquarters. They had conversations in an effort to break down the stigma associated with mental health, PTSD and suicide.

Five years later and after rebranding to the new First Responders Are Human these First Responders from Canada and USA are setting out on a new adventure. Between May 3-16, 2021 (and considering pandemic restrictions) they are hosting another sort of mental health campaign dubbed #MovementIsMedicine. They endeavour to be more inclusive.

First Responders, friends, coworkers and family are encouraged to register (at no cost) and be active in their own locale and to be interactive virtually with fellow participants in Canada and USA. Participants can hike, walk their dog, run, paddleboard, kayak, do yoga, stretch, they can even ride a bike.

This campaign is promoting a different resiliency skill each day. Psychotherapist, Parul Shah currently doing her PhD is leading the education piece about self-care. Participants are encouraged to try each resiliency skill and post and blog about it.

This campaign begins May 3, 2021. It coincides with the Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health week and American Hospital Association Mental Health month.

For more information on how to register and be involved go to www.firstrespondersarehuman.com

The goal is to continue to engage First Responders all over (there are no borders) to promote #mentalhealthmatters and to support each other. Being a First Response professional is honourable. These Responders give unconditionally to strangers in need; along the way they too have to find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

#FirstRespondersAreHuman hopes through its new website, various platforms, and shared goals (camaraderie) it will assist First Responders discover ways and means to lead their own self-care and a healthy lifestyle.

Pascrell Leads Call to Modernize 9-1-1 Infrastructure

U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr.
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021

Media Contact:

Mark.greenbaum@mail.house.gov

Pascrell Leads Call to Modernize 9-1-1 Infrastructure

Letter to House Leadership urges inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 Act in upcoming infrastructure package

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus and the co-chair of the House Fire Services Caucus, today led a letter to House leadership urging inclusion of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act in the upcoming infrastructure package. The legislation would provide $15 billion to update America’s 9-1-1 infrastructure, protect against cyber threats, and ensure that first responders will be able to efficiently use upgraded 9-1-1 technology to save lives. The letter was also signed by Fire Services Caucus co-chairs Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Mike Bost (R-IL-12), and Law Enforcement Caucus co-chair John Rutherford (R-FL-04).

“As the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Fire Services and Law Enforcement Caucuses, we write to express our strong support for the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021,” the Members wrote. “This legislation will provide critical updates to our nation’s 911 infrastructure, protect it from cyber threats, and ensure that first responders are able to efficiently use Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to save lives. We request the lifesaving benefits of this legislation be realized by incorporating it into any infrastructure package considered by the House of Representatives.”

The Members continued, “[a]s Next Generation 9-1-1 technology evolves and is deployed around the country, law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies in urban, suburban, and rural areas will encounter varying issues. To ensure that Next Generation 9-1-1 technology is utilized optimally, stakeholders representing multiple agencies and geographic areas across the country must be frequently consulted. We are glad this legislation includes a Next Generation 9-1-1 Advisory Board to accomplish this critical coordination and collaboration. The board’s 16 members from various law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMS agencies will provide valuable input to ensure Next Generation 9-1-1 is always meeting the needs of its users and the general public.”

The full letter to House leadership is available here.

As co-chair of both the House Law Enforcement Caucus and Fire Services Caucus, Rep. Pascrell has made supporting America’s first responders a top priority. He authored the FIRE Act, which provides hundreds of thousands in federal support to New Jersey firefighters each year and millions to fire departments nationwide. Last August, he led legislation to ensure that public safety officers who contract COVID-19 in the line of duty are eligible for benefits for their families should they become disabled or die from the virus. Rep. Pascrell also helped pass the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, both of which provided billions to communities to prevent layoffs of first responders amid the pandemic’s economic fallout.

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FirstWatch Webinar | ET3 Medical Triage Line NOFO Help

From FirstWatch Solutions

You’re invited to join us for a 30-minute webinar to help with your team’s submission for the

ET3 Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Medical Triage Line

Tuesday, April 20th

9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET

ET3 submissions for Medical Triage Line are due May 11, 2021

FirstWatch & Priority Solutions have partnered to create ‘cut-n-paste’ text for your review / potential use designed for relevant sections of the ET3 NOFO directed at Low-Code (Emergency Communication Nurse System (ECNS) and long-time partner solution offered by FirstWatch (real-time views of ECNS, ProQA & CAD data, as well as Reporting requirements) for your review & consideration, as part of your submission.
Register Here for Webinar on April 20th

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Webinar Speakers

Rob Lawrence, MCMI

Rob has part-time roles as Director of Strategic Implementation for Pro EMS of Cambridge, Mass. and the Executive Director of the California Ambulance Association. Rob is also the Principal of Robert Lawrence Consulting. Rob served as the California COO with Paramedics Plus after nine years as the COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. Prior to that, he was the COO for Suffolk as part of the East of England Ambulance Service. He is a graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, serving for 23 years as a Medical Support Officer. Rob is the Communications Committee Chair of the American Ambulance Association. Rob is an accomplished writer, broadcaster and international speaker and is a member of the EMS World Advisory Board.

Elaine Messerli-Kelly, BSN-RN

Elaine is a Subject Matter Expert specializing in nurse triage and programs aimed at navigating patients to appropriate care. Elaine and EMK Consultants have partnered with several agencies who are seeking innovative solutions to traditional care which will improve the health of their communities. She works with Priority Solutions and the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch as a Regional ECNS and ECN-Quality Instructor.

Dr. Conrad Fivaz

Dr. Fivaz chairs the Council of Standards for Emergency Nurse Triage within the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, the body responsible for the clinical governance of the nurse triage protocols. He fulfills the role of Clinical Director for PSI. He is also a member of the IAED CBRN committee.

He held a position as associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Annals of Emergency Dispatch and Response and authored numerous original research papers. He co-authored the clinical triage protocols used in the ECNS system and implemented the system in many countries on 4 continents over a 20-year period.

He qualified as Family Physician in South Africa where his interest and experience in clinical triage medicine started when he worked as emergency physician in a busy tertiary University Hospital’s Emergency Department and flight doctor for the “Flight for Life” helicopter service while completing his Masters degree in Family Medicine. He worked as a Family Physician in the UK before relocating with his family to the US.

ASPR TRACIE Newsletter April 2021

From HHS ASPR TRACIE Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Information Gateway

This issue of The Express highlights the following new/updated resources:

Please continue to access our Novel Coronavirus Resources Page, the National Institutes of Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines, and CDC’s Coronavirus webpage, and reach out if you need technical assistance (TA).

New: COVID-19 and the Changing Healthcare Delivery Landscape (Speaker Series)
Paul Biddinger, MD, FACEP, Medical Director, Emergency Preparedness, Mass General Brigham; Mark Jarrett, MD, MBA, MS, Chief Quality Officer, SVP & Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Northwell Health; and Meghan Treber, MS, ICF TRACIE Program Director, HHS ASPR highlight the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare delivery (e.g., supply chain, patients delaying emergency care, the delay of elective procedures, and financial impacts to the healthcare system) in this brief recording. Access the rest of the Healthcare Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic speaker series for more information.
Updated: Healthcare Delivery Impacts Tip Sheet and Summary Document
This updated tip sheet describes the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 related community mitigation measures on the healthcare system, including morbidity and mortality from chronic health conditions and lack of access. The accompanying summary document can help healthcare system planners prepare to mitigate these potential healthcare delivery impacts.
New: Acute Care Delivery at Home Tip Sheet
Some healthcare providers and systems have been providing hospital-level care in patient’s homes for years; others have implemented acute care delivery at home models in response to overcrowding at hospitals due to COVID-19. This tip sheet provides an overview of characteristics of various types of acute care delivery at home programs to help healthcare providers better understand this care model.
Issue 12: COVID-19 and Healthcare Professional Stress and Resilience
The articles in Issue 12 of The Exchange focus on three categories: understanding acute and chronic stressors in the healthcare worker population, identifying at-risk employees, and promising practices in building resilience. Be on the lookout for Issue 13, which will focus on the significant contributions made by supportive care providers and healthcare engineering representatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mind Over Matter: Strategies to Help Combat the Coronavirus Blues
This document (created by the COVID-19 Schools Task Force, FEMA Region VII, and HHS Region 7) summarizes the contents of the Mind Over Matter Resource Guide, which can be used to support messaging for college and university campus communities to help combat COVID-19 fatigue and promote general wellness, both during and after the pandemic.
UCSD Health Medical Cyber Disaster Preparedness Study
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is interested in better understanding how cybersecurity and cyber attacks impact our hospital systems and how we can better prepare in the future. This brief survey will provide a basic understanding of where we stand nationally on healthcare cyber preparedness. Your responses will be kept confidential and all data will be deidentified and reported in FEMA regions. The survey should take approximately five minutes to complete. You will receive no compensation for your participation and participation in this research is voluntary. The principal investigator of this study can be contacted at:

 

Dr. Christian Dameff, MD

University of California San Diego

Department of Emergency Medicine

200 W. Arbor Dr. #8676

San Diego, CA 92103

 

COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice are a collaborative effort between ASPR, the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center (NETEC), and Project ECHO. These interactive virtual learning sessions aim to create a peer-to-peer learning network where clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes; a generous amount of time for participant Q & A is also provided. These webinar topics are covered every week:

  1. EMS: Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)
  2. Critical Care: Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)
  3. Emergency Department: Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)

Access previous webinars and special topic sessions and sign up today to receive information on upcoming events.

Employee Turnover Survey | iPad Raffle!

AAA / Newton 360 2021 Ambulance Industry Employee Turnover Study

The American Ambulance Association is partnering with Newton 360, an ambulance industry partner and Human Resource support firm, to conduct our third annual industry turnover study. Our intent is to comprehensively collect and analyze ambulance industry employee turnover data so as to produce a report that provides useful and actionable data. We are inviting EMS organizations to participate in the study. The study will be conducted and managed by Dennis Doverspike, PhD, and the Center for Organizational Research at The University of Akron. Each individual or organizational response will be strictly confidential.

The purpose of the study is to better quantify and understand the reasons for turnover at nearly every organizational level within the EMS Industry. Thank you very much for your time and support.

Laying the Groundwork for Reducing Employee Turnover

Why participate in the survey?

  1. Educate elected officials, municipalities, and healthcare clients. The insight gained from this survey can help influence the actions, practices, or decisions of officials regarding regulatory and funding policies at the federal, regional, or local level. Specifically, this important data can help validate the critical staffing challenges faced by the EMS industry. This year, we added queries to the survey related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) to better understand impacts of the PHE on EMS turnover and its related costs.
  2. This study is critical to gaining insight into combating staff shortages. The AAA / Newton 360 2021 Ambulance Industry Employee Turnover Study aims to yield the information that organizations need to identify and benchmark their turnover challenges. Over the years this survey has been conducted, it has generated the largest response to a turnover survey ever published for the private EMS industry.
  3. Participating organizations will have full access to the final report at no charge. The comprehensive results of the study will be shared exclusively with each participating organization. Shorter write-ups and summaries of the results may be shared at conferences or published in relevant periodicals or journals.

Before You Start

It is recommended you gather information about your employees and about turnover before completing the questionnaire.

In this survey, we will be asking about headcount (filled and open positions), number of employees leaving the organization, and reasons for employees leaving. We will be asking these questions for each of the following job categories: supervisor, dispatch, EMT, part-time EMT, paramedic, and part-time paramedic. Headcount refers to the number of filled and open positions for each job category at the end of 2020. Filled positions refer to the number of employees in each job category that were on payroll at the end of 2020. For each job category, the number of filled positions should be added to the number of open positions at the end of 2020 to determine the total headcount.

Take Survey by April 30

Share your data by April 30 and you will be entered to win an iPad! No purchase necessary.

Medicare Ambulance Relief Bill Introduced in House

Yesterday, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act of 2021 (H.R. 2454). Congresswoman Sewell was joined by Congressmen Devin Nunes (R-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) as primary cosponsors and leads on the legislation.

H.R. 2454 would extend the temporary Medicare ground ambulance increases of 2% urban, 3% rural and the super rural bonus payment for five years. The increases are currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2022. The five-year extension would allow for the increases to remain in place during the two-year delay on ambulance data collection period due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  It would also permit the cost collection program to move forward so that the statutorily mandated MedPAC analysis could be completed before the Congress would have to act to either further extend the add-ons or make them permanent through reforming the Medicare ambulance fee schedule.

The legislation would help address potential problems that rural zip codes in large urban counties could face as a result of the 2020 census data.  As we saw after the 2010 Census, the new Census data collection methodology resulted in geographical changes under the fee schedule that shifted rural ZIP codes to urban, despite there being no significant change in their population. The current definition using rural urban commuting areas (RUCA) in Goldsmith Modification areas would be modified to ensure ZIP codes with 1,000 people or less per square mile would remain rural. Ground ambulance service providers and suppliers could also petition the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make the argument that a specific ZIP code should remain rural. It is vital that this provision be implemented before CMS makes changes from the 2020 Census data which will likely occur in 2023.

The AAA has been leading the effort on the legislation with the support of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of EMTs and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

The AAA is working with champions of the effort in the Senate on introduction of a companion bill. We expect the bill to be introducing in the coming weeks.

The legislation is one of the policy issues being raised as part of EMS on the Hill Day and the AAA will be launching a Call To Action shortly requesting AAA members to ask their members of Congress to cosponsor the bill.

We greatly appreciate the leadership of Representatives Sewell, Nunes, Welch and Mullin on this vital issue.

CMS | 4/13 Webinar | HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program

From CMS on April 12, 2021

Upcoming Webinar for Providers on the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program: Interested in learning more about the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program? Participating providers are reimbursed at Medicare rates for testing, treating and administering COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals.

Providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing to uninsured individuals, provided treatment for uninsured individuals with a COVID_19 diagnosis on or after February 4, 2020, or administered COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals can begin the process to file claims for reimbursement. Providers can familiarize themselves with this process at https://www.hrsa.gov/coviduninsuredclaim, and learn more and file claims at https://coviduninsuredclaim.linkhealth.com/. Providers can also view Frequently Asked Questions about the program.

Join us on Tuesday April 13, 2021 at 2PM ET for an informational webinar.

Register Now

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