Author: AAA Staff

Tribute to Melissa Hudson, EMT, EMD, EMD-Q

HudsonA long-time member of the EMS community died on Sunday, September 6. Melissa J. Hudson, EMT, EMD, EMD-Q, won widespread respect and well-deserved recognition during her 23 years of service at the Emergency Medical Services Authority in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was 52 years old.

Melissa started her career at EMSA on June 1, 1992. As an EMT, she was a strong patient advocate and was promoted to a preceptor role. Later, Melissa uncovered her life’s calling in the communications center. Melissa had an innate skill to calm callers and manage resources in a high-volume system. Her multitasking skills and ability to keep tracks of trucks in her head were legendary. It is no exaggeration to say that Melissa answered tens of thousands of emergency calls during her career. As a communications supervisor, Melissa set very high standards for herself and her crew, yet she also displayed great patience with and compassion toward her peers. She was a loyal friend, a dependable leader and a true force to be reckoned with.

In 2010, Melissa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She chose and was able to work full-time, almost to the end of her life, while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment. Melissa was named the Oklahoma Emergency Medical Technician’s Communications Specialist of the Year in 2011. In 2013, she was commended by the Tulsa City Council for helping rescue a premature infant born in the midst of a violent domestic dispute. Melissa talked the mother through the birth, persuaded an irate man at the scene not to harm the mother or child, and provided CPR instruction to a police officer who arrived at the scene just minutes after the baby’s birth. In 2014, Melissa was nominated by her peers and selected to receive the EMS industry’s most prestigious honor, the American Ambulance Association Star of Life award.

Melissa spent quality time with friends and loved ones during the last five years of her life. On November 4, 2014, Melissa and her longtime love, Pamela Kritikos, were married. The two traveled to Europe, took a cruise with dear friends, and loved spending time with their furry companions, Dexter and Tugger.

Melissa is survived by her wife, Pamela Kritikos, her sisters Cheryl Hudson and Linda Lane, brother Ed Evans, and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Verl and Esther Hudson, and her twin sister, Patricia Hudson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider a donation to a cause that was close to Melissa’s heart: ovarian cancer research, the American Cancer Society or the Tulsa Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Senator Scott Receives 2015 AAA Legislative Recognition Award

Pictured is Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) receiving a 2015 AAA Legislative Recognition Award from Greg Shore of AAA member Medshore Ambulance Service in Andersen, South Carolina. Included in the picture is Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who is one of the lead sponsors of the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act (S. 377, H.R. 745).

Submit Comment Letters on CY2016 Proposed Rule

The American Ambulance Association (AAA) recently drafted a comment letter in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule for changes to the Medicare ambulance fee schedule for 2016.   The AAA letter requests that CMS make several changes to improve the methodology and data used to determine urban and rural areas under the fee schedule.

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Spotlight: James McPartlon

James “Jim” McPartlon
Schenectady, NY, USA
President, Mohawk Ambulance
Past President and current Director, AAA Board of Directors

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I grew up just outside Schenectady, in upstate New York. Winters here can be challenging at times, so at a fairly early age I began to to ski and continue to do so when time allows. During the summer I try to spend as much time as possible at Lake George and sail. My son, JP, is a registered lobbyist and is currently in law school. My daughter, Chelsea, is currently in Italy completing her masters degree. They are my pride and joy and I could not be more proud and couldn’t ask for better children.

How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?

I started working in EMS 38 years ago and have been active ever since. I remember watching a Cadillac ambulance go flying down the street and wondered what it would be like be involved. I called the owner of the company and asked if I could observe for a day. The rest is history, I have been involved from that day on.
[quote_right]The highlight of my day is learning something new and sharing that with our team. [/quote_right]

What do you enjoy most about your job?

For me the best part of this job is the wonderful people I have met along the way and those that are my closest friends.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Staying enthused. Sometimes I think I have been doing this for so long that staying enthused and sharing that enthusiasm on a daily basis can be challenging.

What is your typical day like?

There is absolutely no typical day. Each day is different and brings with it different challenges. The highlight of my day is learning something new and sharing that with our team.

How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?

I have been a member of the AAA since 1984, and I have learned so much from AAA colleagues that has directly attributed to our success. The professional networking and advocacy AAA provides is a key component to developing a vibrant and successful company.

Spotlight: Randy Strozyk

Randy Strozyk
Tukwila, WA, USA
Senior Vice President of Operations, American Medical Response (AMR)
Secretary, AAA Board of Directors
Randy’s LinkedIn Profile

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

My life-long automobile obsession continues, but that’s old news. Something people may not know about me is that I’m a relatively new and incredibly proud grandfather. My grandson, Samuel, was born in April 2014. Samuel’s parents are brilliant—our son, Terrell, is an attorney and the deputy director of the Oregon insurance commission; Sophie, our daughter-in-law, is Taiwanese and took her final exam for her MBA just a few days before Samuel was born (despite being dilated and having some minor contractions, she aced the test)—so we assume Samuel will develop a cure for cancer, broker peace in the Middle East or do something else to change the world. Samuel is learning English and Taiwanese, which means that when he goes through his awful adolescence period, he’ll be able to hurl insults at me in a language I don’t understand.

My wife, Karma, and I are excited to meet our second grandchild—Samuel’s cousin, and the first child of our other son, Todd, and his lovely wife, Julie—in November. I don’t expect my granddaughter to be speaking a language I don’t understand before she’s potty-trained, but stranger things have happened. What I do know is that this baby is going to have Grandpa wrapped around her little finger in no time.

Our youngest child, Erin, just got married to a great guy, Keith, this summer. No kids in that household, but they have four-legged babies and a shared passion for helping the underprivileged by expanding access to affordable, reliable solar energy.

Our children are unique, interesting and, with six degrees between the three of them, highly learned individuals. I couldn’t be prouder of my family.

How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?

Becoming a paramedic and healthcare executive wasn’t my initial game plan, but I was bitten by the EMS bug. I had the chance to ride out with ambulance crews as a medical explorer scout in high school. I enjoyed the medicine and quick pace, so I earned my EMT certification while studying microbiology at Washington State University and worked on the ambulance during the summers before my junior and senior years. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I went to paramedic school. I planned to do it for only a short while. That was back when the Phillies were a championship baseball team and the only Madonna anyone had heard of wore a serene expression and hung out in mangers. Nearly 36 years later, I’m still here.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Over the past 15 years at AMR, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different projects. In the course of a single month, you might find me in Oklahoma at EMSA, in Denver at our National Resource Center and AMR-Air headquarters, in Washington on AAA business and in Hawaii with our air operation there. I love seeing how EMS functions across the country. I won’t say that I’ve “seen it all” just yet, but if there’s something I don’t know, there’s someone I know with an answer.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Some people may think that the biggest challenges I’ve faced have to do with specific tough projects or some of the legendary personalities I’ve worked with or for over the past 36 years. But I’d say the biggest challenge for me—and probably for others—is more internalized. People with deep experience in one field have to work at remaining enthusiastic and engaged. We can’t become attenuated to our circumstances and accept “that’s how it’s always been” as acceptable answers. EMS is a dynamic industry. Many of the tools and techniques that were considered cutting-edge when I first started in the business have already gone the way of the dinosaurs; likewise, the next generation of paramedics are going to look at some of the things we’re doing now with utter disbelief. To remain relevant, leaders must stay informed and be open to new opportunities and alternative viewpoints.

What is your typical day like?

There is no “typical” day in my world. I might be in Oklahoma working with our operations team at EMSA, in Denver at our corporate headquarters or working with the AMR-Air folks, or in any number of other places. No two days are the same.

How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?

AMR has been a part of the American Ambulance Association since the beginning. Involvement—not just paying dues to have a name on the membership roll, but serving on committees, attending meetings and being part of the conversation—provides a platform for professional networking and shared learning. It gives us a chance to uncover about new solutions, hear different perspectives and see the big picture.

Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ) Receives AAA Legislative Award

Congressman Frank Pallone visited MONOC Mobile Health Services corporate headquarters in Wall Township, New Jersey on August 13 to receive the 2015 American Ambulance Association (AAA) Legislative Recognition Award from MONOC’s President and CEO, Vince Robbins.

The AAA chose Congressman Pallone for this award for his co-sponsorship and support getting HR 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, signed into law. Section 203 extends through 2017 the temporary increases in payment for ground ambulance services throughout the country.

In attendance were Vince Robbins, President of MONOC, John Gribbin, Chairman of MONOC and President of CentraState Healthcare System, Rob Davis, President of the Medical Transportation Association of New Jersey and President of Alert Ambulance, and Jacob Halpern, President of GEM Ambulance service, also a member of AAA.

As a proud member of the AAA, Vince Robbins presented the award to Congressman Pallone, whose district MONOC provides Emergency Medical Services for. Vince Robbins said, “It was both a pleasure and an honor to recognize Congressman Pallone for his outstanding leadership in supporting the vital service ambulance and EMS agencies perform every day. The Congressman has fought tirelessly to promote the proper reimbursement of such services from Medicare. Although much more needs to be done, we know Congressman Pallone is a strong advocate and ally in this effort”.


A special thanks to MONOC for sharing this recap with AAA members.

Wall Street Journal: Paramedics Aren’t Just for Emergencies

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured several promising community paramedicine programs, as well as some great quantitative results.

“Paramedics are a readily deployable, nimble, clinically trained resource who can help close a gap in American health care,” Dr. Schoenwetter says…

From March 2014 to June 2015, the Geisinger mobile health team prevented 42 hospitalizations, 33 emergency department visits and 168 inpatient days among 704 patients who had a home visit from a paramedic, Geisinger calculates. In the case of heart-failure patients, hospital admissions and emergency-room visits were reduced by 50%, and the rate of hospital readmissions within 30 days fell by 15%. Patient satisfaction scores for the program were 100%.”

Read the full article on wsj.com. (Hat tip to Matt Zavadsky.)

Health Affairs shows “frequent flier” needs taper over time

Last week, Health Affairs published a study on the so-called “super utilizers” of the healthcare system, those who are in and out of emergency rooms with such frequency that their need for readmission is nearly assured.

The researchers found that these folks have an intense need that tapers off over time. Of the 1,682 identified as such, just 28 percent fell into the category after 12 months. Baseline spending decreased from $113,522 per capita to $47,017 the following year when they were enrolled in a program to help them stay on top of their health. The study, performed by the medical center Denver Health, analyzed nearly 5,000 patients and found that 3 percent were accounting for 30 percent of adult charges between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2013.

Read the full article in the Dallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily.

Spotlight: Reviving Responders Suicide Prevention

AAA caught up with Amy Young of CareFlite, group leader of an Ambulance Service Manager program team project on EMS suicide prevention. This project resulted in the creation of www.revivingresponders.com.

The Project Team

As part of the February 2015 Ambulance Service Manager (ASM) class, seven of us were randomly assigned to groups and asked to complete a project in ten weeks with team members spread across the United States. Our research we presented our data to the ASM class as part of the requirements for graduation.

All told, the seven members of our group have a combined total of 92 years of service in EMS. Many started as EMTs and worked up to Paramedic status, some began as volunteers, and the rest came to EMS as a second career. Nonetheless, we are all driven by ambitious personalities, our ability to make a difference, our desire to provide meaningful patient care, and the opportunity to work with other public service providers. The group consists of the following people:

Our group decided on a topic that was both personal and something we hoped could make a significant impact on the EMS culture. We chose to do a survey about the prevalence of critical stress amongst EMS and evaluate why suicide rates of EMS providers is on the rise.

The Shocking Survey Results

[quote_left]37% of providers across the nation who responded to our survey had contemplated suicide, and 6.6% of those respondents have actually attempted to take their own lives.[/quote_left]Our EMS specific-survey was open for 40 days, resulting in 4,022 responses from all 50 United States plus Guam, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico. When we closed the survey, we were hit with a hard reality: that EMS suicide numbers were skyrocketing and the programs available to help were not sufficient. Our data shows that 1,383 of the 4,022 (37%) providers across the nation who responded to our survey had contemplated suicide, and 6.6% of those respondents have actually attempted to take their own lives.

The survey data shows that respondents working in an EMS culture that does not support the mental wellness and does not encourage the use of formal support institutions like Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) are substantially more likely to contemplate and/or attempt suicide. Additionally, respondents that don’t come from an EMS culture of support and encouragement are much less likely to seek help when they need it, and are much less likely to engage in helpful support.

The also survey measured the effectiveness of formal support institutions like EAPs and CISM. The results startlingly showed that these support institutions were rated as being either “Very Helpful” or “Extremely Helpful” by the respondents that use them. After hearing so many stories about how inept an EAP counselor was or what a “waste of time” that CISM session turned out to be, we expected these numbers to be much, much lower.

In other words, we discovered a very significant prevalence of suicidal ideation in the EMS provider community. We discovered that EAPs and CISM have room for improvement, but do not fall as short of the mark as we originally perceived. It appears, however, that a very significant component to the prevalence and severity of stress in the EMS culture to include suicidal ideation and attempt is the EMS culture itself.

For us, these results brought a whole new meaning to the project. We named our team Reviving Responders, because we realized we need to revive ourselves if want to continue reviving others. A few group members had even experienced suicide by fellow associates in their organizations. [Team member] Monique Rose said, “I was exposed to this issue following a close call involving the resuscitation of the guys in my department. During this time our department struggled to process the tragedy, and I became aware of the flaws in the system while working through some of my own demons.”

CDC. (2012). www.cdc.gov. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How You Can Help

First and foremost, recognition and acknowledgement. As leaders, we cannot afford to be timid about this. If we see one of our own in distress, we must step out of our comfort zone and have the difficult conversations. It will be hard. This is a very dominant and proud profession, and we may not have our staff lining up to say they are struggling. Leaders need tolearn to recognize the warning signs and say something before it’s too late. Really, it should be the responsibility of every single person in EMS to notice subtle changes in individual behavior or work ethics.

Second, employers must be supportive, and offer an environment that supports employee well-being and mental health.

Last, employers should help change the culture of EMS across the board by providing the appropriate resources and ensuring they are available all the time and for as long as the service is needed.

How the Ambulance Industry Can Help

[quote_right]There is no question that field providers are not inherently equipped to deal with the stressors of the profession.[/quote_right] The ambulance industry needs to own the fact that we do not have adequate culture of support for providers to deal with suicide. There is no question that field providers are not inherently equipped to deal with the stressors of the profession. Coping skills for these stressors need to be taught to providers, and providers need to realize that receiving assistance with those skills is acceptable. The irony of the matter here is that many cultures in the industry are in direct opposition to the idea of getting help to deal with the stressors in EMS. As industry leaders, we are responsible for the tone of our respective divisions, and as such have the ability to steer culture. Our data suggests that taking steps to move culture towards one of support for providers’ mental well-being will be far more effective than attempting to reform the current state of CISM and EAP.

With projects like Reviving Responders and ASM, the word is spreading quickly. If we shift the culture, we can reduce the stigma that surrounds this topic. Think about it this way—if we can’t take care of our providers, how do you expect them to take care of patients? As an industry, we must be serious and promote access to various types of resources as no single type will work for everyone.

Most importantly, we must expand our education curriculum to include acknowledgment, recognition, and coping mechanisms far beyond the current single chapter “well-being of the provider” in all our literature.

Final Thoughts

Please speak up so we can help. Reviving Responders is our group’s effort to continue working towards a solution. Right now we are partnering with multiple entities around the U.S. to compile a list of suitable resources tailored to EMS and public safety as a whole. We hope that by sharing our stories others will be encouraged to speak up.

One great resource is Safe Call Now, 206-459-3020, which provides a confidential 24-hour crisis referral service. Safe Call Now allows public safety employees to speak with mental health professionals that are familiar with our line of work , as well as  public safety professionals who understand and can relate. We have more resources available on our website, www.revivingresponders.com..

MedStar Helps Reunite Baby, Mom After Tragic Crash

(Details and video courtesy of Fox 4 News and Medstar.)

On June 25, Sergeant Colby Bozo and his wife Kristen were driving home when their vehicle was struck by a stolen car being pursued in a police chase. Sadly, Colby Bozo was killed on impact, and Kristen, then 37 weeks pregnant, was very seriously injured and required an emergency caesarian section.

AAA member MedStar Mobile Healthcare, in coordination with John Peter Smith Hospital, and Cook Children’s Hospital surprised Kristen by arranging for her to see her newborn baby for the first time. Staff took a detour to Cook Children’s Hospital during mom’s ambulance transfer from JPS in Fort Worth to Baylor Rehabilitation Center in Dallas.

George Church, a MedStar Operations Supervisor who helped coordinate the reunion, said at the time, “I’ve been in EMS a long time, and there are very few moments that get to me any more—this one got to me.”

Great job, MedStar, JPS, and Cooks Children’s!

Video from Fox4News.com

Supporters of Kristen and the baby are invited to donate at a Fund.ly page.

CMS Ambulance Open Door Forum Thursday, July 9

Mark your calendar to have your voice heard! The next Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Ambulance Open Door Forum (CMS ODF) call is scheduled for this Thursday, July 9 from 2–3 p.m. ET.

Call-in Number: 1-800-837-1935
Conference ID: 12780373

“The Ambulance Open Door Forum (ODF) addresses issues related to the payment, billing, coverage and delivery of services in the ambulance industry. The Ambulance Fee Schedule rules, rural and other ambulance payment enhancements, requirements for ambulance service certification and payment determinations, are just some of the many types of issues addressed within the forum. In addition, discussions differentiating the rules related to provider-based and independent ambulance services are facilitated. Timely announcements and clarifications regarding important rulemaking, agency program initiatives and other related areas are also included in the forums.” — CMS

For the agenda and additional information, please visit the CMS website.

Welcome to the New AAA Website!

The American Ambulance Association is proud to welcome you to our new site. Although the look and feel of our website have changed, please be assured that all of your favorite AAA resources are still available. Additionally, our new platform will allow us to continue to improve our site over time—please check back frequently for new tools, resources, and benefits.

As always, thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

Quick Website Tips

Logging In

Your existing AAA website login (email address and password) will grant access to the new site.

Clearing Cache

Does something look a little strange? Your browser may have cached images or material from the old site. To ensure you have the best experience on the new www.ambulance.org, please clear your cache. Here are simple instructions for doing this on popular browsers:

Getting Started

The AAA Members Center and the AAA Blog are a great places to start exploring the new site. (Not yet a member? Learn more about membership benefits and categories.)

Have Questions or Feedback?

Please contact ariordan@ambulance.org. We deeply value your thoughts and suggestions.

The Fairness in Ambulance Reimbursement Act

On July 11, 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule (PFS) that adjusted ZIP code classifications for ground ambulance reimbursement based on 2010 data. The proposed rule initially indicated that only 122 ZIP codes would be reclassified from rural to urban in 2015.  However, the final PFS rule, which was published on November 13, 2014, re-designated 3000 ZIP codes from rural to urban. Thanks to work by the AAA’s legislative team, champions on Capitol Hill, members and other organizations, on December 16, 2014, CMS once again revised the ZIP codes that would be adjusted from rural to urban to 1,599.

CMS’s error, which contributed to the drastic changes from the proposed rule in July to the final rule in December, effectively denied interested parties the opportunities to participate in the notice and comment process and did not give ambulance service providers enough time to process and adjust for their losses.

The Fairness in Ambulance Reimbursement Act of 2015

The Fairness in Ambulance Reimbursement Act of 2015 (H.R. 817) would delay implementation of the rural to urban ZIP code reclassification until January 1, 2016, which would provide ambulance services with the necessary time to evaluate and respond to recent changes made by CMS.  This legislation is critical to ensure that ambulance services have needed funding and that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to high quality medical care as they are transported to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

What You Can Do to Help

Unlike the permanent Medicare relief bill, the changes in zip codes to do not affect every ambulance service in the country.  That being said, we invite AAA members, organizations, and individuals to support our efforts to delay implementation of the zip code reclassification.  Cosponsors and support for the bill are still needed.  Please reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor and support this important piece of legislation.  If this issue will affect you and your service, raise the issue with your legislators during your ambulance ride-along

Legislation Tracking

Here is federal legislation that the AAA is currently tracking. Questions? - Contact the AAA's advocacy team at info@ambulance.org. Bill - Sponsors - Stance: Non-Emergency Ambulance Transportation Sustainability and Accountability (NEATSA) Act of 2019 - S. 228 - Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). - AAA Supports Summary: Would restructure the offset passed as...

On July 11, 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule (PFS) that adjusted ZIP code classifications for ground ambulance reimbursement based on 2010 data.

Ambulance Cost Data Collection & Payment Reform

Ambulance Cost Data Collection Sign Up for Cost Data Collection Email Updates! In 2012, the AAA engaged The Moran Company, a DC-based health care analytics firm, to determine the most appropriate way for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to collect cost data from ambulance service suppliers and providers. Due to the high...

On July 11, 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule (PFS) that adjusted ZIP code classifications for ground ambulance reimbursement based on 2010 data.

State Track

StateTrack helps you follow legislative and regulatory developments in one state or all of them. The map below will pull legislation with any of the following key words: Affordable Care Act Ambulance Community Paramedicine EMT Medicaid Medicare Mobile Integrated Health Paramedic Members can view the full text of each piece of legislation as well as edits...

On July 11, 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule (PFS) that adjusted ZIP code classifications for ground ambulance reimbursement based on 2010 data.

Position Papers

CMS Data Release Position StatementApril 17, 2014 On April 9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data describing the number and type of health care services provided by physicians and other health care professionals in 2012. Although extremely different than other health care providers, ambulance services were included in the data release....

On July 11, 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule (PFS) that adjusted ZIP code classifications for ground ambulance reimbursement based on 2010 data.

Boston Workshop- SOLD OUT

Join the American Ambulance Association at in Boston for a one day, hands-on ICD-10 Workshop. Spend the day in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of individual attention geared to your specific service type. There will also be ample time for Q&A with our subject matter experts. Amanda Jimeson, CPC, will share the program she developed for EMSA and joining Amanda will the AAA’s Medicare Regulatory co-chairs, Angie Lehman, Vice President of Finance, EMSA & Rebecca Williamson, Compliance Officer for Muskogee EMS and author of the AAA Compliance Guide. And to put it all in perspective will be AAA’s Medicare Consultant, Brian Werfel. You’ll receive helpful tools and walk away with an intimate understanding of ICD-10 coding and its proper application.

Location

Cataldo Ambulance
25 Eastern Avenue
Malden, MA 02148

Sponsored by

private ambulance services

 

ambulance membership services

 

 

Schedule

9:00am-9:15am
Welcome, Speaker introductions and course objectives

9:15am-10:30am
ICD-10  Part I

10:30am-10:45am
Break

10:45am-12:00pm
ICD-10 Part II

12:00pm-12:15pm
Tour of Host Facility

12:15pm-1:15pm
Networking Lunch with Sponsors

1:15-pm-2:30pm
Medicare Update Part I with Brian Werfel

2:30pm-2:45pm
PM Break

2:45pm-3:30pm
Medicare Update Part II

3:30pm-4:30pm
Putting it into Practice and Closing Comments

4:30-5:00pm
Final Q&

6.5 CEUs

Ambulance Coding workshops

Hotel Information

Hyatt Place Boston/Medford
4.212 Google reviews | 3-star hotel
116 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155
Phone: (781) 395-8500
Distance from Cataldo: about 2.5 miles

This classic hotel is 5.4 miles from historic Faneuil Hall and 7.8 miles from the Museum of Fine Arts. and more.
Modern rooms feature free WiFi, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, and separate living and sleeping areas. They also come with pull-out sofas and coffeemakers. Free hot breakfast and parking are available. Other amenities include an indoor pool and a fitness center, as well as a 24/7 menu and market, a coffee and cocktails bar, a business center and meeting facilities.

Four Points by Sheraton Boston Logan Airport
407 Squire Rd, Revere, MA 02151
Phone: (781) 284-7200
Distance from Cataldo: about 3 miles
Conveniently located 4.5 miles from Logan International Airport in Revere, MA and six miles from Boston’s many tourist sites, convention centers, universities, hospitals, and sports arenas. Just one mile away from the Blue Line T-Station, where guests can take the subway and arrive in downtown Boston within minutes.

Washington, DC Prior Authorization Regional Workshop

The AAA will be holding a one-day workshop for CEO’s and other senior ambulance service executives to cover Prior Authorization for repetitive patients. We invite you to be part of this important day of education that will help you better prepare for the expansion of the program. This event will be held in conjunction with a legislative fly-in on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Location

AAA Headquarters
8400 Westpark Dr
McLean, VA 22102

Sponsored by

emt association

Schedule

9:00am-9:45 am
The Big Picture with Brian Werfel, Werfel and Werfel

10:00am-11:30am
Prior Authorization Success and Guidance
How to Prepare for the Expansion
with John Iazzetta, Alert Ambulance Service, New Jersey
Also presenting will be Nicci Warner with Novitas and Shannon Chase and Tammy Tucci with Palmetto

11:30 am-1:00pm –
Lunch and Q&A with Dr. William Rogers, CMS (confirmed)
Q&A

1:00pm-2:00pm
What’s OIG’s Perspective and Role
AAA Policy Expert, Kathy Lester, Lester Healthcare Law

2:15 pm-3:15
More you need know regarding CMS, Prior Authorization and biller/payer requirements
Kathy Lester, Lester Healthcare Law
Tristan North, American Ambulance Association

3:30-pm-4:30pm
2016 and Beyond
Kathy Lester, Tristan North and Brian Werfel

Hotels Nearby

Please be aware, the AAA has not negotiated any special rates for these hotels.

Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner
1960 Crowne Plaza
Tysons Corner, McLean, VA 22012
703-893-2100
Situated in the heart of McLean, VA across the street from the Tysons Corner Metrorail Station, the Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner is the ideal venue for your next meeting, conference or event.
Sheraton Premiere
8661 Leesburg Pike
Tysons, Virginia, 22182

Nestled in the center of Northern Virginia’s newly energized urban and residential setting you will relish the conveniences of both town and country amenities and atmosphere. Adjacent to the Spring Hill Road Metrorail Silver Line Stop, our Tysons Corner hotel grants you the convenient access to all the things to do in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

CAAS Vehicle Standards Webcast

June 22, 2015 Member Webcast

The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) was established to encourage and promote quality patient care in America’s medical transportation system.

CAAS accreditation signifies that your service has met the “gold standard” determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern emergency medical services provider. These standards often exceed those established by state or local regulation. The CAAS standards are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality, while decreasing risk and liability to the organization.

Spotlight: Daniel Cavin

Daniel Cavin
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Director of Paramedic Education, IHM Academy of EMS

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised here in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri to Dennis and Cindy Cavin. I was the youngest of three with an eldest brother, Scott, and sister, Meghan. My parents have since divorced, but we all still have a very close knit relationship that is vital to all of us. I am married to my beautiful wife, Stacy, who gave me a lovely daughter, Ariya Shae Cavin.

Continue reading

Spotlight: James Rattunde, 2015 Star of Life

James Rattunde
Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA
NR-EMT at Baraboo District Ambulance Service
2015 AAA Stars of Life Honoree

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have lived in Necedah, WI my entire life. I will have been married to my first wife for 39 years in August. We were blessed with twins, a daughter and a son. We also have five grandchildren ages 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2. I love the outdoors, landscaping, lawn and garden, camping (although now in a 5th wheel—not a tent), waterskiing and watersports, and helping others.

How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?

When my younger brother was about 7 or 8 years old he fell down the stairs with a piece of candy in his mouth. The candy got caught in his throat and he started choking. I never forgot the look on my mother’s face as my brother turned blue and we thought surely he would die. Henry Wegner came running thru the front door of our house and—probably due to his military training—knew just what to do. Henry was able to dislodge the candy and my brother survived. By the way, the ambulance was a white 1962 Ford with a 352 Thunderbird V-8 and a Siebert chasis. I believe to this day that this event is what inspired me to want to be able to help others, just the way Henry did. Mr. Wegner died just a couple of years ago well into his 90s.

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Join Our Efforts to Receive Permanent Medicare Relief

After countless hours of work by the American Ambulance Association’s (AAA) legislative team, our champions on Capitol Hill, volunteer leaders, members and other organizations, we are pleased to once again announce the 33-month extension of Medicare ambulance relief.  This extension will continue the 2% bonus for urban areas, the 3% bonus for rural transports and the bonus payment for super rural areas.  This is a major victory for the AAA and its members as the extension will supply important funding to allow ambulance services to continue to provide essential medical care to their communities.

That being said, we can’t let the momentum stop!  The AAA is still fighting and pushing on Capitol Hill for a permanent extension of Medicare relief rather than a temporary fix.  With a short-term extension it remains difficult for ambulance services to properly budget for the future and prepare for the uncertainties of being a health care provider.  The AAA continues to seek support and cosponsors for the Medicare Ambulance, Access, Fraud Prevention, and reform Act of 2015 (S. 377, H.R. 745).  In addition to permanent Medicare ambulance relief, this bill includes several additional provisions that will help ambulance services to grow and provide critical care services to patients.  These additional provisions include:

–     Categorizing ambulance services as “providers” rather than “suppliers”. The AAA wants its members and all ambulance services to be recognized properly for the medical services they provide.  As you are aware, an ambulance is often the first place that a patient is provided critical care and service.  For this reason, the bill includes language that would recognize ambulance services as “providers” rather than “suppliers”.

–     Prior Authorization Program. The same bill that extended Medicare ambulance relief for 33 months also included a prior authorization program that would extend to several states on the East Coast in 2016 and nationwide in 2017.  The AAA is working with legislators on Capitol Hill, our Medicare Consultants, and AAA members to help with the roll-out of the prior authorization program.  Keep your eyes peeled for further information and resources that the AAA will be providing.

–     Ambulance Cost Data Collection. The bill directs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to use a survey approach to collecting cost data from a statistically significant number of ambulance service providers.  It is critical that Congress have cost data from all the different types of providers to make future changes to the ambulance fee schedule.

With each of these significant provisions, the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act of 2015 will help position AAA members and ambulance services for the future.  It will provide critical funding as well as opportunities for recognition, growth and knowledge.

Shawn Baird, Co-Owner of Woodburn Ambulance Service and Co-Chair of the AAA’s Government Affairs Committee, said this about the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act of 2015

“While the extension of our temporary ambulance relief provides hard earned breathing room, it is more essential than ever to get members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors of our permanent ambulance relief bills S. 377 and H.R. 745.  Using this precious time to secure permanent funding, data collection that works for the industry and provider status with CMS is the only way we will be able to keep our issue a priority on Congress’s busy agenda. In our ambulance services at home we all know how important it is to keep pushing our companies to be ready for that next emergency call.   We never say it’s time to sit back and relax now that we ran that last call. It is the same with our effort on Capitol Hill. We have been building success and let’s keep it rolling forward!”

The American Ambulance Association asks that you help in our efforts to make Medicare ambulance relief permanent!   Please contact your members of Congress using the AAA’s online letter writing tool and ask them to co-sponsor the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Acts (S. 377 and H.R. 745).

Each member of the AAA plays a critical role in helping to achieve success in our legislative efforts.  With your help and expertise, we look to continue to represent you and your interests on Capitol Hill.