2015 AAA Award Winners Announced

Awards will be presented at the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Awards Reception on Monday, November 2, 2015. Please join us in congratulating the winners.

J. Walter Schaefer Award

Ron Thackery, American Medical Response

The J. Walter Schaefer Award is given to someone who has positively advanced the industry as a whole. Ron exemplifies this through his tireless efforts to improve the safety of employees and patients, including work on compliance, OSHA, vehicle safety, proper use of personal protective equipment, and ambulance standards.

Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award

Jerry Zapolnik, Formerly of Huron Valley Ambulance

The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. It recognizes a volunteer leader who has made tremendous long-term impact on the association. Over the course of Jerry’s volunteer tenure with the AAA, he has chaired numerous committees including Education and Data. Most recently, he sat on the AAA Board of Directors as a Region III representative.

President’s Award

Russell Honeycutt, Central EMS

This award is given by the President to an individual volunteer leader who has shown commitment to the advancement of the AAA above and beyond the call of duty. Russell’s work on membership recruitment and outreach in 2015 perfectly exemplifies a volunteer leader championing the great work of the association to both current and prospective members.

Distinguished Service Award

J.D. Fuiten, Metro West Ambulance

This is only the second time that the association has given a distinguished service award. J.D. has given innumerable volunteer hours to the AAA. His financial support of AAA programs and events has no equal, and his outreach to his Members of Congress has helped the AAA gain temporary Medicare relief for the industry.

Partner of the Year Award

National Rural Health Association

The National Rural Health Association is receiving the Partner of the Year Award for its ongoing support of both temporary and permanent Medicare Relief for ambulance services, including Senate 377 and House 745.

AMBY Awards

Industry and Stakeholder Education

WinnerMedStar Mobile Healthcare – MIH Book and Education

Public Relations

WinnerSunstar/Paramedics Plus – Stay Alert-Stay Alive

Employee Program

WinnerMuskogee County EMS – COACHES Team
Honorable MentionAMR – LODD Program

Clinical/Quality/Safety

WinnerAMR – Tuberculosis Program
Honorable MentionMetro West – Just Culture Program

Community Impact

WinnerLifeNet Inc. – Hannah’s Light
Honorable MentionProEMS – Overdose Sentinel Program

HHS OIG Report Discussion Added to Annual Conference

Late breaking AAA Conference update:

In order to address a Medicare reimbursement issue we feel is critical, AAA has decided to modify the Tuesday afternoon conference session being led by Brian S. Werfel, Esq.

Instead of covering medicare audits in this session, Mr. Werfel will now be leading an in depth discussion about a recent OIG Report on Questionable Billing Practices. The originally schedule session on preparing for medicare audits will be offered as a webinar. Further information about this new conference session is provided below.

Understanding the Recent OIG Report on Questionable Billing Practices

On September 29, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General released a report on “Inappropriate Payments and Question Billing for Part B Ambulance Transports”.  The report concluded that Medicare paid $24.2 million during the first half of 2012 for ambulance transports that did not meet Medicare program requirements.
In this special session, AAA Medicare Consultant Brian S. Werfel, Esq. will breakdown the OIG’s report, with special attention being paid to each of the 7 billing practices the OIG identified as “questionable”.  The session will include strategies that companies can implement to avoid these practices.  Brian will also discuss ongoing OIG enforcement activities related to the issues identified in this report.  The session will conclude with a Question & Answer period.

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Novitas Issues Guidance for Ambulance Providers, Facilities and Beneficiaries Regarding Expansion of Prior Authorization Project for Repetitive Patients

September 17, 2015

Novitas Solutions, Inc. (Novitas) recently issued a series of guidance documents on the expansion of the prior authorization demonstration project for repetitive scheduled non-emergency ambulance transports. This demonstration project is currently operating in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Pub. Law 114-10), enacted on April 16, 2015, requires that this program be expanded into the remaining states of MAC Regions L (Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia) and M (North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia), effective January 1, 2016. The program will be further expanded to cover all remaining states starting on January 1, 2017.

Novitas is the Medicare Administrative Contractor for MAC Region L, and therefore will be responsible for implementing this program in Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. These guidance documents are intended to educate ambulance services, health care professionals and facilities, and beneficiaries located in these states on the programs requirements.

Guidance Document for Ambulance Services

On August 17, 2015, Novitas issued a “Dear Ambulance Company” letter that provides guidance to ambulance companies on how the program will operate. As noted in the letter, participation is voluntary.

However, ambulance services that elect not to seek prior authorization for repetitive patients (defined as a patient that is transported by non-emergency ambulance for the same service either: (1) three or more times in a 10-day period or (2) once a week for three straight weeks) will find that claims for these patients will be subject to a prepayment review. For this reason, it is anticipated that most ambulance services will elect to seek prior authorization for their repetitive patient population.

The letter further summarizes the documentation requirements needed to request prior authorization for a patient. These include the submission of a prior authorization cover sheet (which can be found on Novitas’ website), a valid Physician Certification Statement (PCS) signed by the beneficiary’s attending physician within sixty (60) days of the requested first transport date, and all other medical records supporting medical necessity.

Novitas will review the submitted documentation and issue either a prior authorization covering all transports within a set date range, or a rejection. To the extent an application is rejected, the provider will be entitled to resubmit the application with additional documentation to support medical necessity.

Guidance Document for Health Care Professionals and Facilities

On August 24, 2015, Novitas issued a “Dear Healthcare Provider/Facility” letter that provides guidance to physicians, healthcare practitioners, and facilities on how the prior authorization project will operate. This letter includes bolded language that indicates that these individuals and facilities must provide certain records to the transporting ambulance service and/or the beneficiary. The letter specifically includes a statement that “[a]ttending physicians must provide a physician certification statement (PCS) and medical records that support medical necessity.” Members may want to download copies of this letter for distribution to physicians and facilities from which they may need to obtain PCS forms and other medical records.

Guidance Document for Beneficiaries

On August 20, 2015, Novitas issued a “Dear Medicare Beneficiary” letter that is intended to educate Medicare beneficiaries on the operation of the prior authorization project. The letter indicates that the pre-approval process is intended to allow the beneficiary to know whether his or her transports will be covered by Medicare prior to the provision of services. The letter indicates that either the beneficiary or the ambulance service can obtain a prior authorization, but notes that the ambulance provider will typically be the one submitting requests. Members may want to download copies of this letter for distribution to beneficiaries and their families.

AAA to hold Prior Authorization Workshop on October 2, 2015

The AAA will be holding a one-day workshop devoted exclusively to the prior authorization program. The workshop will take place on October 2, 2015 at the AAA Headquarters located in McLean, Virginia. This workshop will feature representatives from both Novitas and Palmetto (the MAC for Region M), who will be able to provide additional details on how the project will operate in their areas. Dr. William Rogers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will also be in attendance to offer CMS’ perspective on this new program. This is a wonderful opportunity for CEOs and senior ambulance executives in the affected states to hear first-hand how this project will impact their ambulance services.

Afterburner: The Relentless Pursuit of Flawless Execution

We are so excited to have a representative from Afterburner—a consulting company comprised of elite military professionals turned executive consultants—deliver the keynote address on Monday, November 2nd at the AAA Annual Conference & Tradeshow.

For nearly two decades, the Afterburner team of current and former fighter pilots, Navy SEALs, and other special operators have fueled organizational motivation in thousands of businesses by demonstrating the power of a revolutionary continuous improvement framework called Flawless Execution.

Afterburner believes that “Flawless Execution isn’t about perfection, it’s about the relentless pursuit of flawless outcomes.” They use a simple, scalable methodology to harness the power of complexity. This high-energy presentation is designed with specific application to our industry’s day-to-day challenges and promises to motivate all of us to increase agility and accelerate performance at the individual, team, and organizational levels.

Learn more about how AAA 2015 Annual Conference & Tradeshow can help you take your ambulance service to the next level.

See Dr. Zubin Damania, AKA ZDoggMD, at Annual Conference

The AAA is honored to have Dr. Zubin Damania – Physician, Entrepeneur, Stand Up Comic – Deliver the Opening Keynote at the Annual Conference

Who better to kick off our annual conference than Dr. Zubin Damania? Dr. Damania is the Director of Healthcare Development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, an ambitious urban revitalization movement spearheaded by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh.

In addtion, Dr. Damania writes and performs comedic raps under the pseudonym ZDoggMD.  He’s an internet celebrity known for his music videos, parodies, and comedy sketches that educate patients and providers while mercilessly satirizing our dysfunctional healthcare system.

Through his work with the Downtown Project, Dr. Damania is making the leap from satire to actionable change by developing an innovative model of healthcare delivery that promotes wellness at both the individual and community level.

Before moving to Las Vegas, Dr. Damania was a practicing hospitalist at Stanford University for 10 years where received the Russell Lee Award for Clinical Teaching.

We hope you’ll join us and welcome Dr. Damania at AAA’s signature event which attracts over 700 senior level executives and key influencers from across the country:  November 1-3 at the iconic Casears Palace Hotel in Las Vegas.

Check out Dr. Damania’s TEDMED talk!

Register for the AAA’s 2015 Annual Conference and Tradeshow today!

Spotlight: David Tetrault

David Tetrault
Farmington, MO, USA
Administrator/CEO, St. Francois County Ambulance District
Director, AAA Board, Region 4

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I grew up in Jennings, Missouri, a small town in St. Louis County. I’m the baby of six kids—four brothers and a sister. I am very proud of my twin girls who just graduated from high school while simultaneously completing their associates degrees. They are now off to college to Rolla, Missouri, to finish their bachelors degrees. In addition to sharing time with my family and friends, I enjoy softball, camping, swimming, tennis, and walking.

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

David with some of his staff at a recent AAA workshop.
David with some of his team at a recent AAA workshop.

Years ago I was involved in part of the law enforcement arena called “Police Explorers”, primarily because my brother was a police officer. From there, I progressed through many different facets of law enforcement. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that every time I was involved in an incident including a sick person or trauma, I really felt as if I would filling my calling. I could calm people and make them feel better, even when at that point I had only first responder training.

I have been involved with EMS for more than 30 years now, from my early days as a dispatcher, then up the ranks to Training Officer, then Manager, and now CEO/Administrator here in St. Francois County.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy working with the public, people in our community, and my staff. They are my second family.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Dealing with the younger spirited individuals coming into the world of EMS. Understanding the different challenges in funding, retention of our employee’s, the right mix of people and balancing the good/bad at the same time.

Making sure the Emergency Medical Services is not the forgotten one in the mix of Fire and Police. We all have a very important roles and the same amount of responsibility.

What is your typical day like?

My day typically starts with putting out fires and finishing my to do list from the previous day. Having 24/7 responsibility for a large program has its ups and downs—including sometimes getting called into work in the middle of the night. By sunrise, I have usually been up and on the highway for several hours. During typical office hours, I attend meetings and handle projects, budgeting, scheduling, and other tasks that need to be completed to keep our service operating. I also address any concerns or needs of the board of directors.

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

The American Ambulance Association has bridged the gap for me in my role as a service Administrator/CEO. AAA has many valuable resources, and provides me access to a vast network of ambulance services across the United States. My fellow AAA members as well as staff are always available to answer questions.

AAA has been the leader in ambulance services resources for many years, and they continue to strive to be the best in everything they offer. I enjoy the daily updates, and feel that the work AAA does with benchmarking and standands forms the backbone of the industry. The American Ambulance Association is truly a leader for EMS.

 

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.

Fort Worth ICD-10 Sold Out!

Join the American Ambulance Association at MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Dallas/Ft. Worth 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, and 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

MedStar Mobile Healthcare
2900 Alta Mere Drive
Ft. Worth, TX 76110

Agenda

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&A

Sponsored by

private ambulance services

Solutions-Group-200

ambulance membership

6.5 CEUs

aaa conference Ambulance Coding

Hotel Information

La Quinta (New Property!)
7310 Calmont Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76116
Phone: (817) 244-4777
Distance from MedStar: 0.3 miles
The La Quinta Inn & Suites Fort Worth West/I-30 hotel is conveniently located off I-30 in the Fort Worth Business District, near Lockheed Martin, Ridgemar Mall and the Naval Air Station and Joint Reserve Base. Some of our hotel amenities include a Free Bright Side Breakfast and wifi.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Worth I-30 West
6851 West Freeway, Fort Worth Texas 76116
Phone: (817) 731-9600
Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Worth I-30 West Near NAS JRB is in Fort Worth, TX and has outstanding amenities to make travel easy. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast and on-site fitness facilities.

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St. Louis ICD-10 Regional Workshop

6.5 NAAC CEU’s

Join the American Ambulance Association our one day, hands-on ICD-10 workshop. Our first stop on on our ICD-10 junket will be Abbott EMS in St. Louis. 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.

2500 Abbott Place
St. Louis MO 63143