PA | $20,000 Signing Bonus, $25/Hour—Zero Applicants

From JEMS 

Cumberland Goodwill EMS (PA) hang up a help wanted sign, but no one answered.

Assistant Chief Nathan Harig tells ABC 27 they’re seeing a shortage of paramedics and are trying to hire a paramedic for an open position. One problem: not one person applied despite the agency offering a $20,000 signing bonus and $25 per hour pay.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to motivate people to come on in but it’s just not working,” Harig told the station.

Continue Reading>

Free Beacon | HHS Leaves $50 Billion in Coronavirus Relief Unspent

From the Washington Free Beacon on September 17

Over $50 billion in coronavirus relief meant for health care providers remains unspent, even as some in the industry say they have gotten just a fraction of what they need to cover pandemic-related losses.

The Department of Health and Human Services has distributed roughly 70 percent of the $175 billion appropriated by Congress to relieve health care providers of economic strain imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. HHS maintains that it is distributing funds in a way that is “fast, fair, transparent and simple,” a spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon.

Continue Reading

Expanded Support for EMS Responding to Natural Disasters, COVID-19

Frontline Impact Project Expands Support for Frontline Heroes, Offers Companies a New Way to Give Amidst Historic Natural Disasters

COVID-19 response platform will now direct resources to first responders facing wildfires, hurricanes and other catastrophes   

September 15, 2020 – Frontline Impact Project is expanding its mission and will now also support heroes on the frontlines of major natural disasters including the Western wildfires and Hurricane Laura. The platform, which The KIND Foundation launched in partnership with dozens of companies in response to COVID-19, will activate its existing infrastructure to shepherd resources like meals, snacks, beverages and personal care items to first responders in need. The announcement comes after extraordinary displays of courage and sacrifice from the nation’s firefighters, paramedics and emergency volunteers.

“We started Frontline Impact Project to meet the needs of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this work will continue, we are cognizant of the many others risking their lives to keep us safe, particularly as peak wildfire and hurricane seasons approach,” says Michael Johnston, President of The KIND Foundation. “Thanks to the generosity of more than 60 companies, we’re set up to respond in real time and help take care of America’s heroes as they take care of us.”

As part of this expansion, Frontline Impact Project has initiated partnerships with two leading disaster response nonprofits, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and Good360, to get donated items to workers across the Gulf Coast and Western United States.

“Non-profit staff and volunteers work tirelessly to serve survivors impacted by disaster. Frontline Impact Project’s commitment and efforts to supporting those serving on the frontlines of disasters across the country is a welcome addition to the disaster response community,” says Katherine Boatwright, Director of Operations, NVOAD.

Since April, Frontline Impact Project has matched more than 650 frontline institutions with companies that have products or services to donate. Available resources include food, beverages, personal care items, mental health services and virtual fitness classes. Together with its inaugural partner KIND, the project has donated nearly four million products to date.

“We were looking for a flexible and streamlined way to donate our products. Frontline Impact Project gives us the opportunity to scale our giving as the situation demands and reach a deserving audience whose needs are paramount but not always top of mind,” says Aaron Croutch, Executive Vice President, Lenny & Larry’s.

Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of Hint, adds, “Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we support first responders and help keep them healthy and hydrated. Hint has donated water to hundreds of healthcare organizations and first responders across the country, and the Frontline Impact Project has made coordination with a number of those groups much easier.”

In addition to Lenny and Larry’s and Hint, a number of companies have signed on to support this effort, including Adrenaline Shoc Smart Energy; Belgian Boys; CLEAN Cause; Just the Cheese; Kabaki Tea; Kodiak Cakes; KIND; La Colombe; Neuro; Paunchy Elephant; RISE Brewing Co; ROWDY; Purely Elizabeth; and ZICO Coconut Water.

To submit a donation or make a request, visit www.frontlineimpact.org.

Congratulations to the AIMHI Award Winners!

Today, the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) celebrates the winners of the second annual AIMHI Excellence in Integration Awards at the EMS World Virtual Expo. These prestigious honors celebrate and promote high-performance, high-value EMS, its partners, and leaders.

2020 winners are:

“The 2020 Excellence in Integration Award winners represent the very best in mobile integrated healthcare. We are proud to honor these exceptional programs and individuals,” said AIMHI President Chip Decker.

This year’s winners will be celebrated at the EMS World Virtual Expo, an e-learning event that will be attended by thousands of emergency medical services professionals from around the globe.

###

Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI)

The Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) represents high performance emergency medical and mobile healthcare providers in the U.S. and abroad. Member organizations are high-performance systems that employ business practices from both the public and private sectors.  By combining industry innovation with close government oversight, AIMHI members are able to offer unsurpassed service excellence and cost efficiency.

Download the most recent AIMHI Benchmarking Report at www.aimhi.mobi.

 

KHN | With No Legal Guardrails for Patients, Ambulances Drive Surprise Medical Billing

This week’s Kaiser Health News piece on surprise coverage includes less than a paragraph of the information provided by AAA Executive Director Maria Bianchi and Communications Chair Rob Lawrence. AAA is deeply disappointed by the lack of balance and inadequate representation of the EMS perspective in this coverage.

Read the article

Free! Food, Beverages, Personal Care for EMS

Request Food, Beverages, and/or Personal Care Items for Your Staff

 

FREE FOR THE ASKING: PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AVAILABLE TO COVID-19 FRONTLINE HEROES

Frontline Impact Project Works with Corporate Donors to Provide Food, Beverages, Personal Care Items and Mental Health Services to Frontline Heroes

NEW YORK — Amid a devastating Covid-19 resurgence, Frontline Impact Project is offering the nation’s healthcare workers and first responders access to non-PPE donations. Created by The KIND Foundation, Frontline Impact Project has become a primary vehicle through which the business community has shown support for the men and women who are keeping America’s communities healthy. The platform offers institutions a streamlined way to request and receive resources that will lift spirits and boost morale.

Hospitals are encouraged to make requests in whatever quantity they need. Requests as small as 25 items and as large as 30,000 items have been fulfilled. Typically, a hospital asks for one item per employee in one or more categories, including food, beverages, gum/mints, housing, skincare, hygiene, sanitizer, virtual fitness and mental health. Hospitals are also encouraged to make requests outside of the aforementioned categories if they have a need.  In addition to public and private hospitals of all sizes, institutions eligible for donations include assisted living facilities, nursing homes, community healthcare centers, outpatient clinics and EMS squads.

Norman Stein, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President, Boston Medical Center, says, “It is of vital importance we provide our frontline caregivers with nourishment as they work tirelessly to care for our patients and community, and the donation from Frontline Impact Project has certainly helped us stay committed to that goal.”

Sean Gibson, Manager, Duke University Hospital’s Trauma Center, echoed Stein’s sentiment saying, “We are grateful for Frontline Impact Project’s support of our healthcare community. We need everyone’s help to overcome this global health crisis, and donations such as this make a notable difference for our workers on the front lines.”

At www.frontlineimpact.org, representatives from frontline institutions can submit requests for resources along with a reference to validate the institution’s legitimacy. After a request has been submitted, Frontline Impact Project matches the requester with a corporate donor(s). The donor(s) then work to deliver the product and/or service directly. While not every request is fulfilled, Frontline Impact Project does all it can to ensure needs are met.

To date, nearly 60 corporate partners, including KIND, Unilever, Extra Gum, Nestlé, Keurig Dr Pepper, Justin’s, Hint, Harry’s, RISE Brewing Co., Headspace and Image Skincare, have donated more than 3.6 million products. The platform has made 537 matches across 41 states.

“We are prepared to support the needs of frontline healthcare workers and first responders no matter how long it takes for this crisis to pass,” says Michael Johnston, President of The KIND Foundation. “Frontline workers’ needs will inevitably change in the days and weeks to come. Our intention is to recruit diverse partners now so that we are poised to meet new and unexpected needs later.”

Visit the Frontline Impact Project website for more information. Direct questions to Jonathan Yates at jyates@lubetzky.org.

The situation

COVID-19 is one of the greatest humanitarian, health and economic crises of our time, and its impacts continue to be felt every day. Back in the spring, as the severity of the virus became known, The KIND Foundation (in consultation with Project N95) created Frontline Impact Project (FIP) to support those risking their lives to keep us safe. FIP matches healthcare workers and first responders with donated products and services. Three months later, we remain focused on helping frontline heroes who are working extraordinary hours in taxing circumstances. With support from more than 50 partners, including KIND, Unilever, Extra Gum, Nestlé, Keurig Dr Pepper, Justin’s, Hint, Harry’s, Headspace and Image Skincare, we hope to ease their stress and bring levity to their days. To date, FIP has generated 425 matches across 40 states and, together with its inaugural partner KIND, donated more than 2.5 million products. In the words of one beneficiary, “There is a big smile beneath my mask.”

While we’re proud of our impact, there is a lot of work ahead, especially as COVID ravages new parts of the country. According to a recent survey of frontline institutions, 100% of respondents said that their workers still have many needs beyond PPE. For example:

  • The volunteers at a Boston clinic, who are so busy treating homeless COVID+ patients that they barely have time to eat;
  • The ER nurse whose face is breaking out and indented due to a tight N95 mask, and whose hands are chapped from constant washing.
  • The ICU workers who are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and psychological trauma which, if left untreated, can result in chronic burnout among other things.

Of those surveyed, more than half said that they need food and beverages, and one-in-five said that personal care and wellness products would be beneficial. Other commonly cited needs included disinfectant/sanitizer; mental health support; and housing/transportation. We are committed to providing these items and more for the duration of the crisis.

How it works

  • Through FIP’s website, frontline institutions submit requests for resources. Submitters provide a reference for vetting to ensure the institution’s legitimacy. Departments or units within a larger institution are encouraged to work with their internal procurement team before submitting so that FIP can efficiently fulfill requests and help as many people as possible;
  • The system matches requesting institutions with relevant donors, and the donors subsequently deliver the products or services directly;
  • To ensure ample supply, FIP continually recruits corporate partners to donate non-PPE items.

 

Why it works

  • Times of great uncertainty call for maximum responsiveness. FIP is able to pivot quickly based on needs expressed directly from the frontlines. The platform is built to deliver resources to a range of institutions – from major hospital systems to volunteer EMS squads. Its customized approach guarantees that small institutions are not overlooked and those located in hot spots are prioritized.
  • On the demand side, FIP centralizes resources to create efficiencies and prevents institutions from being overwhelmed by individual corporate outreach.
  • On the supply side, FIP provides a solution for companies seeking a streamlined and flexible way to direct resources. Partners have access to a diverse network of institutions and assurance that their donations will be received by legitimate institutions in need.

Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss

From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

“Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States”

Ashton M. Verdery, Emily Smith-Greenaway, Rachel Margolis, and Jonathan Daw
PNAS July 28, 2020 117 (30) 17695-17701; first published July 10, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2007476117
Edited by Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved June 19, 2020 (received for review April 18, 2020)

COVID-19 has created a mortality shock throughout the world, and it may yield a second wave of population health concerns tied to bereavement and social support reductions. We created the COVID-19 bereavement multiplier, an indicator that clarifies one downstream impact of COVID-19 mortality and can be applied to different epidemiological projections of death counts: How many people are at risk for losing a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, or child for each COVID-19 death. In the United States, we estimate that on average, under diverse epidemiological circumstances, every death from COVID-19 will leave approximately nine bereaved. Studying how acute mortality crises reverberate through a population in the form of bereavement multipliers expands understandings of the social impacts of health crises.

Continue Reading►

NYT | FDA Allows Expanded Use of Plasma to Treat Coronavirus Patients

From the New York Times

F.D.A. Allows Expanded Use of Plasma to Treat Coronavirus Patients

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday gave emergency approval for expanded use of antibody-rich blood plasma to help hospitalized coronavirus patients, allowing President Trump, who has been pressuring the agency to move faster to address the pandemic, to claim progress on the eve of the Republican convention.

Continue Reading►

NYC emergency medical workers prepare for layoffs

From NBC News

The head of New York City’s emergency medical services union said Wednesday that the city is preparing to lay off hundreds of its members as the budget crisis grows during the coronavirus pandemic.

Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 257, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for the expected fallout.

Continue reading►

Richmond EMT is now an American Girl doll

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmonder April O’Quinn is a doll.

The Richmond Ambulance Authority EMT was one of five winners nationwide of the American Girl “Heroes With Heart” contest earlier this year. The company, which makes the popular American Girl Dolls, held the contest to honor frontline workers. Families were asked to nominate someone who’s making a difference in their lives by submitting a photo of their nominee and a written statement about how that person helped the community.

Continue reading►

CBS | EMTs Are Quitting Their Jobs

From CBS News | “Emergency medical technicians are quitting their jobs — COVID-19 makes it too dangerous

Rather than expose himself to a stream of infected patients in Queens, Baer opted to retire last month, ending his career at least a full year earlier than he’d planned. That disqualified him from collecting his full pension, and Baer estimates he gave up between $2,000 and $4,000 a year in retirement benefits — a decision he doesn’t regret.

Continue Reading►

NAAC Live 2020 Offers All Four Certification Courses

NAAC Live 2020 Offers All Four Certification Courses with Live, Real Time Instruction

 

Press Release Contact:  
Jason Leet, Program Coordinator at 717-620-2692
j.leet@AmbulanceCompliance.com

NAAC® – The National Academy of Ambulance Compliance for the first time ever is hosting all four NAAC certification programs at one virtual event – live and in real time – over two weeks in September.  Each course features live instructors that will answer questions in real time.  “These live courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to obtain all NAAC ambulance certification credentials in a dynamic and interactive setting,” said program coordinator Jason Leet.  “Course enrollees will get all their questions answered live,” Leet said.

NAAC Live 2020 is different from the traditional, self-paced online courses offered by NAAC, according to Leet. During NAAC Live 2020, the courses will be presented live on specific class schedules:

Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer™ – CACO®
September 9 through 10, 2020

Certified Ambulance Coder® – CAC®
September 14 through 16, 2020

Certified Ambulance Privacy Officer™ – CAPO®
September 21 through 22, 2020

Certified Ambulance Documentation Specialist™ – CADS® –
September 24, 2020

There is a registration fee for each course, which includes all course educational materials and includes the testing and certification process.  Click HERE to register or obtain additional information.

“This schedule allows attendees to obtain all four of our certifications in a two-week time span as courses are staggered so there is no overlap,” added Leet. Instructors are attorneys and consultants of the national EMS law firm of Page, Wolfberg & Wirth, LLC, the nation’s leading EMS law firm – experts in ambulance industry compliance. In addition to the live instruction, course enrollees will have immediate access to each final exam, and there will be instant certification upon completion and passing the exam, said Leet.

About the Courses

The CAC course is designed for ambulance billing personnel – anyone involved in the ambulance revenue cycle. This includes front line ambulance billers and coders, billing office supervisors and managers, compliance officers, QA coordinators and upper level management in an ambulance service, billing company or any other entity involved in ambulance billing, reimbursement, or revenue cycle management.

The CACO course is recommended for current and prospective compliance officers, upper level management, advanced billers and coders, and anyone involved in compliance training or supervising compliance with the ambulance billing company or agency.

The CAPO course is designed for the prospective HIPAA Compliance Officer/Official, Privacy Officer, security officers, managers, supervisors, and others involved in HIPAA training or compliance.

The CADS course is intended for front-line EMS practitioners, as well as ambulance industry leadership, revenue cycle management, compliance, quality improvement and other support positions. The CADS course covers the essential documentation skills necessary to facilitate high quality patient care, reduce provider and agency liability, improve clinical documentation, and facilitate accurate billing.

About NAAC

NAAC – The National Academy of Ambulance Compliance – is the nation’s leader in ambulance compliance education. NAAC represents the industry’s “Gold Standard of Excellence” in compliance, ethics, and legal integrity in all facets of ambulance compliance. NAAC provides premier training and education to ambulance billing, coding and compliance professionals and EMS practitioners through its four certification programs.

NAAC-certified professionals maintain their competency through annual continuing education requirements. NAAC provides and accredits a wide range of continuing education programs throughout the year, both in classroom and online offerings.

Certified individuals – including those obtaining certifications during NAAC Live 2020 – can meet all their annual required continuing education requirements by attending the PWW XI/abc360 conferences, to be held October 20-22, also as live, virtual events.  CLICK HERE for information about the Fall Conference.

More detailed information on NAAC and its ambulance industry certification courses can be found online at www.AmbulanceCompliance.com.

###

Public safety is divided on face mask policy

From EMS1

The use of face masks to stem the spread of COVID-19 has been a divisive topic, from government officials, to public safety entities, and the general public. Messaging from public health agencies has shifted throughout the pandemic, as to the efficacy of different types of face masks in protecting wearers and those they encounter.

Early on, EMS providers faced supply chain issues resulting in mask shortages and re-use and extended use guidelines to stretch their supply of N95s.

Though face mask wearing is still contested and not all states and communities have mandated mask wearing in public, many have, and many retailers and local business have implemented their own requirements.

Continue reading

MI | Opioid Treatment Ecosystems Save Lives

From Second Wave Michigan, “Leading the nation, Michigan’s Opioid Treatment Ecosystems save lives through holistic model,” feating AAA member Emergent  Health Partners

Often the first on the scene, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) working within the Opioid Treatment Ecosystem do more than administer naloxone, CPR, and ambulance transport. In Monroe County, Opioid Treatment Ecosystem initiative partner Emergent Health takes a team approach to overdose patients that includes law enforcement, medical providers, and mental health services.

“Unfortunately, opiate abuse is an addiction disease that’s a tough habit for people to overcome. We do see some people on a lot more frequent basis than we’d like,” says Karl Rock, vice president of south central operations for Emergent Health, which oversees Monroe Community Ambulance and Jackson Community Ambulance. “It is really [impacting] everybody, one of those diseases that spans all demographics, ages, race, economic status, everything.”

Continue Reading►

 

NBC | ‘End of life as we know it’

From Yahoo / NBC News on July 27, 2020

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, emergency medical services Capt. AJ Briones’ teams were fielding nearly 700 calls a day, tending to numerous patients going into cardiac arrest, many others needing intubations and seeing more deaths than they ever intended to see.

“We didn’t know that would be the end of life as we know it,” Briones, 32, who works for Empress Emergency Medical Services in Yonkers, Westchester County, said. “It literally shut down the whole world.”

Now with cases down in the state, his EMS teams can sometimes catch their breath for a moment. But with cases rising rapidly around the country, Briones reflected on the virus’ devastating toll, how far New York has come and his concerns about a possible second wave in the state.

Continue Reading►

JAMA | COVID-19 Medical Leave for EMS in NYC

From JAMA Network Open

Medical Leave Associated With COVID-19 Among Emergency Medical System Responders and Firefighters in New York City

In New York, New York, from March 1 to May 31, 2020, 201 102 individuals were diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting in 51 085 hospitalizations and 16 834 deaths.1 The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the largest in the US, responds to nearly 1.5 million emergency medical calls per year in a city of more than 8.4 million people. Active paid FDNY responders include 4408 emergency medical service (EMS) responders and 11 230 firefighters. These FDNY responders are required to don personal protective equipment before patient contact per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.2 In this cohort study, we compared medical leave of FDNY responders during the pandemic with prior years.

Continue Reading

Citation

Prezant DJ, Zeig-Owens R, Schwartz T, et al. Medical Leave Associated With COVID-19 Among Emergency Medical System Responders and Firefighters in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2016094. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16094

Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Masks

From Newsweek on July 22

Two recent studies looked at the relationship between personality traits and reactions to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Researchers found that people possessing so-called “Dark Triad” traits—narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism—were less likely to comply with restrictions or engage in preventative measures against the pandemic. However, researchers also emphasized the small role personality traits have in the overall response to pandemic restrictions, like face-mask mandates and social-distancing requirements.

Continue Reading►