AUCTION: TransCare Ambulance Service Certificates

The Bankruptcy Trustee of Transcare Corporation, et al. is selling seven (7) Ambulance Service Certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health covering New York City, Hudson Valley and Long Island at public auction, free and clear of any and all claims.

This presents an unparalleled opportunity to serve both NYC EMS and many of the largest and most respected health care providers in the area covering nearly 14 million residents and millions of commuters and tourists.

The Service Certificates cover the following counties:

  • Bronx
  • Kings
  • New York
  • Queens
  • Richmond
  • Nassau
  • Suffolk
  • Westchester
  • Rockland
  • Orange
  • Ulster
  • Sullivan
  • Dutchess
  • Putnam
  • Delaware

Bid on one or more of the service certificates!

Auction sale to be held on:

June 28, 2016 at 2:00 P.M.
United States Bankruptcy Court
Room 723
One Bowling Green
New York, New York 10004

Offers to purchase must be made by twelve o’clock noon on June 27, 2016 and are required to comply with prescribed Sale Terms as outlined in the Sale Order filed in connection with the TransCare Corporation, et al. bankruptcy proceeding which is available upon request by contacting:

Salvatore LaMonica, as Chapter 7 Trustee
c/o LaMonica Herbst & Maniscalco, LLP
3305 Jerusalem Avenue
Wantagh, New York 11793
Telephone:  (516) 826-6500
sl@lhmlawfirm.com

or

Jonathan N. Helfat, Esq.
c/o Otterbourg P.C.
230 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10169
Telephone:  (212) 661-9100
jhelfat@otterbourg.com

EEOC Sounds Off On Transgender Issues

A few days ago the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released Fact Sheet: Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This was in direct response to the passing of North Carolina’s HB2 in March that restricts multi-use bathrooms and changing facilities to be utilized only by those individuals based upon their sex noted at birth.  The North Carolina “Bathroom Rule” is directly aimed at transgender individuals and would force transgender individuals to use the restroom that is opposite of how they physically present.  In other words, a transgender male who has a beard and other characteristics typically associated with being male, would be forced to use a women’s restroom.

In response to the new law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had notified North Carolina that HB2 violates not only Title VII of the Civil Rights Act but also Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.  The DOJ sent a letter to the Governor and State legislature on May 4th informing them that they had until May 9th to notify the Department of their intent not to implement or enforce the new law or risk losing billions in Federal funding or a lawsuit.  The State of North Carolina failed to abide by the DOJ’s deadline and as a result, the DOJ announced that it is filing a Federal Civil Rights law suit against North Carolina, the Governor, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina.

Earlier this year the AAA hosted a webinar titled Gender Issues in EMS Employment during which we specifically discussed Transgender employee discrimination issues.  The EEOC has issued this guidance to employers as a notice to those law makers that it will not permit discrimination in employment, education, or public settings.  From an employment perspective, while discrimination is clearly not acceptable, some employers still wrestle with how to respond to employees who are uncomfortable with this issue.

In a recent 4th Circuit case, which addressed the same issue in an educational setting, the Appellate Court rejected defining gender as the sex noted at birth and stated that doing so is illegal discrimination.  In that case, the school board had adopted a policy that limited access to gender specific restrooms and locker rooms based upon a person’s sex assigned at birth.  Interestingly, in addition to adopting the illegal policy, the board announced a series of updates to the restrooms which would increase privacy for those utilizing them. These updates included expanding the partitions between the urinals and installing privacy strips on the doors of all restroom stalls.  Grimm vs. Gloucester County School Board.

While the Gloucester County School Board was clearly acting illegally when it instituted the gender policy regarding bathrooms and locker rooms use, I believe they did get one part correct.  All of these cases have focused on the comfort level of all of the individuals involved, the transgender person and the party who finds their presence in the gender specific room offensive.  However, I think some employers focus on the wrong aspect of the broader employment issue.   Many times over my career I have been pretty offended by the freedom and level of comfort some individuals of the same biological sex have taken when in a gender specific restroom or locker room.  The Board, as part of their decision, decided that they should expand urinal partitions and install privacy strips on stall doors.  This is an acknowledgement that privacy, in these settings, is important regardless of gender and employers should take note.

While we do not know what the result in North Carolina will be, it is very clear that the current state of the law is that transgender individuals are legally entitled to use the restroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify.  My advice to employers, read the guidance provided on this issue by the EEOC  and OSHA and further, provide all employees with a level of privacy as it relates to any gender specific room.  Lastly, it is critical that you educate employees and management staff on what protections are provided to all individuals under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and that discrimination based upon any protected category, including a person’s sexual identity, is illegal.

American Ambulance Association and Journal of Emergency Medical Services Announce Collaboration

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact

Amanda Riordan
Membership Director
American Ambulance Association
703-610-0264
ariordan@ambulance.org
www.ambulance.org

A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P
Editor-In-Chief
Journal of Emergency Medical Services
858-638-2605
aheightman@pennwell.com
www.jems.com

Baltimore, MD, February 25, 2016 – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) and the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) today announced a collaboration to bring robust content and educational offerings to AAA members in the emergency medical services (EMS) and medical transportation industry.

AAA members will now receive complimentary access to EMS Insider gated content covering key EMS topics for top-level decision-makers. Additionally, JEMS will provide in-depth journalistic coverage, as the exclusive media partner, of AAA’s events and initiatives, including the Stars of Life EMS personnel recognition program.

“We are excited to bring innovative EMS Insider content and high-quality event coverage to our members,” said American Ambulance Association executive vice president Maria Bianchi. “We look forward to working with the JEMS team to shine light on the AAA Stars of Life who do so much for their communities.”

JEMS is pleased to collaborate with the American Ambulance Association,” said A.J. Heightman, editor-in-chief of JEMS and EMS Insider. “AAA members are EMS leaders, and we look forward to providing additional content that will support their efforts to provide expert care to patients while driving operational excellence.”

To kick off the partnership, AAA will exhibit at EMS Today Conference and Exposition|The JEMS Conference 2016 in Baltimore, February 25–27, accompanied by top leaders from the member community. JEMS will in turn serve as the official media partner of AAA’s Stars of Life in Washington, D.C. April 11–13, bringing fresh visibility to the EMS heroes honored there. The collaboration will carry through the 2016 AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow and EMS Today Conference and Exposition|The JEMS Conference 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT, with additional content and networking opportunities for AAA members to be developed over time. “This is just the beginning,” said JEMS’s A.J. Heightman.

About the American Ambulance Association (AAA)

Founded in 1979, the American Ambulance Association represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and nonemergency care and medical transportation. AAA’s advocacy, member resources, educational offerings, and publications support excellence in pre-hospital care, an essential part of the public healthcare system. www.ambulance.org

About the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)

As “The Conscience of EMS,” JEMS leads the industry in providing the EMS advanced provider, instructor and administrator with clinical breakthroughs, product reviews, continuing education and more. JEMS is backed by the strength of PennWell, a media and information company with 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research products, digital media, and database services. www.jems.com.

About PennWell Corporation

Founded in 1910 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, PennWell Corporation is a privately held and highly diversified business-to-business media and information company that provides quality content and integrated marketing solutions for the following industries:  Oil and gas, electric power generation and delivery, hydropower, renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, optoelectronics, fiber-optics, aerospace and avionics, LEDs and lighting, fire and emergency services, public safety, and dental.

PennWell publishes over 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, conducts 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and has an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research and database services.  PennWell Public Safety, a PennWell business located in La Jolla, CA, produces public safety products and services including JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services), JEMS.com, Law Officer Magazine, EMS Today Conference and Exposition, LawOfficer.com and other products.

In addition to PennWell’s headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Company has major offices in Nashua, New Hampshire; London, England; Houston, Texas; San Diego and Mountain View, California; Fairlawn, New Jersey; Moscow, Russia; and Hong Kong, China.  www.pennwell.com

– END –

CMS Publishes Medicare Fee-for-Service Provider & Supplier Lists

Earlier today, AAA representatives participated on an invitation-only stakeholder call in which CMS announced the availability of two new public data sets. The first data set shows through an interactive map the availability and use of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies. The second data set is a list of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers and suppliers currently approved to bill Medicare. CMS just released the two data sets to the public.

The first data set, the Moratoria Provider Services and Utilization Data Tool, includes interactive maps and a data-set that shows national, state, and county-level provider and supplier services and utilization data that can be used by CMS to determine which geographic and health service areas might be considered for a moratorium on new provider and supplier enrollments. The data provides the number of Medicare providers and suppliers servicing a geographic region, identifies moratoria regions at the state and county levels, and identifies the number of people with Medicare benefits who use a specific health service in that region. The data can also be used to reveal service levels related to the number of providers and suppliers in a geographic region. Utilization data and geographic regions for these services can be easily compared using interactive maps.

You can access the Moratoria Provider Services and Utilization Data Tool at: https://data.cms.gov/moratoria-data
The provider/supplier enrollment data set can be accessed at: https://data.cms.gov/public-provider-enrollment

EMSA Welcomes Congressman Jim Bridenstine

Long-time AAA member the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) of Oklahoma welcomed Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK, District 1) for a tour today. Thanks to Angie Lehman, EMSA’s Vice President of Financial Services and co-chair of the AAA Medicare Regulatory Committee for sharing these great photos from the visit.



As always, AAA encourages member organizations to open their doors to legislators to showcase the critical importance of prehospital care. If you give a tour or overview to a congressperson, please share your photos with us!

WTAE Shows 25% of Ambulance Calls Unpaid

WTAE Pittsburgh’s Action News recently published a great video investigative piece by Paul Van Osdol on the realities of ambulance funding.

So who pays for these and other non-transport calls?

“The folks that go to the hospital end up paying for the 25 percent that we don’t transport,” Porter said.

But even that does not cover the entire cost, and as a result, ambulance companies are hurting.

A survey of Allegheny County EMS services found 75 percent of them are losing money. On average, they collect only 43 percent of the amount they bill.

“That is frightening when you think about the EMS system as a whole,” Porter said. “The risk is burnout of EMS crews, overworked EMS crews, delayed response time, inadequately trained staff.”

Read the full article, and see their fantastic video, over at WTAE.com.

Watch Now

Share News Stories and Press Releases with AAA

AAA members, do you have a great news story or press release to share with fellow members? We’d love to help. Submit links to content published on non-AAA sites below.

  • News articles may be included in the AAA Digest e-newsletter and/or blog.
  • Press releases are accepted as they relate to heroism, community service, merger and acquisition announcements, and other noncommercial activities. Please note that commercially-focused or product-specific press releases cannot be shared by AAA as a matter of policy.

Stories can be about your ambulance service, your employees, services near you, policy, or other topics that you feel may be of interest to other members. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

Would you like to write or speak FOR AAA? Read more.

Please note that AAA reserves the right to decline to publish any content for any reason. Only AAA members are eligible to submit content.

  • Submitter Name
  • Link to the content you are submitting for consideration. Note: AAA can't accept Word doc or PDF press releases—please post press releases to your site, then submit the link.
  • Article or press release title
  • Date the article or press release was published
    Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • For news articles, include the name of the newspaper, radio station, magazine, etc. For press releases, note the name of the website where this is published (PR Newswire, your organization's website, etc).

Van Arnam Retires From AEV, Will Head CAAS GVS

Mark Van Arnam, founder and CEO of American Emergency Vehicles, has announced his retirement from the North Carolina based manufacturer of ambulances. “It is extremely difficult to leave AEV,” stated Van Arnam. “But, the company is performing well, and is run by a strong team.” Mark has been in the ambulance business for over 45 years, and is looking forward to some new challenges.

First on his list of projects is the implementation of the new Ground Vehicle Standard (GVS v.1.0), scheduled to be published in February by the Commission on Accreditation for Ambulance Services (CAAS). “Our broad based GVS committee spent over two years developing this new consensus standard for ambulances,” stated Van Arnam, who served as Vice Chair of the Committee. “We are very proud of our document, and anxious to roll it out as a successor to the KKK-A-1822 standard which the US Government will sunset in the near future.”

CAAS is an ANSI accredited organization that defines the “gold standard” for operations in the medical transportation industry. “CAAS is very excited about the Ground Vehicle Standard project,” stated Mark Postma, CAAS Chair. “We have now created the gold standard for emergency medical vehicles, intended for use by all types of providers in the broad spectrum of EMS.”

Postma went on to say “CAAS is proud to appoint an industry leader like Mark Van Arnam to serve as Administrator for the inaugural era of the GVS. We look forward to seeing the CAAS GVS standard become the new cornerstone for emergency vehicle production and certification throughout North America.”

For additional information:

www.groundvehiclestandard.org
www.caas.org

Ambulance Ride-Along Toolkit

AAA ambulance emt member legislation

2017 Kit Coming Soon!

Educating your members of Congress about ambulance industry issues makes them much more likely to support your efforts.  An easy and effective way to educate them is to invite them to participate in a local Ambulance Ride-Along!

Congress is scheduled to adjourn on July 15 for their August congressional recess with members of Congress returning home to their districts and states.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to educate your members of Congress about those issues, in particular Medicare ambulance relief and reform, which are important to your operation.  The most effective way to deliver these key messages is to host your member of Congress or their staff on a tour of your operation and an ambulance ride-along.  If you cannot host a tour and ride-along, we strongly encourage you to arrange local meetings with your members of Congress during August.  The AAA has made the process of arranging a ride-long or scheduling a meeting easy for you with our 2016 Congressional Ride-Along Toolkit.

While the current temporary Medicare ambulance relief increases don’t expire unit December 31, 2017, meet with your members of Congress now to gain their support for making the relief permanent.  Also, there is a potential opportunity this year to make progress on provisions to change our status from “suppliers” to “providers” of health care services and to direct CMS to collect ambulance cost data.  Enactment of these two provisions is necessary to set the stage for future reform of the Medicare fee schedule and reimbursement for services other than a transport.  During the tours or meetings, please therefore request your members of Congress to cosponsor the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Relief Act (S. 377, H.R. 745) and support moving the provider status and cost data provisions of the bill this year.

Everything you need to arrange the ride-along or schedule a meeting is included in the Toolkit. Act now and invite your elected officials to join you on an Ambulance Ride-Along!

Other Important Resources:

2016 AAA Legislative Overview and Priorities

Permanent Medicare Ambulance Relief Leave Behind – For Congressional Staffers

Talking Points for Permanent Medicare Relief

Advocacy Handbook

CMS Releases Ambulance Cost Data Collection Report

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its report on the feasibility of collecting cost data from ambulance service providers.  Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Congress directed CMS to conduct the report entitled “Evaluation of Hospitals’ Ambulance Data on Medicare Cost Reports and Feasibility of Obtaining Cost Data from All Ambulance Providers and Suppliers”. The report can be accessed here.

The report states that due to the diverse nature of our industry with a majority of providers being small entities, traditional mandatory ambulance cost reporting is not feasible.  While it does not make a recommendation on a data collection system, the report highlights the work of the AAA with The Moran Company and will be helpful in our push for a survey approach to collecting ambulance cost data.  Here is AAA’ summary of the report, AAA Summary of CMS Acumen Cost Analysis.

The survey approach to collecting ambulance cost data is a major component of the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act (S. 377, H.R. 745) which would make the current Medicare ambulance increases permanent.  The data collected through the survey would help the AAA make data-driven recommendations to the Congress and CMS on future changes to the Medicare ambulance fee schedule.

The contractor, Acumen, who developed the report, was also asked to look to see if cost data submitted by hospital-based ambulance service providers would be helpful.  Acumen determined that the data submitted varied significantly and thus was not useful.

For questions about the AAA efforts on cost data collection, please contact AAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tristan North at tnorth@ambulance.org.

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.

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.)

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.

Community Paramedicine’s Growth Hindered by Reimbursement Issues

From Politico’s “Reimbursement issues block paramedics from expanded role“—

Despite the track record of [community paramedicine] initiatives in places like Nevada and Texas, where paramedics are providing in-home care, coordinating patient services and saving millions in the process, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans still won’t reimburse for such work. The program successes to date are only beginning to change that…

Nationwide, the impact from reducing ambulance calls and demands on ERs while freeing up doctors could be huge. A 2013 study in Health Affairs estimated that more flexible reimbursement for paramedicine approaches could save Medicare $283 million to $560 million annually and similar sums for private insurers.

AAA Members Named to NEMSAC

On May 12, 2015, two AAA member leaders were appointed to the  National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC) by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. NEMSAC advises the Department of Transportation and the Federal Interagency Committee on critical EMS issues.

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Kaiser Health News: REMSA Paramedics Steer Non-Emergency Patients Away From ERs

Innovation in Reno
REMSA program empowers EMS, helps patient outcomes, and cuts costs.

Yesterday Kaiser Health News reported that AAA member organization Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA), is serving its community in innovative ways that reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. Initiatives led by REMSA CEO Jim Gubbels empower Reno paramedics to lower the number of preventable emergency room visits and close gaps in primary health care.

Using a $9.8 million federal grant, [REMSA CEO Jim Gubbels’] agency launched three different projects. In addition to providing paramedic home visits and offering patients options besides the ER, the agency started a nurse-run health line to give people with health questions another number to call in non-emergency situations.

An early evaluation by the University of Nevada, Reno, which was based on insurance claims and hospital data, shows that the projects saved $5.5 million in 2013 and 2014. They helped avoid 3,483 emergency department visits, 674 ambulance transports and 59 hospital re-admissions, according to the preliminary data. The federal government plans to do its own evaluation.

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