2016 Board of Director Candidates

Election Timeline | Board Candidates | Ethics Committee Candidates

The 2016 AAA Election is going paperless and this year’s election will be held entirely online. Primary contacts of Active Single State and Multi-State Members are permitted by AAA’s bylaws to vote in board elections.

Election Timeline

Slate of Candidates

Thank you and best of luck to this year’s slate of talented and seasoned board candidates.

President-Elect (1)

President Elect—1 Candidate

Aarron Reinert

aarron-reinertExecutive Director
Lakes Region EMS

Candidate Statement

Friends!
I am excited to share with you my intent and hope to be your President-elect for our association.
Many of you have taken time to share with me your thoughts about our association and what is required and expect of such an important position as President-elect. You have been candid with me about the hard work that will be required and the expected time commitments. You were also honest with me about the need to ensure the AAA is a priority, through my actions and as well as my words. Your honesty and frankness is exactly why I desire the chance to help lead our organization. My hope is to help lead our organization through these turbulent waters of supplier to provider, payment reform, ensuring member’s services are long-term sustainable, and cultivating a Board culture of trust, accountability, vision, and passionate disagreement that strengthens us, not pulls us apart.

I am reminded of a quote from Margret Wheatley, one of the emerging leadership writers, “leaders do not deny that there is darkness, they simply choose not to live in it.” I look around our association and see leaders who have chosen to rise about the darkness of the daily challenges and inequity of non-governmental ambulance service and our reimbursement system. All of you are leading our nation’s EMS system to an environment of sustainable payments, equity, and equal standing with our governmental partners. How could I not want to be part of such an incredible team.

Thank you! I look forward to the chance to earn your vote and the position of President-elect.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

Leading our nations EMS system to an environment of sustainable payments, equity, and equal standing with our governmental partners, and developing and sustaining our workforce (clinical, non-clinical, and current and future leaders).

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

My desire is to help lead our organization through these turbulent waters of supplier to provider, payment reform, ensuring member’s services are long-term sustainable, and cultivating a Board culture of trust, accountability, vision, and passionate disagreement that strengthens us, not pulls us apart.

Treasurer (2)

Treasurer—2 Candidates

Shawn Baird, MA, Paramedic

baird-shawnCo-Owner
Woodburn Ambulance Service, Inc.

Candidate Statement

Successfully guiding our companies through the massive transformation taking place in healthcare is an unprecedented challenge for ambulance service owners and executives. As an owner of a small, independent, 911 and non-emergent ambulance service for the past 21 years I know how critical our American Ambulance Association is to the industry. Reliable up to the minute reimbursement information, outstanding advocacy in Congress, and first class educational and member services all contribute to our companies’ success in providing excellent patient care while maintain the bottom line.

Experienced and innovative leadership is essential for the AAA to continue moving our industry ahead in the new healthcare environment. Leadership that is acutely aware of the need to balance progressive payment reform for tomorrow, with maintaining essential revenue to make payroll today.

My goal as your Treasurer is to assure the financial health of the AAA, while actively engaging on the essential priorities of payment reform and adequate reimbursement for providers. I look forward to serving and applying my experience as a AAA leader, independent ambulance company owner, and industry advocate to the membership of the American Ambulance Association.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

  1. Payment reform in a changing environment.
  2. Significant regulatory changes impacting all business owners and employers.
  3. Growing challenges in employee recruitment, development, and retention.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

  1. Keeping essential revenue flowing into our companies as we navigate and drive payment reform initiatives beneficial to AAA members.
  2. Assuring that future regulatory changes on issues ranging from vehicle standards to employment practices are positive for AAA members and do not cripple our ability to operate.
  3. Develop strong partnerships with other EMS organizations to leverage our unified strength to meet challenges both known and unexpected.

Douglas “Doug” Hooten

Executive Directorhooten-photo
MedStar Mobile Healthcare

Candidate Statement

America’s healthcare system is transforming at a frenetic pace! Healthcare finance reform is creating a new environment for all types of providers, including ambulance providers. Our customer’s expectations are also changing, with the desire to shift from volume-to-value based economic models. As an appointed member of NEMSAC, and an active member of the Payment Reform Committee, I have gained the unique insight to navigate our industry through the murky financial waters ahead.

From a real-world, practical perspective, I have had the experience of working diligently with numerous external partners to demonstrate and deliver value, and get paid based on the value we bring. At MedStar, we are testing several new payment models, with more to be tested in the near future.

As your Treasurer, one of my goals will be to use this experience to prepare the Association, and its members, to take full advantage of the significant opportunities to test new economic models for our industry.

Working with local and national officials, I too often hear their frustrations about the complexity of the financial models of our industry. We must help our membership enhance their financial acumen and economic agility to try new payment models based on the value we can demonstrate to payers.

Finally, we often hear from our external partners that the ambulance industry has very fragmented messages within the DC beltway and with large national payers. One of my goals will be to work with other national associations help bring external message clarity to the profession.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Transitioning from fee for service to outcome-based payment models.
2. The changing expectations of current customers and entrance of new customers for our services into the market.
3. Demonstrating “value” of our service delivery model, or changing the model to demonstrate value.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Changing focus away from simply FFS payment to a value-based payment model.
2. Enhancing the financial acumen of our industry leaders to make us more nimble to test new economic models.
3. Collaborating on unified key messages about the value our service line brings to our patients, our community and our payers.

Secretary (1)

Secretary—1 Candidate

Randy Strozyk

strozyk-randySenior Vice President – Operations
American Medical Response

Candidate Statement

Serving as Secretary of the American Ambulance Association the past two years has been a great personal honor and exciting career challenge. I’d like to continue representing you and ask for your vote.

During my career, I’ve been fortunate to work in and study all types and sizes of ambulance services. Though I’ve spent the past 16 years with AMR, I started my career at a small service and distinctly remember the unique pressures we encountered. I’ve considered the concerns and perspectives of providers large and small during my tenure as AAA secretary – and commit to continue being open and accessible moving forward.

In today’s world, EMS providers face a number of serious threats and game-changing opportunities, but we are challenged at times to speak with a clear, unified voice. I have the experience and tenacity to help strengthen our voice and achieve results.

It would be an honor to continue working for you. Please consider supporting me as I seek another term as Secretary of the American Ambulance Association.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

  1. Educating of our nation’s leaders on the critical role AAA members provide to the public and the need for fair reimbursement of the costs of providing that service.
  2. Identifying and capitalizing on innovative new methods for delivering services to the citizens we serve.
  3. Continuing to be the lead organization is crafting future legislation that benefits our industry and patients.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

  1. Building a powerful coalition between our association and our members to advocate effectively on Capitol Hill for all of our members’ issues, including opposing efforts by the federal government to reduce reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medicaid services.
  2. Recruiting the next generation of leaders to AAA and engaging them in developing our future.
  3. Communicating and promoting the benefits of private ambulance services to policy makers, opinion leaders and the public at large.

Region I (2)

Region I Director—2 Candidates

Region 1

ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, NY, CT, NJ

fred-dellavalle-3Alfred “Fred” Della Valle

Vice President Government Relations East Region
American Medical Response

Candidate Statement

As we continue our journey in achieving our goals, I am seeking re-election to the Board of Directors to ensure we continue to focus on the delivery of high quality pre hospital healthcare to the citizens we all serve each and every day.
I continue to advocate for all ambulance providers large and small, urban and rural while continuing to maintain key Congressional relationships in both Houses of Congress. We have made tremendous strides internally within the AAA, while continuing our advocacy efforts, especially, elimination of below cost Medicare reimbursements.
Having served as a host, I have accompanied many of our Stars of Life in meetings with their members of Congress in D.C., guiding them in telling their stories as to why they were selected for such a prestigious award. What an honor!
In 2014 AAA President Jimmy Johnson presented me with the AAA President’s Award for my outstanding commitment and years of service. I continue my professional relationships with members of Congress in order to ensure they remain educated, supportive and aware of the vital role ambulance providers continue to play nationwide.
In an ever-changing healthcare environment and upcoming elections, we need to ensure we remain focused, while maintaining visibility with our Congressional Leaders.
As it would be my honor to continue to serve as your representative on the Board of Directors, I ask again for your support, while thanking you for your past confidence.
As always please do not hesitate to contact me for any insight or assistance.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Provide our care givers with technology, support and training in order to provide optimal care.
2. Explore new ideas and concepts in the delivery of pre-hospital patient care.
3. Educating both local, state, and federal legislators and decision-makers as to the vital role ambulance providers continue to play within the EMS system nationwide.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Continuing our support to member companies in the way of services and training and educational seminars.
2. On-going diligence in securing adequate funding and initiatives within the Medicare Fee Schedule program.
3. Relationship building, maintaining our integrity and nurturing partnerships with affiliate groups, while remaining the foremost leader in EMS advocacy.


Ronald Quaranto

ron-quaranto-photoChief Operating Officer
Cataldo Ambulance Service

Candidate Statement

I feel that my extensive EMS experience coupled with my current role as Chief Operating Officer for Cataldo Ambulance Service, Inc. makes me the ideal candidate for the Region I Board position. For over ten years I have participated in regional counsels which include, the President of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Boston EMS Counsel, and I have participated and chaired several regional committees. In addition, I currently hold the position of Vice President for the Massachusetts Ambulance Association. My operational ability, passion for EMS, and dedication to quality patient care will add tremendous value to the board of the American Ambulance Association.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Most importantly is quality patient care
2. Reimbursement
3. Recruitment and Retention

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Continue to ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provide research and educational programs that will have a positive impact on the services to help address the recruitment and retention issues that we in EMS are currently faceing.
2. Enable our members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve (MIH).
3. Promote health care policies.

Region II (3)

Region II Director—3 Candidates

Region 2

PA, WV, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, DC, DE, MS, AL

Russell Honeycutt

rusell_honeycutt_photoExecutive Director of Government Affairs
Central EMS

Candidate Statement

I believe that the collaborative effort of a Nationally based association (AAA) is the best hope for delivering reform to all areas of EMS. We have begun in the past two years a project involving cost studies that can transform the reimbursement challenges all EMS Services face and establish a reimbursement system that truly compensates us at a level that allows us to render excellent patient care without taxing the communities that we operate in. My passion is to see this project to completion in order that honest suppliers of EMS are compensated fairly and the bad actors in our industry are no longer allowed to cast aspersion on the hardworking men and women in our industry. Change is coming and we need to be proactive in formulating policy and not have policy dictated to us which results in more costly regulation.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Adequate Reimbursement
2. Reduction in Regulatory Burdens
3. Patient Experience (improving the quality of care)

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Increased reimbursement from federal payers
2. Improved relationships with Congress and federal agencies
3. Develop and influence payment reform


Terence Ramotar

ramotar-headshot_aaa_editedRegional Director
American Medical Response>

Candidate Statement

Faced with declining reimbursement, increasing operational costs, regulatory changes and a changing workforce, ambulance services face pressures that may seem insurmountable. However, value and quality cannot be negotiated. Our industry has a moral mandate to serve our communities with excellence, and in the best interest of the public’s health and well-being.
For over 20 years, I’ve served in several leadership positions for various types of EMS organizations both large and small. Whether a non-profit ambulance squad in a small town or a large system in a major metropolitan area, I’ve experienced firsthand how these pressures impact the services we deliver. The next few years are critical to our sustainability.

I have previously served on the Board of Directors and various committees for the American Ambulance Association. I bring a deep commitment to integrity and a core belief in servant leadership. I also understand that it’s time for my generation to “step up” and become actively involved. With your support, I look forward to providing the leadership necessary to help bring our AAA membership together, advocate on the region’s behalf and champion efforts that provide value to our services.
I wholeheartedly ask for your support in doing so.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Reimbursement at the federal level continues to threaten the quality of the services we provide to our communities. Payment for emergency services continue to shrink below our costs while our expenses rise.
2. Human Resource challenges stress our services nationwide on two fronts. The demand for Paramedics are quickly exceeding the supply. Subsequently, the talent pool is shrinking. Leadership turnover is rising and the next generation of leaders need to be prepared.
3. A Vision for the future in a rapidly changing healthcare environment is becoming an emerging issue in local EMS markets. Healthcare calls for reform, but how EMS becomes part of the collaborative solution is yet to be determined.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Reimbursement. The AAA needs to continue its strong voice on Capitol Hill and protect against further threats.
2. Membership. Our strength is in numbers. While the AAA membership is strong, there still is the opportunity to become stronger. By delivering value for its services, we can continue to build on a strong foundation.
3. Leadership Development needs to be a strong focus both internally as well as for its membership. By continuing to expand learning opportunities and sharing its wealth of knowledge, the AAA is and should continue to be the primary source for industry information and education.


Larry Wiersch

Chief Executive Officer
Cetronia Ambulance Corps., Inc.

Candidate Statement

I am exceptionally proud of my service to EMS and our AAA Board as a Region II Alternate Director. In these most difficult times of constant change and new healthcare dynamics, I will continue to work hard for our association members to ensure that whatever we do for our industry serves our patients and our dedicated professionals with the very best. We need leadership that understands the need to change, challenges the “status quo” on issues that affect our members, and provides thoughtful ideas that evaluates how it affects all members from a global perspective. Our members, our patients and our communities deserve national leadership that incorporates meaningful processes that supports healthy debate that achieves outcomes with the best possible results.
I believe that my past involvement with the AAA on multiple committees including government affairs, professional standards, federal reimbursement and numerous other special work groups gives me insight into methods that work. While we must not dwell in the past, we must learn from it while moving forward into the future. I promise, that I will do my very best to represent our region, our association, our employees and most importantly our life saving mission. I will always promote quality EMS that represents all provider types, support good governance and embrace healthy change that saves more lives and allows us to deliver on our promise of service to our community.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

The impact of federal reimbursement models changing; regulatory restrictions and government affairs; Innovations and how it presents opportunities as well as challenges to EMS in the future.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

Leadership; How to engage members to bring forth meaningful change; Strategic direction as well as promotion of quality metrics for the future of private EMS.

Region III (4)

Region III Director—4 Candidates

Region 3

MI, WI, IL, OH, KY, TN, IN

Barbara Bachman

bachman-barbaraChief Financial Officer
Emergent Health Partners / Huron Valley Ambulance

Candidate Statement

I am running for the position of Region 3 Director of the AAA and I am asking for your support and your vote. I am Chief Financial Officer of a medium-sized Michigan ambulance service – a position which I have held for 11 years. I also serve as a member of AAA’s Medicare Regulatory Committee.

I would like your support so that I can help make sure that all independent ambulance operators have a strong voice in Association matters and federal policies – especially Medicare and Medicaid. I am also interested in making sure that the AAA provides strong representation for all of us, and that it is done fairly for all services in Region 3 and across the country. Finally, AAA can’t be an advocate if it does not stay strong financially. That means watching our expenses carefully and keeping dues at a reasonable level which we can all afford.

Thank you for considering my candidacy and I look forward to serving and representing your interests on the AAA Board as a Region 3 Director. Please call or email me if you have questions about any matter that you feel I can help with.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

I believe the top three issues in emergency health care are low reimbursement rates, demonstrating value in a changing healthcare environment, and recruiting and retention of staff. Image management and educating the public are important components of these three issues.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

AAA needs to continue pursuing its legislative priorities seeking permanent Medicare ambulance relief. We also need to work with state associations to educate the public so that we can attract millennials to our profession. We also need to convince government at all levels to provide funding for EMS education programs. We should actively shape our role in the changing healthcare environment.


Kim Godden

godden-kimVice President, Legal and Corporate Compliance
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc.

Candidate Statement

I am currently concluding my fourth year representing Region III on the American Ambulance Association Board of Directors. I am running for re-election to continue to represent Region III for an additional term. I would like to continue to work closely with fellow board members, AAA staff and contractors and our members to continue to advance Industry initiatives and address the concerns our members are facing. I work closely within the states our company operates in (Illinois, Michigan and Indiana) to advance industry initiatives and concerns. I enjoy being able to bring my legal background, education and experience working in and with the government to the ambulance industry. Being able to work with state, local, and federal government is an integral component of our industry’s success. Region III includes both urban and rural areas and ambulance companies of different sizes, types and disciplines; as a Board Member I make sure that all issues are discussed and decisions are made with all members in mind. I intend to continue to work within Region III to coordinate effort and ideas on a regional level.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Survival due to health care reform and fraud and abuse allegations within the industry
2. Attracting and retaining EMTs in our industry
3. Obtaining proper and fair reimbursement

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Combat allegations of fraud and abuse within our industry
2. Secure proper and fair reimbursement
3. Address national EMT shortage – attracting and retaining EMTs


Michael Pieroni

pieroni-head-shotDirector of Operations
Medical Express Ambulance

Candidate Statement

I have been involved in Illinois EMS since 1987, as a caregiver, a manager and a business owner. My background includes ambulance operations, billing and collections, loss control, human resources, payroll and benefits administration, business development and government relations. I served as the President of the Illinois State Ambulance Association from 2003 until 2013, and remain on the ISAA Board today.

I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by ambulance providers. Having “grown up” in the Chicago private ambulance market, I am no stranger to competition. I take great pride, however, in being a supportive, understanding and sincere representative for our profession as a whole. I feel my specific experiences as a former EMT, ambulance service owner and ISAA Board President have uniquely prepared me for the challenges ahead. In addition, I have attended several AAA reimbursement task force meetings, and feel that it would be my honor to contribute to that work.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. The Affordable Care Act, Managed Care, consolidation, and Medicare/Medicaid reform have all made ambulance reimbursement a highly technical minefield. The ability to be paid for the services we provide is paramount.
2. The evolution of Mobile Integrated Healthcare is fast paced and dynamic. While an exciting new aspect of EMS, MIH will need continued development and support at a grassroots level across the country.
3. Recruitment and retention of qualified EMTs and paramedics remains a key challenge for all EMS organizations.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Navigating the ever-changing landscape of EMS reimbursement is necessary to the survival of any EMS agency, and must be a priority.
2. Development and training of human resource teams to tackle the ongoing shortage of qualified EMS personnel.
3. Innovation and growth. Technological advances and concepts like MIH enable our profession to minimize costs, while creating potential new revenue streams.


Julie Rose

rose-julieCEO/Executive Director
Community Care Ambulance

Candidate Statement

I am requesting your support to continue to serve Region 3 AAA members as your Board representative. I believe I am uniquely positioned to understand your needs as a fellow provider and serving my organization as the Chief executive; appreciating the holistic challenges that face our provider group in today’s current landscape.

I have over 15 years of experience in leading and serving on AAA committees as well as Board positions.

My activity at the state level as Past President of the OAMTA as well as a Board member of the governor appointed Ohio State Emergency, Fire and Medical Transportation Board has further enlightened me about service regulatory issues at the state level as well as reimbursement challenges in dealing with Medicaid.

I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you for another term as Region 3 Board member.

Thank you, Julie Rose

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Achieving adequate funding for emergency and non emergency medical transports as funding for MIH is sought
2. Providing viable careers to encourage the entry into EMS leading into leadership positions
3. Safety for patients and providers

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Promoting the value base of private EMS and position in the healthcare continuum
2. Influence the creation of public policy that provides fair reimbursement
3. Provide opportunities to train EMS Leadership for the future

Region IV (3)

Region IV Director—3 Candidates

Region 4

KS, OK, TX, LA, AR, IA, MN, MO, SD, ND, NE

Daniel Gillespie

Dan-imageVice President
Allegiance Ambulance

Candidate Statement

I have been honored to see the AAA members for the past two years and hope for the opportunity to continue to serve our industry within this association. I value the knowledge and experience I have gained in working with such a highly motivated and effective group of professionals as we drive our professional in to the future.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Continued payment reform in CMS
2. New Leadership development and recruitment
3. Moving EMS from being a vendor to a provider

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Support Payment reform
2. Support EMS legislation that recognizes EMS as a provider and provides reimbursement that is reflective of that
3. Creating a national marketing initiative to ignite interest in our industry from the younger generations and end the massive shortages in paramedics and EMTs


Angela Lehman

lehman-angieChief Revenue Officer
Emergency Medical Services Authority

Candidate Statement

I would like to represent Region 4 as a Board of Director for the American Ambulance Association because of the passion I have for this industry, and my knowledge of the payors and regulatory issues and concerns in our region. I have been fortunate to work in many areas of the healthcare sector, and personally, there is no other sector comparable to the ambulance industry. I have had many personal and professional conversations about how I cannot imagine working in a different realm of healthcare again because of the people involved in the industry — from owners, to non-profits to for-profits, and to government entities. Because of this diverse group of individuals, it makes this industry a challenge, and it is even more reason we must work together to advocate for higher reimbursement and better recognition as a healthcare entity. I have been committed to this advocacy for the last six years as evidenced by my roles on the Medicare Regulatory, Professional Standards, and Government Affairs, Education and Payment Reform Committees. I believe I can be a strategic and effective leader for our industry. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management, and currently obtained my Masters of Art in Health and Human Services. I look forward to having the opportunity to serve as one of the Region 4, American Ambulance Association Board of Directors.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

The top issues I see in emergency healthcare are the shortage of staffing with EMTs and Paramedics; the inability to obtain appropriate data to reflect the industry’s cost and quality of patient care; and being reimbursed appropriately.

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

To obtain permanent Medicare add-ons for Medicare reimbursement; to continue to look at and work on different payment methodologies for the industry; and to obtain legislation to provide for a mechanism to obtain cost-survey data and to move the ambulance industry from supplier to provider status.


David Tetrault

tetrault-davidAdministrator/ CEO
St. Francois County Ambulance District

Candidate Statement

My candidate statement for re-election to the Board of Directors Region 4 Seat, I’m asking for your vote to continue our work with bringing EMS forward, continue to fight for small rural services and large services let me be your voice on Capitol Hill in Washington.

I have been dedicated to EMS for over 27 years committed to EMS issues, ability to attend meetings, time to commit to the position of Director for AAA region 4. I will follow through answer concerns with the region and other regions that need our help and expertise. My Board is and have been very willing to support me financially to travel with AAA and administrative support for all activities supporting EMS beyond the borders of my Small Rural Community Ambulance District.

As past president of the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association and other positions I have been responsible for assisting and participating in planning, preparation, and execution of our annual meetings and training activities. I have also been instrumental in internal audits and the recommendation and implementation of financial procedures for MEMSA. I was a principal player in starting EMS day at the State Capital over 10 years ago and am still actively involved in legislative activities and initiatives.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Healthcare Reform, Medicare and Medicaid issues with understanding EMS
2. Making sure that EMS, stays in front and continues to be recognized in this country as part of the 3 first responders and held in the same light, strength and representation as Police and Fire.
3. Standardization across the country and less fragmentation among EMS providers

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Education, training, focused work on reimbursement for Ambulance services throughout the country
2. Communications to its members and growing strength in numbers and voices across the country
3. Moving EMS forward and continuing to make our voices heard loud and clear, and that we are here to stay. Keeping up with all the healthcare changes and reforming EMS for the future.

Region V (3)

Region V Director—3 Candidates

Region 5

AZ, CA, NV, UT, OR, ID, WY, MT, WA, HI, AK, NM, CO

Chris Archuleta

CEO
Superior Ambulance Service, Inc.

Candidate Statement

During the past 3 elections I’ve been elected as your alternate for the Board of Directors for Region 5. As your alternate on the AAA’s Board of Directors I’ve been able to watch, listen, and learn of all that a Board member does. I have learned a lot in the past 3 years and have gladly invested time and energy to serve the members of Region 5 and all the AAA members. Until becoming an active participant with the AAA at the Board level, I never fully understood the complexities of the national issues affecting our industry. As a rural and urban medium size provider, I’ve realized how important it is for us in the industry to stay active and voice our concerns with the continuous legislation before Congress and CMS, as their decisions affect our industry, and us at home just trying to run a business. National political issues versus local issues involving us as providers are two huge and different areas that need representation. This is important as each has a different level of importance for our own businesses.

Now that I have the knowledge base of being a AAA Board member, I want to continue to represent those of you in Region 5. As your alternate, I have worked with other Members of our Board and Association on these important issues and I’d like to continue to work for you. What I will bring if you elect me is that I will be a communicator with the members of Region 5. I need to hear from you what is affecting you in the industry so that I can voice your thoughts at the board level, and able to bring your voice to the table. Whether it is in email or just a quick call to our Region 5 members, I will work at following up with you to get your thoughts and feedback, and enhance your communication between you, the AAA, and the AAA Board.

As your Director, I will continue to work to assure our Association represents the needs of all our Members. We need to ensure that all our members are represented from the smallest provider to the largest. We need to ensure that we as small and medium providers, who will get hit the hardest when bad legislation is passed by Congress or by CMS, that our voices are heard. .We need to continue to pursue fair reimbursement for the service that we provide, and we need to make sure that fair legislation is passed that affects us with our businesses at home. We need to accomplish this by having an engaged Director in the process, and one that knows and lives with our concerns. I ask that you again consider me to represent you, and hope that you will give me the opportunity to serve you as Region 5 Director on the AAA Board.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. The evolving changes in Federal Regulations that relate to EMS
2. CMS increasing audits upon providers
3. The increasing costs to provide emergency services and not being properly reimbursed for costs by Federal programs

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. To continue to work with CMS to have a voice on future regulations placed upon providers
2. To work with Congress to ensure that future legislation will not negatively impact providers
3. To work with CMS to increase reimbursements


JD Fuiten

Owner/President
Metro West Ambulance

Candidate Statement

My experience in urban and rural pre-hospital healthcare has given me a unique perspective of how our service is provided to a variety of communities. The “voice” of the American Ambulance Association and its’ members is comprised of hundreds of ambulance providers much like you and me. In my previous roles with the AAA as Secretary and Region V Director, I have made sure that each of you were heard before congress and other legislative bodies and I hope to have that opportunity again. As an independent provider, I have worked closely with the AAA and its’ membership to promote our industry’s issues to elected officials. As federal reimbursement has not kept pace with the sophistication of the delivery of emergency medicine in the field, members of the AAA have become more organized to lobby our elected officials and I look forward to again leading this effort. EMS is going through dramatic change and the organization I lead has in many ways successfully navigated these dynamic times. As the Region V Director I’d like to work with the AAA to motivate federal and private reimbursement mechanisms in the direction of paying providers who work with their healthcare partners to provide EMS in less costly and innovative ways. Ultimately, these providers are saving money for their patients, the government, and EMS partners. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the members of the AAA once again and am energized to engage our elected officials in meaningful conversations of how EMS is transitioning to meet the needs of the communities we are privileged to serve.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Reimbursement and transition from provider to supplier
2. Transitioning the paramedic to mobile healthcare and demonstrating value
3. Regulation and oversight

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Reimbursement
2. Assisting the Government in developing a mechanism to reimburse mobile paramedics
3. Providing workshops and trainings to create educated and skilled managers in EMS


Paul Pedersen

paul-pedersenManaging Partner
Arizona Ambulance Transport

Candidate Statement

I am a supporter of AAA. The AAA’s work in advocating for members helps to create an environment in which we members can provide the professional services our patients deserve. The AAA offers an excellent array of services to members which need to be promoted more.

Paul Pedersen is a graduate of the University of Arizona and holds a masters degree from St. Mary’s College of California. Pedersen is a 20 year veteran of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, retiring as a lieutenant. He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve. Pedersen has worked in the private sector managing the installation of public safety radio communications systems. He was the director of Clackamas County Oregon Communications Department and was general manager of Southern Arizona for the Rural/Metro Corporation. He has held board positions with the Red Cross in Tucson, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon. He has also served as an instructor for numerous law enforcement training courses as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Top 3 Issues in Emergency Healthcare

1. Reimbursement/funding
2. Changing healthcare systems/delivery
3. Recruitment & retention

Top 3 Priorities for AAA

1. Reimbursement/funding
2. Be a viable and recognized player in healthcare (and the changes therein)
3. Market member benefits

Ethics Committee Candidates

Thank you to the following candidates for the AAA Ethics Committee. Voters may select up to three.

  • Hanan Cohen – Empress EMS
  • Brent Dierking – NorthStar EMS, Inc.
  • John Iazzetta – Alert Ambulance Service, Inc.
  • Jay Jimenez – Allegiance Mobile Health
  • Robert Sims – Lifeguard Ambulance Service
  • Steven Vincent – Gold Cross EMS
  • Rebecca Williamson – Muskogee County EMS

Questions? Please contact acamas@ambulance.org for assistance.

Customer Satisfaction Survey (Ends Friday)

3 Questions, 3 Minutes, 3 iPad Raffles

The American Ambulance Association cares deeply about serving the EMS community. We would sincerely appreciate your feedback about our resources, education, and overall customer experience.

As a thank you for your time, respondents who choose to provide contact information will be entered in our iPad raffle*. Responses must be received by noon Eastern Time on Friday, September 2. 

Share Your Feedback

 

(* Some restrictions apply.)

AAA Resolves Members’ Cahaba Mileage Reimbursement Issues

Many AAA members have recently reported erroneous across-the-board denial of mileage reimbursement by Cahaba. AAA board member Russell Honeycutt of Central EMS, along with several other AAA leaders, reached out to Cahaba and was able to help the carrier identify their internal process problem. Per Cahaba staff, these unjustified mileage reimbursement denials should not happen moving forward.

Ambulance services operating under Cahaba’s jurisdiction are requested to resubmit their claims electronically. Although Cahaba believes the problem is resolved, AAA encourages members to then closely monitor their Explanation of Medicare Benefits (EOMB) after resubmission to ensure that the resubmitted claims are not mistakenly denied as duplicates.

Now Available 2016 Medicare Reference Manual!

Medicare Reference Cover 2016 - 275px

Sponsored Job: CMRE Sales & Marketing Representatives

CMRE Icon2@2xNational Healthcare Receivables Company based in southern California is seeking a highly self motivated sales/marketing representative. Must be able to work independently as well as with a team in following up on and generating accounts.  We need a qualified and experienced Sales/Marketing Representative to assist with growth in the following specialties:

  • Self Pay Outsourcing Services
  • Insurance Follow-Up
  • Collections

Our sales team is passionate about building relationships with hospitals, physician billing companies, medical centers, and other healthcare related providers. They support business development and are able to establish strong relationships with new and existing referral sources. In short, they are responsible for helping the company’s overall business growth, primarily through the promotion and sales of our services.

Also important:

  • Must be detailed oriented, excellent time and territory management skills
  • Must be persuasive, sales driven, customer focused, and a team player
  • Previous experience preparing professional sales presentations and quotes for clients preferred
  • Consultative sales experience with cold calling, objection handling, follow-up, and contract negotiation
  • Exceptional verbal and written skills is a must

Your drive in ensuring the company is achieving high revenue objectives will result in a potential  income of a six figure base salary plus commission, full benefit package to include Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance, plus supplemental benefits.

If you can analyze and identify opportunities, develop strategies and action plans in partnering with healthcare agencies by promoting our services… Then take the challenge and hop on board. Send resumes to dweinberg@cmrefsi.com or mail your resume to:

CMRE Financial Services, Inc.
ATTN:  Denise Weinberg
3075 E. Imperial Hwy., Suite 200
Brea, CA   92821

CMRE is an EEO / AA / Diversity / Protected Veteran Employer

Acadian Sets Up Employee Flood Relief Fund

August 18, 2016–In the wake of historic flooding across South Louisiana, Acadian has established an Employee Assistance Fund for those employees who suffered damage and losses.

During the storm response, Acadian activated more than 60 additional ambulances and crews, and assisted in the evacuation of hospitals, nursing facilities and prisons across their affected service area. Additional crews from Acadian’s Texas operations came in to assist with the load.

Although Acadian’s operations never ceased during rising floodwaters, many of Acadian’s medics and employees experienced flooded homes and vehicles. It is a testament to their dedication that many employees still reported for work, helping to rescue residents and treat the injured, while facing their own tragedies.

“Our company has more than 100 employees whose homes flooded and suffered substantial damage. We are working with those employees to help them meet their families’ immediate needs and are working to develop other methods of support to help them through what will be a long and tedious recovery and rebuilding process,” said Acadian Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag.

The Employee Assistance Fund is administered through the Community Foundation of Acadiana, a Lafayette, Louisiana-based 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization. Donations will be facilitated through the secure link below, and funds will be distributed to employees throughout Louisiana who have been affected.

Acadian Ambulance is one of the largest ambulance services in the nation, offering emergency and non-emergency transportation to areas in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

Acadian Employee Assistance Fund donation form: www.AcadianGiving.com

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

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
    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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