CMS Waives Restrictions on Ground Ambulances During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) promulgated an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) entitled “Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.”  Consistent with the recommendations the AAA made to CMS, for the duration of the public health emergency (PHE), the IFC allows ground ambulance service providers and suppliers to transport patients both on an emergency or non-emergency basis to any destination that is equipped to treat the condition of the patient consistent with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) protocols established by state and/or local laws where the services will be furnished.  In related guidance, CMS has suspended most Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) medical review during the emergency period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, waived patient signature requirements, and is pausing the Repetitive, Scheduled Non-Emergent Ambulance Transport Prior Authorization Model. The policies of the IFC are effective retroactively to March 1, 2020. On March 11, the AAA sent CMS a letter specifically requesting for the agency to waive during the COVID-19 pandemic the regulatory restrictions that prevent coverage for transport to alternative destinations.  Separately, the AAA has been pressing CMS to provide relief from signature requirements. The AAA had also been working with CMS to...

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EMS providers serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Ambulance Association is here to help! Join us for weekly interactive discussions to share best practices and insights as well as to overcome common challenges. | Chaired by AAA President Aarron Reinert | Wednesdays at 4:00 pm ET | Chaired by Dr Ed Racht of Global Medical Response | Fridays at 4:00 pm ET We look forward to facilitating the exchange of ideas and critically important information. New to Zoom? Register for one or both of the calls above, then check out Zoom’s handy guide. Not near a computer? Use the Zoom iPhone app or Zoom Android app!

NHTSA | PPE Challenges: Important Information for the First Responder Community

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS on March 25 via email. PPE Challenges: Important Information for the First Responder Community We are all aware of the challenges of obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) during this pandemic. We hope this information will help address concerns and clarify the replenishment request process. The current shortage applies to all health care disciplines – the challenges you are experiencing are being felt by your peers. As a nation, we are working very hard to address the challenges through ramped up production and distribution as resources become available. First Responders are recognized as a high priority component of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Decisions regarding PPE allocation are based on specific and identified need and are being prioritized based on those needs. It may be helpful to reinforce to the first responder community the process for submitting your requests for resupply. It is critical that requests are submitted through the proper process. Process: Continue to submit your request for replenishment of PPE through your normal distribution supply chain. While the supply remains limited, filling those orders will be challenging and you may not receive your entire requested order. To request supplies from state or federal resources (eg: (more…)