Employee Background Check Benefit for Members

AAA is excited to announce that members now receive deeply discounted rates on employee background screening through Sterling Talent Solutions.

Contact our representative, Steven McGinn, for a fast, easy comparative quote at the AAA member discount. (Please note that our discount is only available through Steven.)

Steven McGinn
AAA Sales Executive
SterlingBackcheck
steven.mcginn@sterlingts.com

Protect your patients, your service, and your wallet. Stay compliant while saving money—try Sterling Talent Solutions today!

FDA Issues First Responder Drug Dispenser Guidance

In accordance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act of 2013, the FDA issued regulations last year to require drug dispensaries to build an electronic system to identify and track the distribution of drugs. Many small dispensaries do not have the ability currently to electronically trace small quantities of drugs. The AAA became concerned that hospital and other small dispensers would no longer provide first responders with critical drugs in fear of not being compliant with the new regulations. The AAA joined a coalition of dispensaries, pharmacists and others that also had concerns with the new regulations.

As a result of the efforts of the coalition and the AAA, we were able to delay enforcement of the requirements until today, March 1. The AAA then worked directly with the FDA to educate them about the unique nature that small dispensaries sometimes play in restocking certain ambulance service providers. Upon learning of these transactions, the FDA shared our concerns and worked quickly to release the guidance.

The guidance states that the FDA will not take action against drug dispensaries in providing drugs to first responders if the dispensary follows certain basic recording keeping policies. The agency will also not take any action against the first responder. The guidance is entitled “Requirements for Transactions with First Responders under Section 582 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act — Compliance Policy Guidance for Industry“.

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

10 Safety Topics that Will Move EMS Forward in 2016

What are your ambulance services’s safety priorities for 2016? AAA member The Center for Patient Safety has just released 10 Safety Topics that Will Move EMS Forward in 2016, a free download covering:

  • Airway Management
  • Behavior Health Encounters
  • Crashes: Ambulance and Helicopter
  • Device Failures
  • Medication Errors
  • Mobile Integrated Healthcare
  • Pediatric Patients
  • Safety Culture
  • Second Victim Intervention
  • Transition of Care

Get your copy today to learn how to ensure safety for your employees and patients.

Download Now

Spotlight: Kathy Lester

Kathy Lester, MPH, JD
Washington, DC
Healthcare Consultant to AAA

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I am from Indianapolis, Indiana.  I graduated from Warren Central High School, best known for being the high school of Jane Pauley and Jeff George.  My undergraduate degree is from DePauw University.  I had a double major in biology and English literature, with a minor in violin performance.  I also loved philosophy and political science course and was the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper.  I received my JD from Georgetown University Law Center and my Master of Public Health (MPH) from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene, now known as the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

After law school, I clerked on for The Honorable Michael S. Kanne on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  I have also worked in all three branches of government.  In addition to the courts, I worked on the Hill for Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and in the General Counsel’s Office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

My husband and I met while both working for Senator Lugar.  He retired from the Senate after 20+ years.  We have two children and are trying to succeed in having tropical fish survive for more than a few months.

When and how did you get involved with AAA?

I began working with the AAA several years ago when we began developed recommendations for a quality program.  I believe my first meeting with the group was in Las Vegas.

How do you help AAA?

Currently, I assist on the public policy issues.  This includes working with the Congress to protect the add-ons, as well as develop payment reforms to create stability for Medicare rates.  I help to draft materials for the Hill and legislative language.  As part of this effort, I help with developing more comprehensive Medicare reform recommendations.  I also assist with the regulatory agenda and engage with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal agencies.  In addition, I continue to work on quality structural and measurement issues.

What is your typical day like?

Unpredictable and fun!  My days vary greatly.  I can find myself on the Hill or driving to Baltimore to meet with CMS.  I also spend a lot of time talking with AAA members and the staff team.

What are the biggest challenges you foresee for our industry?Any tips or last thoughts?

[quote_right]

It is more important than ever to understand the cost of services and to be able to articulate why these services are necessary.

[/quote_left]All of healthcare is at a crossroads.  While federal policymakers have successfully reduced spending in the Medicare program, the focus for the foreseeable future will be how to reduce the cost of providing services.  It is more important than ever to understand the cost of services and to be able to articulate why these services are necessary.

For ambulance providers and suppliers in particular, there is great promise in the innovative payment models, because they would most likely recognize the high quality of health care services provided by ambulance providers and suppliers.  However, there is also the potential that ambulance services could become subordinate to larger provider organizations.  As this debate unfolds, it is critically important that data drive any reforms and that the industry look carefully at how programs such as value-based purchasing, the Medicare quality reporting programs (facility compare websites and the five star rating programs), and coordinated/integrated care models have worked for other Medicare providers.  At the end of the day, ambulance providers and suppliers need to understand their care and cost models and articulate use these data points to develop meaningful and sustainable reform options.