COVID-19 Testing for First Responders

From the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force’s EMS / Prehospital Team on July  2. COVID-19 Testing for First Responders Product (EMS42) Purpose This document provides a brief overview of COVID-19 testing to inform decision-making for first responders including emergency medical service (EMS), Fire & Rescue, Law Enforcement and 911 telecommunicators. Developed By The Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force (HRTF) is leading the development of a comprehensive strategy for the U.S. healthcare system to facilitate resiliency and responsiveness to the threats posed by COVID-19. The Task Force’s EMS/Pre-Hospital Team is comprised of public and private-sector EMS and 911 experts from a wide variety of agencies and focuses on responding to the needs of the pre-hospital community. This team is composed of subject matter experts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), National 911 Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and non-federal partners representing stakeholder groups. Through collaboration with experts in related fields, the team develops practical resources for field providers, supervisors, administrators, medical directors, and associations to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (more…)

CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

ADVISORY MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authorities to secure critical infrastructure. Consistent with these authorities, CISA has developed, in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector, an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory list. This list is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Decisions informed by this list should also take into consideration additional public health considerations based on the specific COVID-19-related concerns of particular jurisdictions. This list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directive or standard. Additionally, this advisory list is not intended to be the exclusive list of critical infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response across all jurisdictions. Individual jurisdictions should...

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Savvik | Clarity COVID-19 IgG/IgM test kits

Available through our partners at Savvik Buying Group! $599.80 per Box of 20 Chromatographic immunoassay polymerase chain reaction/IgG/IgM test Results in 3-7 minutes Not just binary positive/negative; rather, spectrum of 7 possible results include window period through active infection and post/recovered Self-contained test cassettes; no need for secondary capital equipment Sold by Clarity Diagnostics, a licensed American pharmacy, manufactured by Alfa Scientific Designs of Poway, CA Authorized for use under March 16, 2020 guidance from FDA (attached for convenience), part IV. Clear Vision – Clear Results  Clarity COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test Kit The Clarity COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test Kit is an ideal complement to nucleic acid detection. PCR and COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test are often used in synergy to complement each other, improving diagnosis efficiency and monitor disease progression.

Webinar Materials & FAQ: Claims Guidance for COVID-19

Webinar: How to Best Document and Track Claims Related to COVID-19 Recorded: Thursday, March 26th | 12:00pm Eastern View On-Demand Recording View PPT Slides FAQ of unanswered webinar questions: Is the idea that the ET3 model will be pushed to all ambulance companies or only previously selected participants? The request into CMS and leadership during the declared public health emergency is to allow all ambulance providers and suppliers to transport patients or treat in place based upon the concepts outlined in the Emergency Triage, Treatment and Transport model as defined by CMMI’s release last year. While we wait for finalization of the ET3 protocols, will billing be allowed retroactively? If CMS follows other waiver provisions that they have been approving, then we would expect the waiver to be retroactive. However, that will be clearly identified when and if the final waiver is approved. Asbel spoke about Telehealth medical necessity, which we assume applies to the QHP.  Neither CMS nor the MAC has provided any guidance regarding MN guidance for the ambulance that is facilitating the telehealth.  CMS ET3 FAQ provides a non-answer. Can you advise? You will need to understand the nuances around telehealth and what Medicare requires as a (more…)

2019 Avesta Private EMS Turnover Study

Once again, this year, the American Ambulance Association partnered with Avesta to conduct our annual survey of employee turnover in the private EMS industry. As a valued member of the association, it is our pleasure to share it with you today. Download the Avesta 2019 EMS Employee Turnover Study The survey was conducted and managed by the Center for Organizational Research at The University of Akron. The purpose of the study was to better quantify and understand the reasons for employee turnover at nearly every organizational level within EMS. At the very least, this study provides us with a continuing benchmark for defining job-specific voluntary and involuntary turnover percentages. While no survey is perfect, our goal is to continue to analyze staff turnover and its impact on the private industry.  One thing is clear: when turnover is high, private EMS leaders are faced with increased costs associated with recruiting, selecting, and training replacements. Proactive minimization of turnover will reduce costs and have a positive effect on productivity, morale, and customer/patient satisfaction. This report continues to serve as a crucial step in understanding and reducing employee turnover in the private EMS industry. We look forward to working with every member of...

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President’s Perspective April 2019

Dear Fellow AAA Members, Spring is in full bloom in Washington, D.C., and the American Ambulance Association is hard at work in our nation’s capital advocating for mobile healthcare providers. I am pleased to share with you several updates from your association. Advocacy Progress The AAA continues to forge ahead advocating for the legislative and regulatory priorities of our membership. Earlier this month, more than forty AAA volunteer leaders and members came to Washington, D.C., meeting with more than 100 congressional offices to advocate for Medicare policies and improved claims processing by the Department of Veterans Affairs for emergency ambulance services. (View photos on Facebook.) The AAA has also taken an active role in responding to potentially harmful “surprise billing” legislation. The AAA has been urging Members of Congress to recognize the unique and essential nature of emergency ambulance services and ambulance interfacility mobile healthcare transports. Ambulance service suppliers and providers are already heavily regulated at the local level and struggle with receiving adequate reimbursement. The Congress should protect patient access to ground ambulance services and continue to allow us to balance bill. The AAA is working closely with CMS and the RAND corporation on the development of the ambulance (more…)

RFP: Cost Collection SME/Project Director

Request for Proposals: Subject Matter Expert (SME)/ Project Director Ambulance Cost Data Collection Due April 20, 2019 Overview The American Ambulance Association (AAA) invites proposals from qualified interested parties (individual and teams) for the purpose of directing the Ambulance Cost Data Project as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Introduction As part of the extension of the Ambulance Medicare Add on payments, legislation passed on February 9, 2018, the Congress mandated that ambulance services provide cost data. General requirements of the legislation include the following: Requires notice-and-comment rulemaking May use a cost survey Collect (1) cost; (2) revenue; (3) utilization; and (4) other information determined appropriate by the Secretary Include information: (1) needed to evaluate the extent to which costs are related to payment rates; (2) on the utilization of capital equipment and ambulance capacity; and (3) on different types of ground ambulance services furnished in different geographic locations and low population density areas May revise the system over time Select a representative sample of providers and suppliers from whom to collect data Determined based on the type of providers and suppliers and the geographic locations May not be request same provider or supplier to submit data in two consecutive years Those (more…)

Update on Government Shutdown and Sequestration

As the government shutdown drags on the negative impacts continue to grow. If the shutdown continues through January 24, 2019, which is looking likely at this point, current law will require the Trump Administration to cut about $839 million from non-exempt federal benefit programs to avoid increasing the deficit. This is a result of the “PAYGO” (pay as you go) law which requires spending increases or tax cuts to be offset with cuts to programs or additional revenue to avoid increasing the deficit. As the largest nonexempt benefit program, it is likely that Medicare would experience the worst of these cuts through sequestration. While the Trump Administration has not yet issued a sequestration order, there is a distinct possibility that one could be issued if the shutdown continues much longer. A sequestration order would mean an additional across the board cut to all Medicare providers, including ambulance services. Ambulance service providers are still feeling the impact of the 2% sequestration cut that has been in effect the past few years. Any new cuts would likely start out being targeted at administrative tasks which could slow payments to providers. Temporary cuts would be expensive for the administration to facilitate and is...

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HHS Releases Communication Checklist to Aid First Responders

HHS Releases Checklist to Aid First Responders in Communicating Effectively with Patients The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has released a plain language checklist that is intended to aid First Responders during emergencies that involve individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and communications related disabilities. The AAA issued numerous articles to its members in 2016 about the newly published requirements for all healthcare providers, including EMS agencies, under the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557. The requirements are intended to prevent discrimination in the provision of healthcare and ensure that all individuals can meaningfully participate in their healthcare treatment, including those patients with LEP and other communications related disabilities. The announcement yesterday is intended to provide additional resources for healthcare providers to ensure compliance with the ACA Section 1557. The checklist includes numerous recommendations and action steps that EMS agencies can utilize to ensure that they are serving all members of a community in a meaningful way. These recommendations include conducting research about the communities by accessing U.S. Census Bureau data, engaging Centers for Independent Living and local assistance groups, and by preparing emergency messaging that can be...

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Request for Proposals—SME/Project Director

American Ambulance Association Request for Proposals SME/ Project Director Ambulance Cost Data Collection November 2018 Overview The American Ambulance Association (AAA) invites proposals from qualified interested parties (individual and teams) for the purpose of directing the Ambulance Cost Data Project as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Introduction As part of the extension of the Ambulance Medicare Add on payments, legislation passed on February 9, 2018, the Congress mandated that ambulance services provide cost data.  General requirements of the legislation include the following: Requires notice-and-comment rulemaking May use a cost survey Collect (1) cost; (2) revenue; (3) utilization; and (4) other information determined appropriate by the Secretary Include information: (1) needed to evaluate the extent to which costs are related to payment rates; (2) on the utilization of capital equipment and ambulance capacity; and (3) on different types of ground ambulance services furnished in different geographic locations and low population density areas May revise the system over time Select a representative sample of providers and suppliers from whom to collect data Determined based on the type of providers and suppliers and the geographic locations May not be request same provider or supplier to submit data in two consecutive years A selected...

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Mid-term Election Analysis

As a result of Tuesdays’ elections, Democrats will control the U.S. House of Representatives next Congress and Republicans will have a larger majority in the United States Senate. Presently, Democrats have gained a net of 30 seats in the House with Republicans netting two seats in the Senate. Democrats needed to capture 23 seats from Republicans to gain the majority. There are still several races in the House and Senate to be called which will likely add to those totals. Akin Gump, the lobbying firm for the AAA, has put together a synopsis of the election results as of this morning and a slide deck on historical trends and the outcome of races called so far. Key supporters of the industry who will not be returning next Congress include Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL), Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN). All three members have been supportive of ambulance initiatives with Roskam in his position as Chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and Paulsen as a member of the Subcommittee. Coffman sponsored legislation to apply the prudent layperson definition to emergency ambulance services provided to veterans. In late breaking news, the Senate race in Montana was called in favor for (more…)

LifeWorks October Feature: Work-Life Balance and Productivity

October Feature: Work-Life Balance and Productivity Ten Tips for Fitting Work and Life Together Would you like to move beyond feeling stressed or overwhelmed by your personal and work responsibilities? Or learn how to achieve personal and professional success on your own terms? “Knowing how to manage the way work and life fit together is a modern skill set we all need to succeed,” says Cali Williams Yost, an internationally recognized flexible workplace strategist and author of the books Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day and Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You. Here are Yost’s 10 strategies: Remember that work-life fit is unique for each of us. “Simply put, there is no work-life balance or perfect 5050 split between your work and your personal life,” Yost says. “If you do happen to hit a balance, you can’t maintain it because your realities are always changing, personally and professionally.” There’s also no “right way” to achieve a good work-life fit. Your goal is to find your unique, ever-changing fit, the way your work and personal realities fit together day-to-day and at major life transitions. Don’t compare yourself to others. Find the fit that’s right for...

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Narberth Ambulance Overcomes Major Hurdles In Its Billing System

Pennsylvania EMS Provider Achieves Major Billing Milestones Through Payor Logic Partnership and ESO Integration The Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Narberth was established in 1944 by residents of Narberth Borough, a suburb of Philadelphia, to provide transportation and first aid for soldiers returning from World War II via Philadelphia’s ports. The organization, now known as Narberth Ambulance, has expanded over the past 70 years from a small station with two ambulances to a full-fledged EMS service that makes nearly 10,000 trips annually, employs 33 full-time staff, 44 part time employees, and 80 volunteers. Narberth covers four Philadelphia area communities with two stations, seven ambulances, two responder vehicles and one mass casualty/rehab bus. While Narberth Ambulance has seen tremendous growth and success throughout its history, recent times have brought new challenges. Changing technology in the healthcare industry paired with declining reimbursement over the past several years left Narberth, like many other EMS services, facing issues with its billing system and claims processing. These complications made claims longer to work and payment harder to collect. At the height of this problem, Narberth’s billing team needed from five to ten business days to process a claim. The Issue at Hand According to Meg...

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 Sharing Patient Stories

  EMTs, Paramedics, and Dispatchers touch lives every day. However, ambulance services aren’t always sure how best to showcase their value. Learn how Robert Lawrence of PatientCare Logistics Solutions – Alameda Co. and Matt Zavadsky of MedStar Mobile Healthcare share their teams’ impact with patient stories. #SupportEMS...

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Recovering Loss of Revenue from “not at fault” Accidents

When your units get hit by a third party and the vehicle is out of service, are you getting Loss of Revenue for the downtime while the unit is being repaired? Whether you answered yes or no to that question, reading this article will be the one of the most lucrative uses of your time this year. A call comes in and your dispatcher does a perfect job of answering and scheduling the run. The EMT’s jump into the clean, fueled, and well stocked ambulance responding to the call. Then from out of nowhere, a car turns directly into the ambulance’s path rolling through a stop sign. Now what? You have two paramedics stranded on the side of the road who will be spending the next few hours on paperwork and drug testing. In addition, all the drugs and small equipment need to be removed or secured. Hopefully you have another unit to dispatch or your competitor may have already been called. What happens next is key to getting maximum recovery for your losses caused by the accident. Key items that help maximize your recovery from accidents: Educate and equip fleet drivers with the tools necessary to collect key accident...

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Senator Debbie Stabenow Named Legislator of the Year

For Immediate Release Senator Debbie Stabenow To Receive Highest Legislative Honor From American Ambulance Association To Be Recognized As AAA Legislator of the Year Contact Amanda Riordan 703-610-9018 ariordan@ambulance.org www.ambulance.org Washington, DC – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) will honor Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan with its Legislator of the Year Award in appreciation of her advocacy for emergency medical services. Senator Stabenow is invited to receive this honor at the AAA’s Annual Stars of Life Recognition Ceremony on June 11 in Washington, D.C. The Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession. The Stars of Life program pays tribute to the dedication of these heroes while shining light on the critical role EMS plays in our healthcare infrastructure. This year, 100 EMS professionals will be honored as 2018 Stars of Life. In addition to Senator Stabenow’s recognition as 2018 Legislator of the Year, 34 United States Senators and Representatives will receive Legislative Recognition Awards for their support of ambulance services. Senator Stabenow was selected for the Legislator of the Year Award in thanks for leading the effort in...

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 Savvik Buying Group: Ambulance Purchasing Made Easy

Do you hate the thought of going out to bid? Are you sure you are getting the best pricing? Do you really have the time to do the bidding process? Do you want to see multiple brands? Do you want to customize your units to your specs? Do you want a discount for multiple units? What if someone could help get these quotes done for you? What if you could download all the paperwork to submit to your review committee in just a few clicks? What if you could link to this contract in under 2 minutes? What if I told you that you could do all of this at no charge? With Savvik Buying Group’s Publicly Awarded Ambulance Bid, you can! As a AAA member you have access to Savvik’s bid, and can save the time and hassle of the bid process. It takes just two minutes to join Savvik’s bid and begin selecting the ambulance that best suites your needs through Savvik’s vendors. Type I, Type II, Type III and sprinter Publicly BID and AWARDED Build your truck to begin your custom quote Joining Savvik is free and easy to do! Download our RFB Documents Piggyback (Interlocal) to...

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