Savvik 12 Days Of Christmas

Savvik Buying Group announced their 12 Days of Christmas contest. They are giving away over $10,000 worth of prizes. Be sure that you and your team enter to win one of the prizes listed below!

  • One year’s supply of Digitcare Gloves $1,218 value
  • Office Depot gift certificate – $250 value
  • SateTech Solutions – 2 Leadership Academies tuition – $6,800 value
  • Physio Control AED – $750 value
  • Binder Lift – Nylon Lift $649 value
  • ID Shield for one year – $120 value
  • Legal Shield for one year – $240 value
  • MedSource medical supplies – $500 value
  • Stat Packs – $500 value
  • Hotel Engine – $250 gift certificate
  • TKK Electronics – HP Titan Smart Watch (5) – $750 value
  • Airspace Monitoring – Carbon Monoxide Monitor $315 value
  • 5.11 Winter Parka – $250 value

Click here to enter and good luck.


2017 EMS Partnership of the Year Award

Contact: Jessica Marvin
Telephone: 703-610-9018


Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award the 2017 EMS Partnership of the Year Award to James D. Green, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The EMS Partnership of the Year Award is given to the EMS partner whose collaboration with the AAA enhances educational programs, legislative priorities and/or member benefits. This year’s recipients have achieved this honor through their commitment to ambulance vehicle and personnel safety standards.

AAA President Mark Postma noted, “We are proud to celebrate the commitment Jim, the CDC, and NIOSH have made to the AAA and our industry by presenting them with the EMS Partnership Award for 2017.”

Mr. Green along with representatives from the CDC and NIOSH will be presented the EMS Partnership of the Year Award at the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. This event is the premier event for leaders in the ambulance industry, featuring world-class education, networking, and cutting-edge technology.

# # #

About the American Ambulance Association
Founded in 1979, the AAA represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and non-emergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views pre-hospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.

AAA Mission Statement
The mission of the American Ambulance Association is to promote health care policies that ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provide research, education, and communications programs to enable its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve.

Reaching Millennials Through Virtual Gamification

When I mention EMS Games. What comes to mind? Do you picture yourself in the late 1980s playing ambulance driving games where you scored points by transporting patients to the hospital? Or do you think about games such as Emergency: The Paramedic Simulator, which was very much an animated comic book where you would choose a skill then turn to page 73 to see if it worked?

Today I think about millennial paramedic students and how they learn. The digital age has created a learning environment where people feel more comfortable multitasking, are tired of voiced over PowerPoint presentations and reading articles followed by a competency test. How many times have you skipped to the end of a self-directed learning module to take the test knowing you will pass? Did you stop to consider what you actually learned from doing that? Were there tidbits of information in the course that you may have picked up if you had followed along but since you already felt confident you knew the information you skipped to “prove competence or to just get your certification?”

The American Psychological Association article references a “study by Dalton State College psychology professor Christy Price, EdD, which suggests that millennials want more variety in class (August/September 2009 The Teaching Professor). “This is a culture that has been inundated with multimedia and they’re all huge multitaskers, so to just sit and listen to a talking head is often not engaging enough for them,” (Novotney, 2010, para. 4).

What can we, as educators, do to engage the millennial learners under our domain? I believe we must adapt to the types of learners we are teaching, not to the type of learner we are.

We all know the VARK model, Visual, Auditory, Read/write, Kinesthetic. In a perfect world students would learn using one mode. But this isn’t a perfect world and the way the next generation learns and retains the information differently. “Research shows that millennial students prefer a less formal learning environment that allows them to interact informally with the professor and fellow students.” (Novotney, 2010, para. 8). So, how can we become less formal when we are stuck with a brick and mortar classroom setting with ridged times and dates?

The answer: live online learning in small blocks of time with gaming styled learning activities to engage more, enhance retention, and provide the learner the opportunity to discuss and interact in a protected environment.

“Active learning approaches — such as the use of student response systems and collaborative learning — are associated with greater academic achievement, though this isn’t necessarily millennial-specific, Meyers says. For example, a 2007 study examined the use of an electronic audience response system, in which students use handheld “iclickers” to respond to questions during a class lecture or discussion.” (Novotney, 2010, para. 12).

What this tells me is more engaged learners not only share information, but also are more active participants, resulting in improved learning. Consider then Virtual Patient Care Scenarios created in a gamer format with reality-based dispatching, treatment, post call round ups that let staff not only see what, when, how the student performs, but also proof of competency for certain call types. As technology continues to double every 18 months, we will see more learning move towards virtual online, which we, as educators, need to embrace now to engage our learners.

Scott F. McConnell is Vice President of EMS Education for OnCourse Learning and one of the Founders of Distance CME. Since its inception in 2010, more than 10,000 learners worldwide have relied on Distance CME to recertify their credentials. Scott is a true believer in sharing not only his perspectives and experiences but also those of other providers in educational settings.

Novotney, A. (2010, March 2010). Engaging the millennial learner.

2017 AMBY Nominations Now Open!

Nominations for the 2017 AMBY Awards is now open! The AMBYs recognize excellence in the ambulance profession and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. Honor excellence in EMS by nominating a project within a service or company for consideration.

Read the 2016 case studies to find out why we’re passionate about honoring your commitment to excellence.

Why Bring the AMBYs to Your Organization?

Share Your Knowledge with Your Peers

By entering the AMBYs you show your commitment to excellence in the ambulance industry and your willingness to share your superior accomplishments with your peers. Winners will are awarded during the AAA Awards Reception at our Annual Conference & Trade Show in Las Vegas, In addition, all entries will be shared with the AAA membership on the website, in the association’s mobile event app and as an online publication.

Show Your Value to Your Community

AMBY Award winners are given the American Ambulance Association’s AMBY Award Winner logo to proudly display on their website, social media sites, and other marketing collateral to let key stakeholders know the Association recognizes your contribution to the industry as outstanding. In addition, winners will receive a press release template to send to your local press. All winners will be published in a press release sent out by the association and in a case study and winner’s gallery e-publications.

Gain Valuable Feedback

The AMBY Awards are judged by your colleagues on the AAA Professional Standards Committee. With years of collective experience the panel of committee member judges understand the challenges, opportunities and desired outcomes inherent in the EMS profession. As leaders who value creativity and innovation they can appreciate the complex demands of the industry and will provide thoughtful and useful feedback in the scoring of all entries.

Strengthen the Profession

Award-winning work helps to nurture the EMS industry’s deeply rooted culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. The AMBY Award Winners’ Gallery will provide an inspiring collection of winning strategies and best practices to be emulated by other AAA members.


How to Enter

AMBY Award entries are open to AAA ambulance service members and our affiliate members. All entries must include a Statement of Entry. Statements of Entry and all supporting documentation are submitted through our online form with requirements listed below. Entry materials will be retained and shared with AAA members as best practices and entrants agree that all materials may be used by the AAA for AMBY marketing purposes.

Entries will be judged by the Professional Standards Committee. Entries and will be judged against their own objectives not against each other, in 4 equally weighted areas: Goals, Planning & Implementation, Project Results and Impact. Any judge having business relations with an entrant must recuse themselves from scoring that entry. Both the high and low scores will be thrown out and remaining scores will be averaged. Work completed within the last 18 months will be eligible for entry. All Entrants will be notified of the results prior to the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show.

Ambulance Services

Statement of Entry Requirements

Statement of Entry Requirements

  • Organization
  • Service Type
  • Service Size
  • Individuals involved in the project
  • Situational Analysis
  • Project Goals
  • Planning & Implementation
  • Project Results
  • Impact
  • Cost/Budget ( can be submitted as overall % to departmental budget)

Entry Categories

Entry Categories*

  • Public Relations Campaign
  • Community Impact Program- open to any community based program to include: Safety, Environmental, Health or Awareness Campaigns, Corporate Give Back or any other program that was designed for, or impacted your community.
  • Employee Programs -can be any employee program from recruitment and retention to recognition, leadership development, training, EMS Week programs, etc.
  • Quality Improvement Program
  • Clinical Outcome Project
  • Innovation in EMS
  • Other



AAA Members: $100 per entry
Non-Members: $500 per entry


Affiliates (Vendors) 

Statement of Entry Requirements

Statement of Entry Requirements

  • Organization
  • Product or Service Provided
  • Individuals involved in the project
  • Situational Analysis
  • Target Demographic
  • Project Goals
  • Planning & Implementation
    Project Results
  • Impact for customer
    Cost/Budget (affiliate or client budgets will not be shared or published by the AAA)

Entry Categories

Entry Categories*

  • Equipment/Supplies
  • Consulting/Management
  • Financial/Administration
  • Quality/Safety
  • Education/Training
  • Technology/Hardware/Software



Affiliate Members: $500 per entry
Affiliate Non-Members:  $1,000 per entry

Winning Affiliate entries that include work or projects involving a client that is an AAA member will receive duplicate AMBY’s and both the vendor and the client will be acknowledged as winners.

Patient Satisfaction and the Collections Conundrum

Emergency Strikes

The year was 2001—seems like a distant memory. Expecting our first child, my wife and I were living in Modesto, California, thinking about cradles and nurseries. We were so excited—the little one we’d been expecting was on his way! Excitement quickly changed to deep concern as we learned there were some major complications with the pregnancy and our baby was in serious jeopardy. Life’s pause button was pushed as everything else in the world came to a screeching halt.

An ambulance transport and emergency delivery later, we found ourselves in our new home—the neonatal intensive care unit. For the next four months, we worked with medical teams around the clock to slowly usher our new 1-pound, 4-ounce son, Noah (now 15 years old), into the world.

Financial Domino Effects

This was an incredibly stressful time in our lives. Of all the things that burdened us, one of the most memorable was the nearly $5,000 invoice we received for a specific service. With no clue how we would pay this, I finally worked up the courage to pick up the phone and call the number on the invoice. The provider was demanding immediate payment before sending the bill to collections.

Me? Collections? But I’m the good guy, right? People should be reaching out to care for me. What just happened? After days of multiple information exchanges between me, the billing office and my insurance carrier, we finally figured it out—all charges were to be covered by insurance.

While our care through this time was generally very good, this unexpected charge put a cloud over the provider who lacked the proper information—despite a 120-day inpatient stay. Why did the provider send our bill to collections without contacting us? Where was the disconnect? Does this still happen today?

Fast Forward 15 Years to Smarter Billing and Collections

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Everyone knows a person with a similar story. But what if this patient billing story could be different? What if instead of multiple collection agency invoices demanding payment, I had been contacted early in the process? Or better yet, what if everything had occurred behind the scenes between provider and payor?

Technology advancements have narrowed the data gap that created these and other tensions for patients, providers and insurance carriers. Health care providers today can better serve their patients and communities through technology. The systems required to instantly supply insurance information and ensure patient-friendly billing are now available. It’s a matter of awareness and investment. Two key technology strategies are rapidly emerging to make collection letters and calls a thing of the past.

Real-Time Insurance Discovery

Insurance discovery solutions help providers find hidden insurance coverage for patients up front versus after the fact. Especially in emergency or self-pay situations, patients may have coverage the provider doesn’t know about. Finding coverage provides a tremendous boost to patient satisfaction and financial engagement.

For providers, finding and securing coverage early in the encounter helps billing teams circumvent months of patient statement and collection efforts. Operational costs are reduced and payor reimbursement is hastened. Best practices are rapidly emerging on how to incorporate real-time insurance discovery within patient registration and billing workflows.

Payment Likelihood Determinations

Where insurance coverage can’t be found or high deductibles result in exorbitant patient financial responsibilities, checking “payability” becomes crucial. Patients with minimal cash reserves or low propensity to pay can be moved to charity care, Medicaid, or account write-off. Families likely to qualify for financial assistance are also quickly identified by using payment likelihood applications.

Billers and collectors are more efficient and effective without damaging patient relations or community reputation. It is often a smarter long-term decision to write off patient balances in those cases where personal bankruptcy is only one medical bill away.

Proactive financial engagement, insurance discovery and smart collections are in the early stages in healthcare. However, provider organizations that embrace more patient-friendly billing strategies can significantly promote patient satisfaction and long-term community benefits.

Ted Williams has been a featured presenter at regional and national EMS conferences, including the state medical associations, ambulance networks, and technology user group conferences. Williams is a founder of Payor Logic, a national provider of healthcare revenue cycle solutions.

Medevac Ambulance Founder Passes Away

It is with great sadness that the American Ambulance Association has learned of the passing of Joe Dolphin, founder of Medevac Ambulance. We will be keeping Joe and his family in our thoughts during this time. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, June 23 at St. Michael’s Church in Poway, Ca., at 10:30 a.m.


In 1971, Joe Dolphin founded Medevac Ambulance, which would become the first US Ambulance company to go national.

Joseph’s parents, Carl and Mary Ellen founded the original Dolphin’s Ambulance Service in 1941. In the late 1960s, the founders were retiring, and their two sons were interested in different parts of the business. Joseph chose the ambulance business, and Patrick continued the Medical Equipment Rentals.

In the 1980s, Medevac operated in Central and Southern California including: San Diego County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Los Angeles County.

Medevac Mid-America was formed in 1981, when the company was awarded the Kansas City MO MAST contract. It was then purchased by Tom Little in 1988 after they lost the Kansas City MAST Contract. After the purchase by Little, the operation was renamed Medevac Medical Services, which was acquired by AMR in 1994.

San Mateo County: Medevac’s first 911 Contract was signed with San Mateo County in 1976. This operation closed in 1991 when they lost the 911 contract.

Santa Clara County: First Contracted with Medevac in 1978 for emergency ambulance service. The San Clara County Operations of Medevac were acquired by Paul Shirley of Pac Med Ambulance in 1989. (Vanguard was one of the 4 companies initially acquired in 1992 to form AMR) Vanguard had a long history, starting in 1963, as Santa Cruz Ambulance, then Pac Med in 1989, finally becoming Vanguard before the sale to AMR.

San Diego County: Medevac held the San Diego EMS Contract from 1978 to 1983.

Los Angeles County: The Medevac LA County Operations were purchased by Crippin Ambulance on October 1, 1992. This was the last remaining operation of Medevac.

About the Founder: Joe Dolphin was president and CEO of the San Diego-headquartered Medevac, Inc. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the California Emergency Medical Advisory Committee in 1974. He started the City of San Diego Paramedic Program in 1978. In 1981, Medevac was named as one of the nation’s 100 fastest growing private companies by INC. magazine. Medevac provided service in the following counties and cities: San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Missouri and Topeka, Kansas.

As the Republican nominee for California State Senate, 39th District, in 1996, Joe received more votes in his district (126,653) than Bob Dole did. In 1995, Dolphin was President of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. In 1993, he served as the Foreman of San Diego County’s Grand Jury.



Stars of Life Recognized for Their Service

EMS professionals from all walks of life descended on the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., this past week to be honored as the 2017 Stars of Life. The Stars were recognized by the American Ambulance Association (AAA) for their exceptional duty, service, and bravery while serving their communities as EMTs, paramedics, and as other ambulance services members. 107 Stars celebrated this distinction with their friends, family, and peers during the event, held June 12-14, which also shined a light on the importance of the services EMS professionals provide.

The Stars, hailing from across the country, plus Trinidad and Tobago, began their celebration with a luncheon, where their achievements were commemorated with a medal and a pin for their exceptional service. During the luncheon, keynote speaker Zubin Damania, MD, aka ZDoggMD, used humor and songs to address the future of health care and to congratulate the Stars on their award (along with garnering a few laughs) before AAA President Mark Postma presented the Stars with their medals and pins of recognition.

While Damania provided some humor and the Stars spent some time taking in the sights around the nation’s capitol, the following day provided the honorees an opportunity to head down to Capitol Hill to do some more serious work. The Stars met with members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to discuss the importance of EMS-related legislation, such as Medicare ambulance relief and add-on payments. The Stars hoped to convince Congress to support future measures that would provide critical resources and help improve EMS services. In addition to discussing important EMS policies, the Stars were honored by their representatives for their work in their community. Over 100 meetings took place between Stars, the representatives, and their aides.

The final night of the event brought all the Stars together, along with family and friends, during an awards banquet and dinner. During the event, the Stars were presented with plaques and commended for their exemplary work and for being an inspiration to all those working in the EMS field.

Learn more about the 2017 Stars of Life.


NHTSA and NASEMSO Host Panel on EMS Practices

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a series of meetings for subject matter experts to discuss revisions to the National EMS Scope of Practice model. The experts reviewed the model’s practices, examined education and training procedures, and discussed what certification level, if any, is needed for specific treatments that are now widely-used among EMS professionals. The panel focused on five specific procedures that are commonly practiced: hemorrhage control, Naloxone use, CPAP use, therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest, and pharmacological pain management.

Over the next several months, the panel will continue to examine information and recommend changes to the Scope of Practice model, with final recommendations tentatively set to be submitted in August 2018. For more information, please visit NASEMSO’s website.



Overview of The Moran Company Recommendations on Ambulance Cost Collection System

Overview of The Moran Company Recommendations on Ambulance Cost Collection System

 From 2012 – 2014, The Moran Company developed, through a three-phase project, recommendations about how the Medicare program could collect costs associated with providing ambulance services. Consistent as well with the findings of the Congressionally mandated report on ambulance cost reporting/cost collection, The Moran Company determined that Medicare cost reporting would not be appropriate, result in the submission of accurate data, or solve the historic problem of under-reporting by the industry. Instead, The Moran Company recommended a “hybrid” model that relies on the data elements and accounting methods used in Medicare cost reporting and collects this information in a two-step process to ensure that the unique and varied business structures and their cost differences are appropriately captured.

Step 1:  Collect information to categorize ambulance services to allow for a statistically representative grouping and for appropriate comparison of cost data.

The first step would involve all ambulance operations completing a very short (8-10 question) survey for each of their NPIs. The information collected in this step could include:

  • Organizational designation (e.g., a government authority, independent company, public safety or fire-based, hospital-based, other) [this information ensures that an appropriate number of each type of organization is represented in the cost collection step]
  • Percentage of volunteer EMT labor [this information ensures that an appropriate number of all volunteer, partial volunteer, and no volunteer services are represented in the cost collection step]
  • Volume of ambulance services delivered per year [this information ensures that costs from small, medium, and large services are represented in the cost collect step]
  • Percentage of Medicare emergency and non-emergency services provided per year [this information ensures that the costs of both emergency and non-emergency services are appropriately captured in the cost collection step]
  • Average duration of transports [this information ensures that the costs associated with various lengths of transport are captured in the cost collection step]
  • Whether the service has a sole source contract and, if so, the percent of the activity provided under that contract [this information ensures that the cost differences associated with sole source contracts are captured in the cost collection step]
  • If required to pay fees to the local jurisdiction [this information ensures that the costs associated with local jurisdiction fees are captured in the cost collection step]
  • Other services that are a requirement of doing business [this information allows for the costs that may not be ambulance-related but mandated by local contracts to be accounted for in the cost collection step]
  • Percentage of transports that are urban, rural, or super rural [this information is important to ensure that the costs associated with each designation are appropriately represented in the cost collection step]

Step 2:  Collect cost and revenue information from a statistically appropriate group of ambulance suppliers and providers.

The second step would involve providing information about specific cost and revenue data elements.  These would be consistent with the existing Medicare cost reporting elements for other providers, but in certain instances tailored to ensure that all allowable costs of ambulance services are collected.  For example, vehicle maintenance and fuel would be part of ambulance cost data and included, even if these data elements are not included on nursing home costs reports.

CMS would determine a statistically appropriate sample size for each organization type and ensure an appropriate mix of rural, urban, super-rural, as well as volunteer, sole source, and emergency/non-emergency services.  Over time all ambulance providers and suppliers would be required to report the data, but no individual service (defined by the NPI number) would be required to report every year.

Public Reporting.  Once CMS has collected the data, it will make a de-identified file of the information available to allow policy-makers and stakeholders to evaluate the information collected.  The AAA’s goal is to use this information to allow for meaningful reform that for the first time would link the payment rates to the cost of providing services.  The AAA also seeks to modernize the use of ambulance services in the health care system through policies such as alternative destination, treatment at the scene with referral and no transport, and community paramedicine.

2013 Final Report by The Moran Company

Copyright © 2018 American Ambulance Association, All rights reserved.

Great Falls EMS’s Justin Grohs on Ambulance Reimbursement

“EMS and Ambulance services are integral to the healthcare fabric of our communities, so it is essential that our reimbursement is not outstripped by the costs of providing service. As an unsubsidized local provider, we rely on the American Ambulance Association’s efforts to ensure Medicare payments are sufficient to allow us to continue serving our communities.”

Justin Grohs, Operations Manager
Great Falls Emergency Services
Great Falls, MT
Member, American Ambulance Association Government Affairs Committee

Sept 28 Webinar: Fallon Ambulance on Alternative Destinations

Join Patrick “Sean” Tyler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fallon Ambulance Service, on September 28 for Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience.

Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience
Speaker: P. Sean Tyler, Fallon Ambulance
September 28 at 2:00 PM ET
$99 for Members | $199 for non-Members

EMS systems around the US have historically been incentivized by Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), private insurers and other payers to transport all patients encountered through accessing 911 emergency call systems, to an acute care facility emergency department (ED). The reimbursement model for ambulance services in place currently only provides payment for transport of any patient to a state licensed ED according to CMS. The changing healthcare system in the US, through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010, looks to healthcare systems and contractors to provide healthcare at a lower cost. CMS is prescribed, as part of the ACA, to test innovative delivery models to reduce program expenditures…while preserving or enhancing quality of care furnished to individuals.”

This session will review the concepts and programs of implementing a modified system of care whereas trained EMS providers, under the supervision of a physician Medical Director, can transport patients experiencing a psychiatric emergency or require drug abuse services to a destination other than the acute care emergency department. This session also will review existing research papers, conclusions and data available for several existing programs for EMS utilization of permissive alternative destination for behavioral and mental health patients and patients requiring services for drug or alcohol use, in the absence of any acute medical condition.

AAA 2016 Election Update

The 2016 AAA Election is going paperless! This year’s election will be held entirely online.

AAA 2016 Election Dates to Know

Please contact Aidan Camas at with any questions.