2018 National and State-Specific Medicare Data

The American Ambulance Association is pleased to announce the publication of its 2018 Medicare Payment Data Report. This report is based on the “Early Edition” of the 2018 Part B National Summary Data File (previously known as the Bess Report). The report consists of an overview of total Medicare spending nationwide, and then a separate breakdown of Medicare spending in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the various other U.S. Territories. For each jurisdiction, the report contains two charts: the first reflects data for all ambulance services, with the second limited to dialysis transports. Each chart is further broken down by HCPCS code. The charts provide information on the total number of allows services and the total Medicare payments for CYs 2017 and 2018. Percentage changes will allow members to view payment trends over the past year. Questions? Contact Brian Werfel at bwerfel@aol.com.  ...

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CMS SNF Edits Go Into Effect – April 1, 2019

CMS Set to Implement New Common Working File Edits to Identify Ambulance Services Provided in Connection with Outpatient Hospital Services that should be bundled to the SNF under Consolidated Billing On November 2, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Transmittal 2176 (Change Request 10955), which would establish a new series of Common Working File (CWF) edits intended to identify ambulance transports furnished in connection with outpatient hospital services that are properly bundled to the skilled nursing facility under the SNF Consolidated Billing regime. These new edits are set to go into effect on April 1, 2019.  Why these edits are necessary? In 2017, the HHS Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation of ground ambulance claims that were furnished to Medicare beneficiaries during the first 100 days of a skilled nursing home (SNF) stay. Under the SNF Consolidated Billing regime, SNFs are paid a per diem, case-mix-adjusted amount that is intended to cover all costs incurred on behalf of their residents.  Federal regulations further provide that, with limited exceptions, the SNF’s per diem payment includes medically necessary ambulance transportation provided during the beneficiary’s Part A stay. The OIG’s report was issued in February 2019. The OIG...

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2017 National and State-Specific Medicare Data

The American Ambulance Association is pleased to announce the publication of its 2017 Medicare Payment Data Report. This report is based on the Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master File. This report contains information on all Part B and DME claims processed through the Medicare Common Working File and stored in the National Claims History Repository. The report contains an overview of total Medicare spending nationwide in CY 2017, and then a separate breakdown of Medicare spending in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the various other U.S. Territories. For each jurisdiction, the report contains two charts: the first reflects data for all ambulance services, while the second is limited solely to dialysis transports. Each chart lists total spending by procedure code (i.e., base rates and mileage). For comparison purposes, information is also provided on Medicare spending in CY 2016. Questions? Contact Brian Werfel at bwerfel@aol.com.  ...

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Congress Passes Ambulance Medicare Add-Ons

  It is my pleasure to share with you that—just minutes ago—Congress passed the 5 year extension of the Medicare ambulance add-ons. The extension was part of the two-year budget deal reached by congressional leaders and passed by the Senate early this morning and then shortly thereafter by the House. The ambulance provisions in the final deal differ from the provisions passed earlier this week by the House in one key area – the collection of ambulance cost data. This means that we are truly in the endzone of the add-on payment extension process. While we ask your continued patience as we jump through one last procedural hoop, I am confident that the add-ons will be back in effect as soon as the President signs the legislation. In today’s deeply divided political climate, I am proud of what we have accomplished through collaboration as an association and industry. Here are the specifics of the final package: 5 year extension of the ambulance Medicare add-ons through December 31, 2022, retroactive to January 1, 2018. AAA’s preferred method of Cost data collection that provides flexibility to the Secretary of HHS in developing the system. Consultation with the industry is required so that it (more…)

House Passes Ambulance Medicare Add-Ons

Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation which includes a five-year extension of the Medicare ambulance add-ons. The House voted 245 to 182 to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government beyond the current expiration date of February 8. The CR included a package of Medicare provider extenders including an extension of the temporary Medicare ambulance add-ons. The ambulance provisions in the CR include the following: A five-year extension of the temporary Medicare ambulance increases of 2% urban and 3% rural to base and mileage rates and 22.6% to the base rate in super rural areas. The extension would be retroactive to January 1, 2018 and expire on December 31, 2022. The requirement for ambulance service suppliers to submit cost reports. The language is based on H.R. 3729 as reported by the House Ways and Means Committee but with new language providing the CMS Administrator with the discretion to apply a payment suspension or overpayment as the penalty for suppliers that do not submit timely, accurate and complete data after the initial two years. To offset the cost of the add-ons extension, a further reduction of 13% in Medicare reimbursement for BLS non-emergency transports to (more…)

2017 EEO Survey

The EEOC announced that it has launched the EEO Survey to report 2017 Workforce Data. Ambulance services who Federal contractors or private employers with 100 or more employees are required to report the Workforce Data by March 31, 2018. To clarify, billing the federal insurance programs does not qualify as being a Federal contractor for the purposes of reporting EEO-1 Data. If you or your agency needs assistance in determining if your organization is required to report EEO Workforce Data, please contact the AAA....

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AAA Holiday Office Closure

American Ambulance Association headquarters will be closed Saturday, December 23 to Monday, January 1. For urgent inquiries, please contact info@ambulance.org. All other messages will be responded to upon our return to the office. Thank you for your support, and happy holidays!

Electronic Injury Deadline Now 12/31

This is an important reminder to all agencies who are required to electronically report their injury data to OSHA.  OSHA announced today that they are giving employers until midnight on December 31, 2017 to submit their injury data for 2016.  If you need assistance with submitting your injury data, please be sure to call or email the AAA.  We can assist you in making sure you meet the deadline.  As of January 1, 2018, employers will not be able to submit their 2016 injury data.

Medicare Extender Update

As president of your association, keeping you informed of our advocacy efforts is one of my top priorities. In keeping with this approach, I would like to share with you an update on the American Ambulance Association’s latest efforts on Capitol Hill. The temporary Medicare ambulance increases are currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017. And once again, Congress is waiting until the last minute to extend them. Thankfully, a long-term solution is on the horizon. The House and Senate are in the process of negotiating the details of a Medicare provider extender package including our ambulance provisions. The House and Senate positions both include a five-year extension of the 2% urban, 3% rural, and super rural increases. Where their positions differ reflects the respective preferences of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees on how best to collect cost data from ambulance services suppliers and providers. The Senate position is based on a Senate Finance Committee Discussion Draft from October 26 which includes the five-year extension of the increases as well as a data collection system based on the one from the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act (S. 967). The provision would direct...

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EMS Employer Year-End Wrap-Up and Preview

2017 was a bit of a wild ride in the employment realm.  The Trump Administration worked to change the trajectory set during the eight years of the Obama Administration.  This past year, we saw the undoing or attempts to undo many of the Obama Administration initiatives, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) updates, changes to the Persuader Rule, interpretations of Title VII as it relates to transgender protections.  Not to mention the repeated attempts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, there were several new requirements for employers that went into effect in 2017 and a few upcoming in 2018.  Here is a quick review to ensure that your service is up-to-date and compliant. The Fair Labor Standards Act Changes These changes, which would have more than doubled the minimum salary levels for those “White Collar” exemptions, were set to go into effect back in 2016.  A Federal Court in Texas enjoined and put on hold these changes until the question of whether the Department of Labor (DOL) had the authority to unilaterally change the Regulations.  In July, 2016, the DOL published an Request For Information (RFI) with responses due in late September, requesting input...

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American Ambulance Association Announces 2017 AMBY Award Winners

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 AMBY Awards. The AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. The mission of the awards is to showcase creativity and innovation in the ambulance industry by fostering a culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. This year’s awards will be presented at the Annual Conference & Trade Show Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please join us in congratulating our 2017 winners! Community Impact Program NorthStar EMS, Inc. St. Charles County Ambulance District Employee Programs MEDIC EMS Agency (North Carolina) Quality Improvement Programs MEDIC EMS Agency (North Carolina) Public Relations Campaign Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. (California) Sunstar Paramedics Other Programs Porter EMS Learn more about the AMBYs.

2017 AAA Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce this year’s award winners. Awards will be presented at the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners! J. Walter Schaeffer Award Mark Meijer, Life EMS Ambulance The J. Walter Schaeffer Award is given annually to an individual whose work in EMS has contributed positively to the advancement of the industry as a whole. Mark Meijer has achieved this through his many years of commitment and service to the ambulance industry. Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award Fred Della Valle, AMR Connecticut The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. It recognizes a volunteer leader who has made a significant long-term impact on the association. Fred Della Valle has achieved this through his decades of service, commitment, and dedication to the AAA and its members. President’s Award Dr. John Russell, Cape County Private Ambulance Paul Main, American Ambulance of Visalia These awards are bestowed by the President to volunteer leaders who have shown commitment to the advancement of the AAA above and beyond the call of duty. This year, (more…)

2017 Board of Director Candidates

Election Timeline | Board Candidates | Ethics Committee Candidates The 2017 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 10/11 | Voting Opens Ballots will be delivered to AAA Active Member primary contacts via email from announcement@associationvoting.com. If you have questions about your organization’s voter, please email Aidan Camas at acamas@ambulance.org 11/2 | Voting Closes 11:59pm (Eastern) 11/14 | Election results announced at the 2017 AAA Annual Conference & Tradeshow. Slate of Candidates Thank you and best of luck to this year’s slate of talented and seasoned board candidates. Ethics Committee Candidates Thank you to the following candidates for the AAA Ethics Committee. Voters may select up to four. Deb Bode – Lifeline Ambulance LLC. Jamie Chebra – JFK EMS Ken Morris – Life EMS Ambulance Michael Pieroni – MedEx Ambulance Service Jim Winham – Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) Questions? Please contact acamas@ambulance.org for assistance.

House Committee Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Bill

House Committee Passes Medicare Ambulance Relief Bill On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted out favorably an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the Comprehensive Operations, Sustainability, ant Transport Act of 2017 (HR 3729) by Congressman Nunes (R-CA) and Sewell (D-AL). H.R. 3729 would extend for five years the Medicare ambulance add-on payments of 2% urban, 3% rural and the super rural bonus. The legislation would also implement cost reporting for ambulance service suppliers. H.R. 3729 is a revised version of the Ambulance Medicare Budget and Operations Act  (HR 3236)introduced by Congressmen Nunes (R-CA), Upton (R-MI) and Welch (D-VT). While the AAA supports H.R. 3236, there were several changes made in H.R. 3729  that are concerning to the AAA. In particular, the addition of an offset which would implement an additional 13%* cut to BLS nonemergency transports to and from dialysis centers and a change in the penalty for not filing a time, complete and accurate cost report.  The AAA has therefore taken a neutral position on H.R. 3729 as we work with the House Ways and Means Committee and Congressmen Nunes and Sewell on modifications to the bill. This week, AAA Board Members and Volunteer Leaders were in DC and met with both sponsors (more…)

Hurricane Harvey: JEMS-AAA Adopt-An-EMS-Family Program

EMS professionals selflessly serve their communities each day. But even the most capable healthcare providers sometimes need a little help themselves, especially in the face of a natural disaster. AAA has partnered with JEMS to assist EMS families severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana via the “Adopt-an-EMS-Family” program. Established in August 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the program is empowers EMS agencies, their staff, and other participants to provide direct, personal support to EMTs, Paramedics, Dispatchers, and other EMS professionals who were significantly affected by a large-scale disaster. We invite your ambulance service to join us in adopting the families of EMS providers recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Sign up below to be assigned a family or group of families to assist in their time of need. Thank you in advance for your support and participation.

2017 AAA Election Calendar

2017 Election Timeline 8/31 | Nominations Close 9/14 | Approval of Candidates by AAA Board of Directors 10/11 | Voting Opens Election will be paperless and held online. Ballots will be delivered to AAA Active Member primary contacts via email. 11/2 | Voting Closes 11:59pm 11/14 | Election results announced at the 2017 AAA Annual Conference & Tradeshow. The AAA’s 2017 Election will be for the following positions: Region I Director (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI & VT) Region II Director (AL, DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, PA, SC, VA, WV) Region III Director (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN WI) Region IV Director (AR, IA, KS, LA, MN, MO, OK, ND, NE, SD, TX) Region V Director (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) Ethics Committee     Questions? Please contact acamas@ambulance.org for assistance.

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. (more…)

Board of Director Nominations – Now Open!

Call For Nominations Now Open! In accordance with the Bylaws of the American Ambulance Association, it is time to call for members in good standing that wish to serve on the Board of Directors. The AAA is now seeking candidates for the following positions: Region I Director (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI & VT) Region II Director (AL, DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, PA, SC, VA, WV) Region III Director (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN WI) Region IV Director (AR, IA, KS, LA, MN, MO, OK, ND, NE, SD, TX) Region V Director (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY Individuals who wish to be considered for an elected position as Regional Director must: 1. Be the designated representative of an Active member of the AAA, in good standing; 2. Be ready to devote time and effort to matters which concern the Board of Directors and to actively participate in all Board activities; 3. Be prepared to assist other AAA members with concerns and problems which relate to the ambulance industry and the workings of the AAA; and, 4. Understand that these positions provide no compensation for time or reimbursement for expenses. All travel-related expenses, including (more…)