Tag: 2022

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Registration is OPEN!

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is currently accepting registrations for the East Coast, Southern, Midwest, and Weekend of Honor Events.

To learn more about each one of these events, check out the details below.  Looking to register?  Click on the registration buttons located under each of the route headings.

 

Weekend of Honor – July 22nd Crystal City, VA

This single-day event kicks off the Weekend of Honor in coordination with the National EMS Memorial Service. Registration is only $20.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

MidWest Route – June 20th – June 25th

Experience the beauty of the Midwest from St. Paul, MN. to Chicago, IL over the course of this six-day event.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Southern Route – May 22nd – May 28th

This seven-day route begins in Fayetteville, NC, with a final destination of Williamsburg, VA.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

East Coast – May 21st – May 27th

The original route of The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will travel from Boston, MA to Baltimore, MD.

Click Here to Learn More and Register »

Colorado Route – September 11th – September 16th

Are you up for a climb?  Don’t worry, half of the route is all downhill.  With a start in Snowmass, CO to Littleton, CO you can take in the best sights of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration Coming Soon…..

West Coast – September 19th – September 24th

From Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA this route has it all, The views, the weather, and the wine of the Napa Valley, don’t miss this season-ending route.

Registration Coming Soon…..

Covid-19 Mitigation
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride remains committed to providing a safe cycling and support environment for all participants, spectators, and hosts.  During all 2022 events, the CDC Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time and location of the individual event will be followed by all participants.  You can view these requirements at the CDC Covid-19 Community Levels website by clicking here.
 

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long-distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty.

You can learn more about the 2022 National EMS Memorial Service and obtain the hotel reservation list by clicking here

AAA 2022 Legislative Priorities

Yesterday, the American Ambulance Association Board of Directors approved the Association’s advocacy priorities for 2022. Our key initiatives reflect the challenges we face this year, including short-sighted threats to EMS balance billing, a worsening workforce shortage, the expiration of the temporary Medicare increases, and potential sequestration cuts.

We also continue to fight for you as you care for people first on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will sustain our efforts at securing additional funding for ground ambulance services to help address the increased costs of providing medical care and transport during the Public Health Emergency.

To achieve our collective goals, the AAA Board will need to mobilize the full voice of influence of the EMS community this year. If you have not already sent an email using the AAA advocacy system to your members of Congress, please do so today!

Staff will be reaching out to you at key points later in the year about letter writing for specific individual policy requests. But it is important that they hear from you now on all the top issues for ground ambulance services.  They are:

Top AAA Advocacy Priorities for 2022

EMS Workforce Shortage

With the persistent shortage of ground ambulance service field personnel raising to a crisis level with the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAA moved the issue to a top policy priority. The AAA is currently working with key Congressional Committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the EMS workforce shortage. We are also developing legislation to specifically target increasing access for ground ambulance service organizations to federal programs and funding for the retention and training of health care personnel.

Balance Billing

The AAA successfully educated the Congress on the role of local government oversight and other unique characteristics of providing ground ambulance service organizations. As a result, the Congress directed the establishment of a Ground Ambulance and Balance Billing Advisory Committee to address the issue. The Committee is in the process of being formed and then has 180 days in which to make recommendations to the Congress. The AAA will be involved with the Committee and advocating that the Congress implement policies that meet the needs of our members.

Additional COVID-19 Financial Assistance

The AAA is advocating for additional financial assistance for ground ambulance service organizations to help address the increased costs of labor and other higher costs associated with providing health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medicare Ambulance Relief

The temporary Medicare ambulance increases of 2% urban, 3% rural and the super rural bonus payment expire at the end of the year. The AAA will continue to push for passage of the provisions of the Preserving Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act (S. 2037, H.R. 2454) before the provisions expire as well as for the adoption of language to ensure truly rural areas remain rural following changes to geographical designations based on the 2020 census.

Sequestration Cuts

The Congress delayed the additional 4% sequestration cut for only one yea. The AAA is working with other EMS and health care provider and supplier groups to permanently prevent the cut from going into effect as well as further extending the moratorium on the long-standing 2% cut.

Ambulance Cost Data Collection

With the 2-year delay of ambulance data collection due to the pandemic, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) will have little to no data to analyze in March 2023 in which to make recommendations to the Congress on Medicare ambulance payment policy and rates. The AAA is asking the Congress to push back the date of the MedPAC report and also expand the modified data collection timeline of two years to the intended four years.

On behalf of my fellow board members, I again thank you for your continued membership and participation. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

We also encourage all of our AAA members to contact their members of Congress through our online advocacy tool. 

Should you have any questions regarding our advocacy priorities, please contact AAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tristan North at tnorth@ambulance.org.

2021 AAA Board of Directors Election Results

The winners of the 2021 AAA Board of Directors election are listed below. The term for each position will begin on January 1, 2022. In compliance with our updated association bylaws, the candidate who received the most votes in each region will serve a one-time three year term and the candidate with the second most votes will serve a two-year term. Please join us in thanking all candidates for their service to the American Ambulance Association.

Region I

Director (3 year term)

Jim O’Connor
Vice President
Empress EMS
White Plains, NY


 

Director (2 year term)

Ron Quaranto
Executive Vice President of Operations
Cataldo Ambulance
Somerville, MA

 

Region II

 

Director (3 year term)

Terence Ramotar
Director of Government Affairs- Southeast Region
Global Medical Response
Tampa, FL

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Mike Thomas
Director of Safety & Government Relations
Jan-Care Ambulance
Beckley, WV

 

Region III

Director (3 year term)

Chris Anderson
Director of Operations
Bell Ambulance, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

 

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Tom Schmiedeknecht
Director of Operations / President
Professional Med Team
Muskegon, MI

Region IV

 

Director (3 year term)

Angie McLain-Johnson
Chief Compliance and Revenue Officer
Pafford EMS
Edmond, OK

 

 


 

Director (2 year term)

Tom Fennell
Regulatory Officer
Mayo Clinic Ambulance
Rochester, MN

 

Region V

Director (3 year term)

Paul Main
President / General Manager
American Ambulance of Visalia
Visalia, CA

 


Director (2 year term)

Chris Archuleta
CEO
Superior Ambulance Service, Inc
Albuquerque, NM

 

Ethics Committee

Allyson Pharr
Acadian Ambulance

Scott Mickelsen
Bell Ambulance, Inc.

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 strikes the appropriate balance between obtaining meaningful data while not overly burdening or onerously penalizing the ambulance services.
  • The penalty for failing to report required data would be a reduction in payment up to 10% for the year following the year in which the data should have been submitted. AAA objected to the house proposed penalty of up to a year of Medicare payments clawback or withholding of payments. A clause is included to wave the penalty in cases of hardship.
  • A “pay-for” for the 5-year extension of the add-ons with a 13% cut to non-emergent dialysis transports – the AAA had objected to the offset and pushed for a cut targeted to just those entities which abuse the dialysis transport benefit. We were successful in reducing the initial cut from 22% to 13%. The AAA is actively working on other pay-for options that would replace the 13% cut with something targeting dialysis fraud and abuse.

Next Steps

All that remains to bring the add-ons into effect retroactively to January 1, 2018 are a few administrative formalities and the signature of the President, who has indicated his support of the agreement. Given the government shutdown, we are cautiously optimistic that this will proceed quickly. However, bumps are always a possibility—we will keep you informed! (Follow AAA on Twitter at @amerambassoc or Facebook for instant updates.)

Thank You

This week’s tremendous progress would not have been possible without months of effort by AAA volunteer leaders, advocacy experts, and staff, as well as support from our key champions in Congress.

I’d like to personally thank the AAA Government Affairs Committee, including Chair Jamie Pafford-Gresham and Vice Chair Shawn Baird, as well as the entire AAA Board for their hundreds of hours of hard work on this issue. We are all truly grateful for your dedication to moving mountains to find sustainable funding for EMS.

Last but certainly not least, thank you to the dozens of state ambulance associations and thousands of individual members who wrote letters to their Members of Congress in support of the add-ons. We truly couldn’t have made it this far without your support.

Again, thank you, and please stay tuned for final updates!

Mark Postma
President
American Ambulance Association
“Representing EMS in America”

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 and from dialysis centers. The initial reduction was 22% but the AAA was able to help lower the estimated cost of the add-ons and thus lower the percentage of the offsetting cut.

The CR now goes to the Senate for its consideration. The Senate is likely to act tomorrow, February 7.

We will keep you posted of new developments. Thank you for your continued support of the American Ambulance Association.

Mark Postma
President
American Ambulance Association
“Representing EMS in America”