EMS Week Featured Service | Hall Ambulance Service, Inc.

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. Bakersfield, CA Facebook | Twitter Meet Hall Ambulance Service Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. was founded by Harvey L. Hall on February 10, 1971. Today, the Company serves as the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population, or roughly 780,000 people. Hall Ambulance provides advanced life support, basic life support, and regional ground and air interfacility transport solutions through Hall Critical Care Transport. The Hall Ambulance Service COVID-19 Response Weeks before the first confirmed patient was detected in our community, Hall Ambulance began implementing extensive measures in preparation for the coronavirus pandemic reaching Bakersfield and Kern County. An internal task force was formed to determine how best to confront this new disease. As of May 17, 204 Hall Ambulance employees have cared for and transported 221 confirmed COVID-19 patients; however, we are fortunate that zero employees have been infected with the virus. One of the first places the Company focused its attention was by having its dispatchers use the Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) tool enabling emergency medical dispatchers to advise crews responding to a suspected COVID-19 patient of the need to donn PPE prior to making patient contact. Before the first transport of (more…)

40 Under 40: Hasieb Lemar (Royal Ambulance – Hayward, CA)

40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession. ____ Hasieb Lemar Chief Operating Officer Royal Ambulance Hayward, CA ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Steve Grau (Royal Ambulance – San Leandro, CA) ____ Biography: Hasieb Lemar has been with Royal Ambulance for over 13 years. Hasieb’s experience includes time as a Field EMT, after which he was promoted to Field Training Officer, Operations Supervisor, Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and to his current role of Chief Operating Officer. Having risen through the ranks at Royal Ambulance, and being an integral part of the organization’s growth and development, Hasieb has played a critical role in shaping and developing future healthcare leaders with an emphasis on compassionate patient care. Versatile, innovative, and service oriented, Hasieb has a proven track record of successfully driving operational efficiency while maximizing business opportunities and revenue growth. Hasieb earned his degree in Criminal Justice from Cal State Hayward located in Hayward, CA where he grew up and still resides with his wife and daughter. ____ Reason for Nomination: Hasieb Lemar has risen through the ranks at Royal Ambulance, (more…)

2018 AMBY Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 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 September 7, 2018. Please join us in congratulating our 2018 winners! Clinical Outcome Program Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. | Vallejo, CA Community Impact Program NorthStar EMS, Inc. | Tuscaloosa, AL Employee Programs Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA Innovation in EMS Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN Mercy Ambulance Service, Inc. | Savannah, GA Public Relations Campaign MEDIC EMS Agency | Charlotte, NC Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA Quality Improvement Program Sunstar Paramedics | Largo, FL Patient and Employee Safety Program Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN Once again, join us in celebrating the 2018 winners! Learn more about the AMBYs.  

July Brings Legal Changes for Employers in Many States

Oregon Statewide Transit Tax Important notice to ambulance service employers based in the state of Oregon: there is a new statewide transit tax taking effect on July 1, 2018. Beginning July 1st, employers must start withholding a tax of 1/10th of 1% from the wages of Oregon residents or from non-residents who perform services in Oregon. The Department of Revenue has published detailed information on the statewide tax with a list of available resources to assist employers with compliance. Iowa Lowers Standard for Positive Alcohol Tests Effective July 1, 2018, Iowa employers may lower their standard for taking employment action for positive alcohol tests from the old state standard of .04 to .02. Iowa has one of the strictest employment drug and alcohol testing requirements in the country. Employers are required to have a written policy that is distributed to all employees and job candidates for their review. Employers must establish a drug and alcohol awareness program alerting employees of the dangers of drug and alcohol use in the workplace, and most employees must be provided an option to enter a rehabilitation program instead of being disciplined. In addition, all supervisory staff must attend a two-hour initial drug and alcohol...

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Update on Medicare Reimbursement Issues

The AAA would like to take this opportunity to update members on a number of issues related to Medicare reimbursement: CMS and its contractors have begun adjusting claims for ground ambulance services to reflect the restoration of the temporary add-ons. Section 50203(a) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 retroactively reinstated the temporary add-ons for ground ambulance services. These add-ons increase the applicable Medicare allowables by 2% in urban areas, 3% in rural areas, and 22.6% in “super rural” areas (over and above the corresponding rural rate), retroactive to January 1, 2018. On a March 7, 2018 Open Door Forum, CMS indicated that it had updated the Medicare Ambulance fee schedule to reflect these higher rates, and that it has provided a Change Request to each of its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). The AAA has confirmed that all MACs have successfully implemented the new rates, and that all are paying current claims at the correct rate. The AAA has further confirmed that MACs have started to adjust 2018 claims paid at the original (lower) rates. Unfortunately, neither CMS nor its MACs have committed to a firm timetable for the completion of all required adjustments; however, a number of MACs have...

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Congrats to CAAS Accreditations & Recerts

Congratulations to the AAA members who received Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) accreditation or reaccreditation in November and December! New certifications Superior Air-Ground Ambulance (Elmhurst, IL) Recertifications Ambucare (Bremen, GA) American Medical Response Central Mississippi (Jackson, MS) American Medical Response, Los Angeles (Irwindale, CA) American Medical Response, San Diego (San Diego, CA) American Medical Response of West Michigan (Grand Rapids, MI) American Medical Response South Mississippi (Gulfport, MS) Lifeguard Ambulance Service (Milton, FL) Metro West Ambulance (Hillsboro, OR) Richmond Ambulance Authority (Richmond, VA)

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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2017 AMBY Winner: Medic Ambulance Service, Inc.

Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. Named 2017 AMBY Award Winner Contact: Jessica Marvin Telephone: 703-610-9018 Email: jmarvin@ambulance.org Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) has named Medic Ambulance Service, Inc.  (California), a recipient of the 2017 AMBY Award in the Public Relations Campaign category. Each year, the AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. Medic Ambulance Service is being recognized with an AMBY Award in recognition of the Robbin Mackbee EMS Youth Academy. The program, which is named in honor of a local hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, sets the goal of transforming its at-risk cadets from coping with a challenging present into moving towards a dignified future. Representatives from Medic Ambulance Service will receive their AMBY at the AAA Awards Reception during the 2017 Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Las Vegas. The mission of the AMBY 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. For additional information about the AMBY Awards or how to submit a nomination for next year, visit https://ambulance.org/amby-awards/ XXX About the (more…)

2017 President’s Award

Contact: Jessica Marvin Telephone: 703-610-9018 Email: jmarvin@ambulance.orgg AMERICAN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION HONORS DR. JOHN RUSSELL AND PAUL MAIN WITH THE 2017 PRESIDENT’S AWARD Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award Dr. John Russell and Paul Main with the 2017 President’s Award. The President’s Award is given by the President of the AAA to volunteer leaders who have shown commitment to the advancement of the AAA above and beyond the call of duty. This year the two outstanding volunteers represent tireless work on behalf of the AAA. Dr. Russell, of Cape County Private Ambulance is being recognized for his ongoing support of AAA’s programs and leadership on clinical and ambulance service standards. Mr. Main, of American Ambulance of Visalia, has achieved this honor for his dedication and service to AAA’s Government Affairs programs. AAA President Mark Postma noted, “Dr. Russell and Mr. Main epitomize the spirit of the President’s Award through their steadfast work on behalf of the AAA . We are proud to celebrate their contributions and achievements to the AAA and our industry by presenting them with the President’s Award for 2017.” Dr. Russell and Mr. Main will be presented with the President’s Award (more…)

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…)

Spotlight: Paul Main

Paul Main President & General Manager American Ambulance Visalia Member, Government Affairs Committee Winner, 2017 AAA President’s Award Visalia, CA Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Visalia, Ca. I have been married to Paige for 30 years, and we have three children (Michael, Samantha, Ian). Michael is “special needs” as he was born with a club foot and a rare seizure disorder causing up to 100 seizures per day. I enjoy cooking and being with friends/family. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? My dad was a firefighter/engineer for the Visalia Fire Department. As kids, my brothers and I couldn’t wait to visit my dad at the stations and climb all over the equipment. Just after high school, my older brother, Tim was working for Exeter District Ambulance. I was working as a pharmacy tech in the local hospital, and Tim would have to restock IV’s and meds from the pharmacy (this was years ago). I was intrigued by his descriptions of calls he responded to. I found myself in an EMT class the next semester, and the rest is history. Tim is now a battalion (more…)

CSU Bakersfield Honors Harvey L. Hall with Honorary Doctorate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Hall Ambulance News Release Contact: Mark Corum, Director of Media Services (661) 322-8741 | Cell (661) 334-0996 May 24, 2017 Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. Founder and President Harvey L. Hall was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) degree, conferred in the names of the California State University and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) at the spring 2017 commencement on May 19.  An honorary doctorate is CSUB’s highest honor. The presentation was made by CSUB President Horace Mitchell, Ph.D., who stated, “Harvey Hall’s support for CSUB and our community is upfront and unwavering.  The criteria established for awarding the honorary doctorate include distinction in the nominee’s chosen field of endeavor, widely recognized eminence, and demonstrated values consistent with those of higher education and the highest ideals of the chosen field.  Harvey Hall embodies, exemplifies, and exceeds those criteria.” Hall is a longtime supporter of CSUB.  In 2014, President Mitchell presented then-Mayor Hall with the CSUB President’s Award for his leadership, commitment, and service to the University and the community.  In 2010, the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration Executive Advisory Council honored then-Mayor Hall with the prestigious John Brock Community Service Award for his strong (more…)

Congressman Mike Thompson to Receive AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Mike Thompson to Receive AAA Legislative Recognition Award For Immediate Release Contact: Amanda Riordan ariordan@ambulance.org 703-610-0264 Washington, DC, – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) will honor Congressman Mike Thompson of California with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Thompson will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s California Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Golden State are Amanda Wilkinson of American Ambulance of Visalia, Lyle Armstrong of Del Norte Ambulance, as well as Ivan Gonzalez, Chana Alexander, Peter Hastings and Deborah Rath of American Medical Response. Congressman Thompson was selected for his support of the Medicare ambulance temporary add-on increases of 2% urban and 3% urban and the super rural bonus payment. Also for championing efforts to ensure that rural areas are correctly identified as such under the fee schedule. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Congressman Thompson has been a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in California and across our country.” Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, Congressman Thompson represents California’s 3rd congressional district. Congressman Thompson serves on the House (more…)

Congressman Devin Nunes Receives AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Devin Nunes Receives 2017 AAA Legislative Recognition Award For Immediate Release Contact: Amanda Riordan ariordan@ambulance.org 703-610-0264 Washington, DC – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) will honor Congressman Devin Nunes of California with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Nunes will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s California Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Golden State are Amanda Wilkinson of American Ambulance of Visalia; Lyle Armstrong of Del Norte Ambulance; and Ivan Gonzalez, Chana Alexander, Peter Hastings and Deborah Rath of American Medical Response. Congressman Nunes was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for championing the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act, which would make permanent the current temporary Medicare ambulance add-on increases and the super rural bonus payment. The legislation, HR 745 from the 114th Congress, would also treat ambulance services more like providers of health care, and would require CMS to collect cost data utilizing a survey methodology that would result in usable information for future reform of the Medicare ambulance fee schedule. Congressman Nunes was also chosen for championing efforts to ensure that (more…)

2017 AAA Legislative Awards

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 AAA Legislative Awards, in recognition of their strong advocacy for emergency medical services. Each legislator was chosen for their ongoing service to the ambulance services of the United States. 2017 AAA Legislator of the Year Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) – Press Release, Facebook Post, Twitter Post 2017 AAA Legislative Recognition Award Recipients Senators Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) – Press Release Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – Press Release Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – Press Release Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – Press Release Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Press Release Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) – Press Release Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Press Release Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) – Press Release Representatives Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) – Press Release Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) – Press Release Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) – Press Release Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) – Press Release Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) – Press Release Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) – Press Release Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)...

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House Holds Hearing on Veterans Choice Program

The House VA Committee hearing started at 7:30 p.m., but it was well-attended and lasted until 10 p.m. The witnesses included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), VA Secretary David Shulkin, and representatives of the VA Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office. Senator McCain and Secretary Shulkin were both warmly welcomed by Members of the Committee on a bipartisan basis. Chairman Roe (R-TN) emphasized the need to act quickly to extend the authorization for the Veterans Choice Program, which expires on August 7. To that end, the House VA Committee is voting today on a bill to eliminate the sunset of the program’s authorization. In addition, the Committee will consider broader legislation later this year to make comprehensive reforms to the Choice Program. He noted that the VA has additional funds available but will not be able to spend them once the authorization expires. A copy of Chairman Roe’s opening statement is available here. Secretary Shulkin testified in support of extending the Choice Program, and he clarified that the VA was not seeking additional funding – just the authority to spend funds already obligated. He noted that the VA already is being forced to deny Choice Program coverage to...

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February Employment Law Updates

Last month I suggested that many of our states are the incubators for employment legislation and that ambulance services need to keep an eye on legislation at the local level and get involved if the legislation effects your business.  The leader in employment legislation from a state perspective is California.  This article highlights several pieces of legislation that were filed this year that will impact employers. As I have stated several times in prior posts, webinars, and live sessions, the “Ban the Box” movement is growing momentum.  California has introduced a bill that will extent current “Ban the Box” protections applicable to State and City employers to private employers.  This would prohibit inquiries about a candidate’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment was made. This is just one of the bills that were introduced.  The other include, Right to Work, Veteran’s Preference, and Employees and dependents Reproductive Health protections.  In addition, Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez introduced legislation that may drastically impact private EMS providers and how they operate their service. Last December the Department of Labor released final rule revising the claims procedure requirements for disability benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The new rules are (more…)

2016 AMBY Best Community Impact Program: Medic Ambulance, Reduced Readmissions Project

Medic Ambulance Reduced Readmissions Project Awarded a 2016 AMBY for Best Community Impact Program Medic Ambulance | California Medic Ambulance Service is the exclusive ALS service provider in Solano County, a HRSA-designated medically underserved area with a physician-provider to population ratio of 81.1 per 100,000. In 2014 Medic Ambulance became aware of an opportunity to participate in a Community Paramedicine Pilot initiated through California Ste EMSA. After collaborating with LEMSA and the community hospitals, Medic Ambulance unanimously concluded that the 23% average readmission rates for each CHF and COPD patients was taking a crippling toll on the hospitals’ reimbursement and increasing Emergency Department wait times. Starting in January of 2015, Medic Ambulance Service enrolled six paramedics into approximately 300 hours of additional training focused on the biopsychosocial needs of patients with CHF or COPD. The education has continued through monthly case reviews and peer-to-peer lessons-learned where the entire team brainstorms innovative solutions to the patients’ challenges. From the beginning, Medic Ambulance Service was poised on creating a sustainable model that would persevere past the period of being a pilot or grant funding. They made this goal of preservation well-known to all stakeholders, and after quickly proving the value through low readmission rates they had established (more…)

Ambulance services face huge losses under ACA

From the San Fernando Valley Business Journal Two consequences of health care reform – lower reimbursement rates and more patients – have put some local ambulance companies on life support as they struggle to balance higher volumes of trips with less money in return. As a result, ambulance companies have left certain regions of the state amid consolidations and closures. Read the Full Article (PDF Download)