Tag: California

Emergency Ambulance Service in 2020

Emergency Ambulance Service
Brea, California
80 Staff | 18 Quarantined in 2020

Brea, California based Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS), a family-owned and operated business, has been a respected leader in the delivery of mobile healthcare for more than 40 years. Our company, which began in 1977, provides non-emergency and emergency medical transportation in the Los Angeles-Orange County Metropolitan Area, and responds to approximately 15,000 inter-facility and 9-1-1 transport requests each year employing a fleet of 16 ambulances staffed by highly qualified and caring EMTs, paramedics, and specialty providers. At EAS, we know that patient care is the single most important thing we do … Therefore, our mission is to strive to provide excellent medical service in a prompt, professional and safe manner. Quality patient care is the foundation of our business. We realize that our patients are the only reason we exist, and we feel they deserve no less than the absolute best we have to give.

2020 has been a challenging year for EMS in CA, not just due to COVID-19, but also because of the wildfires that have ravaged our state, civil unrest, and increased responses to overdoses and psychiatric emergencies. During this unprecedented time, we have continued to provide service, including supplying an ALS ambulance for 2 straight months at one of CA’s Alternative Care Sites, transporting hundreds of COVID-19 patients, responding to incidents stemming from civil unrest, and deploying units for weeks at a time on the fire line. Despite the situations encountered, we have been fortunate to be able to remain active in the community, promoting EMS and Nurses Week’s, and reaching out to the public via social media, raising awareness of the “Safer at Home” order, the importance of learning CPR, and ensuring persons follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

American Ambulance Visalia in 2020

American Ambulance Visalia
Visalia, California
150 Staff | 5 Quarantined in 2020

American Ambulance Visalia (AAV) proudly serves the greater Visalia area and portions of rural Tulare County. American Ambulance responds to over 23,000 emergency and non-emergency related incidents per year and offers Advanced Life Support (Paramedic) and Basic Life Support (EMT) level of care. AAV was originally established in 1979 as a new Visalia operation for Fresno-based American Ambulance. In 1988, Mr. Cooper and family acquired the Visalia operation and established the company as American Ambulance Visalia. Today, operating out of multiple stations throughout Visalia, Goshen, and portions of rural Tulare County, AAV continues to work hard for all those served by continually reviewing the needs of the communities, maintaining an emphasis on training, providing access to further education for employees, and supporting the core values of the company. In addition to our charitable giving programs to support the community, AAV works with local schools and other various organizations to provide ambulance coverage to the many community events. AAV also has classes available to the general public such as CPR, First Aid, ACLS, PALS, and AED.

2020 brought forth many challenges for EMS, due to the pandemic and natural disasters. AAV has responded to the COVID pandemic by following CDC recommendations for personal protective equipment, acquisition, usage, employee screening and aggressive follow up and disinfection practices. In adhering to policies and procedures put into place, staff infection rates have been remarkably low, around 3% overall. The challenges of COVID have been matched by a record wildfire season in California. With fires burning statewide, fire agencies such as CalFire have requested assistance from EMS to care for injured civilians and injured fire personnel. AAV has deployed an EMS strike team to assist with fires along the central coast, as well as fires in the central Sierra Nevada mountains. AAV continues to support Fire agencies and a major utility company in their efforts to suppress these fires and restore power to affected communities.

Royal Ambulance in 2020

Royal Ambulance
San Leandro, California
500 Staff | 9 Quarantined in 2020

Royal Ambulance is the leader in healthcare transportation & patient navigation services in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and San Mateo County. Since 2006, we’ve grown from 2 ambulances and 10 employees to over 80 ambulances and 500+ team members. We are recognized as one of Inc Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies and as one of Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work”.

As we continue to grow, we remain focused on maintaining our culture of professional and personal development, a supportive family environment, and a first-class employee experience. At Royal we firmly believe it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey! It’s about who you become along the way, the people you meet, the connections you make and the experiences that you have that shape the kind of healthcare professional you become.

As a pillar of the San Francisco Bay Area community, Royal was at the forefront of “Project Helping Hands” – an initiative to support Skilled Nursing Facilities whose staff and residents were affected by COVID. The task at hand was to have EMTs work in the role of CNA and support staff, teaming up with facility employees and assist with bathing, feeding, caring, and sharing love and compassion. Project Helping Hands brought together nurses, CNAs, doctors, leaders, and EMS – all working together to care for the most vulnerable.

We operate on four core values: Driven, Adaptable, Engaging, and Adaptable. You have to be Driven to get up every morning knowing what you’re dealing with. You must be adaptable to an ever-changing environment where the virus is everywhere. You have to be Engaged with the situation or accidents might happen. And lastly, Empathetic to those who are struggling through this crisis.

We are truly proud of our team of healthcare HEROES who rise up and show up every day to face this pandemic head-on with courage and conviction to ensure that our patients and community receive the best care and experience.

NYT | With Virus Surging, EMS’s Job Just Got Harder

From The New York Times on December 29, 2020

With Virus Surging, Ambulance Workers’ Hard Job Just Got Harder

By Gabriella Angotti-Jones

Emergency medical technicians for Amwest Ambulance have worked with coronavirus patients in Los Angeles since March. During this surge of cases in California, roughly 40 percent of the patients they transport are considered “Covid-19 probable.”

The day begins with calls to the dispatch center. Linze Thompson, 26, records information: the state of patients’ health, their coronavirus test results and safety precautions the E.M.T.s must take.

The dispatcher notes an estimated time for patient pickup and contacts the crew on call. Crews time each transport down to the minute.

Once on location, Joshua Berrios, 30, dons a mask, gown, face shield, goggles and gloves. The E.M.T.s approach each scene as if the patient were positive for the coronavirus.

Read Full Interactive Story

 

California’s 50 years of prehospital medicine

From EMS1 on July 14 by AAA Communications Chair Rob Lawrence

The history of our history: 50 years of prehospital medicine: A transatlantic tale of former army doctors, paramedic development, cardiac arrest survival, and Johnny and Roy

Fifty years ago, on July 15, 1970, then California Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law the Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act. The law created the conditions for the establishment of the first accredited paramedic training program in the United States.

The story of American paramedicine did not begin in California or even in the U.S., but in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The inspiration for this program came from World War II era British Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Medical Officer, Professor Frank Pantridge, MD.

Continue reading►

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 a suspected COVID-19 patient occurred, Hall Ambulance looked at best practices and then developed its own protocol for decontaminating ambulances involved in the transport of a coronavirus patient. This stringent process involves nearly four staffing-hours to complete, using hospital-grade germicidal wipes and spray approved by the CDC, and is performed by two technicians (in PPE), and a manager, who works from a safe zone to observe and document the process. As of May 18, 238 ambulances have been decontaminated so that they are properly sanitized and ready to respond to the next request for medical aid.

Hall Ambulance implemented a screening process for all employees prior to starting their shift to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms. The screening includes a temperature check, and questions about sore throat, new or change in cough, and whether they are experiencing shortness of breath.

For those employees who came in contact with COVID-19 patients, the human resources department places daily phone calls to check on their well-being.

The Company has also worked to assist employees with locating daycare providers and provided financial assistance to cover the cost so those employees could provide care with the peace of mind knowing their little ones were safe and secure.

With the pandemic taking a toll on everyone, a licensed therapist was contracted to work with any employee who felt they needed additional support for their mental health.

To help minimize exposure for non-clinical staff, Hall Ambulance implemented staggered schedules and remote working.

The Hall Ambulance Service Leadership Perspective

“Hall Ambulance employees have raised the bar in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. The extra amount of care and compassion they are demonstrating to their patients, coworkers, and communities is inspiring and indicative of what emergency medical services is all about.”
Lavonne C. Hall, President &  CEO

Frontline Voices from Hall Ambulance Service

“I believe EMS is extremely important to be the immediate help that our patients often need. We are able to begin care and help gather information from our patients during our transport in the ambulance that will quicken treatment once at the hospital.”
Paramedic Jennifer Phillips

How Hall Ambulance Service Celebrates EMS Week

A few weeks ago, President and CEO Lavonne C. Hall introduced a “Heroes Work Here” campaign consisting of banners being placed at all ambulance post locations throughout the Company’s response area. For EMS Week, Hall Ambulance is presenting custom backpacks emblazoned with the “Heroes Work Here” logo to its employees in appreciation of everything they do. In addition, a social media campaign highlighting several of the paramedics, EMTs, RNs, and dispatchers will be posted throughout the week.

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, starting as an EMT in 2007, to becoming the first Chief Operating Officer at Royal Ambulance at the young age of 33 in 2019. Hasieb’s impact can’t be understated or expressed in a few short paragraphs. Driven by being a servant leader, he works tirelessly to mentor our growing team of managers and supervisors, cascading his impact to hundreds of young EMTs who serve the Bay Area communities and who have developed to become Nurses, Physicians Assistants, Firefighters, and Doctors.
Hasieb’s legendary work ethic embodies Royal’s organizational core values of being Adaptable, Driven, Engaging, and Empathetic. Hasieb has led Royal’s progressive growth from just a few ambulances running a dozen transports a day to one of California’s premier mobile health care providers, transporting over 65,000 patients a year and earning multiple recognitions as one of INC Magazine’s fastest-growing companies in the United States.

Among many awards, the one most reflective of Hasieb’s leadership is the designation of Royal Ambulance as Best Company to Work For in the US by Modern Healthcare. Hasieb’s focus on employee engagement and career development alongside process improvements and patient experience have produced superior operational, financial, and clinical results.

Hasieb spearheaded the development of Royal’s partnership with the Organ Donor Network West & San Ramon Medical Center in creating the Donor Recovery Intra-Facility Transport (DRIFT) Program. Building the program from the ground up, the team has been able to improve access to donors across Northern California and most importantly reduced precious time to provide life-saving transplants to hundreds of patients. While working with the Organ Donor Network, Hasieb presented at the University of Wisconsin to help launch a pilot program. Since Royal’s own program-launch three years ago, Royal has traveled over 67,000 miles serving the Organ Donor Network. Due to Hasieb’s efforts, countless patients have been given a new chance at a new life.

When Hasieb is not working, he is a dedicated father and husband, who finds time to serve on various committees in his home city of Hayward, including the Keep Hayward Green Task Force. Hasieb also volunteers his time on the Data and Operations Committee for the California Ambulance Association.

Royal Ambulance and the community we serve would not be the same without Haiseb’s leadership. A trusted advisor, mentor, coach, and friend; everyone and anyone who meets Hasieb and has the privilege to work alongside him, feel supported, encouraged and know he has their back no matter what.

____

View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

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 training and a one-hour annual refresher.

Rhode Island Paid Sick Leave

Rhode Island has followed a growing list of states and municipalities that have enacted paid sick leave for employers with 18 or more employees. In October, the Health and Safe Families and Workplaces Act was signed by Governor Gina Raimondo. The new paid sick leave law takes effect July 1, 2018. Under the new law, employees will accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 24 hours in a calendar year in 2018. That rate will increase to 32 hours in 2019 and 40 hours in 2020.

Under the new law, employers must allow employees to use paid sick time for the employee’s or employee’s family members illness, injury, or health condition; when the employee’s workplace or child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency; or for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Employers cannot take adverse employment action against employees utilizing leave under this Act.

Employers need to prepare by amending any relevant paid time off policies, ensuring that there is an adequate mechanism for tracking the accrual and use of paid sick leave, and educating all management staff on the provisions of the new paid sick time law to ensure compliance. The new Sick Time Regulations provide additional compliance guidance.

Pay History Inquiries

Effective July 1, 2018, a new law in Vermont prohibits employers from making salary history inquiries from job candidates. Vermont joins several other states and municipalities that have enacted pay equity measures.

Joining the State of Vermont, the City of San Francisco has enacted a ban on asking job applicants about their salary or pay histories. The Parity in Pay Ordinance, signed by May Ed Lee, takes effect on July 1, 2018. The Ordinance bans employers, including City contractors and subcontractors, from considering current or past salaries in hiring candidates for employment. In addition, the Ordinance prohibits employers from asking job applicants about pay history or disclosing a current or former employee’s salary history without their authorization. A statewide ban on asking applicants about their pay histories took effect this past January.

It is recommended that employers in all states, whether legally prohibited or not, remove any reference on their job applications to an employee’s current or past wage/salary. In addition, employers should amend their pre-hire process to eliminate any pay history inquiries. This will provide employers with the best protections against allegations of pay discrimination claims.

Massachusetts Pay Equity

Back in August, 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act to Establish Pay Equity (MEPA) which takes effect on July 1, 2018. The new law is aimed at ending discrimination in the workplace by ensuring that individuals who perform “comparable” work earn competitive salaries. Additionally, the bill prohibits employers from making salary or wage history inquiries with job candidates and provides protections for employees to freely discuss their salaries with other employees.

The new law is aimed at preventing the perpetuation of past employer discriminatory pay practices by prohibiting the employer from basing a salary decision on the candidate’s current or past salary. Employers need to ensure that there are no inquiries on their employment applications or requested during the pre-hire process. Additionally, employers should amend any policies and procedures that might discourage employee discussions about wages.

Lastly, employers should perform a pay equity audit to identify potential wage disparities that may exist in their workplace. Employers who perform a good-faith, reasonable self-evaluation to identify pay disparities will be able to assert an affirmative defense to claims of violations of the Act. The Massachusetts Attorney General has issued guidance and a pay equity toolkit to assist employers with compliance.

California Expands National Origin Discrimination Protections

Effective July 1, 2018, amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) will expand the national origins protections for employer discriminatory practices for applicants and employees to include:

  1. physical, cultural, or linguistics characteristics associated with a national origin group;
  2. marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group;
  3. tribal affiliation;
  4. membership in, or in association with, an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group;
  5. attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, mosques, or other religious institutions generally used by persons of a national origin group; and
  6. name that is associated with a national origin group

The Regulations provide protections that include prohibitions on employees adopting “English only” language rules in the workplace, unless the restriction is justified by business necessity, narrowly tailored, and was meaningfully communicated to employees. Discrimination based on an employee’s accent, height and weight (unless job-related and consistent with business necessity), and immigration status.

2018 OSHA Electronic Injury Reporting Deadline

Last year we notified AAA members that they must begin electronically reporting their workplace injury data to OSHA starting December 1, 2017 for 2016. This is just a reminder to all employers that they must electronically report their 2017 workplace injury data through the OSHA Injury Tracking Application (ITA) no later than July 1, 2018. Previously, for employers who had state-level work injury provisions, OSHA did not require injury reporting until the state enacted the appropriate tools to collect the injury data. This has changed, as OSHA announced on April 30, 2018 that employers in states that have not completed the adoption of a state rule yet must also report their 2017 injury data through the OSHA ITA. If any member has not set up their account with OSHA on the ITA, we strongly suggest that you do so immediately. The AAA can assist members in ensuring that they are compliant with this reporting requirement.

Georgia Hands Free Law

Georgia has enacted the Hands-Free Georgia Act (House Bill 673) which becomes effective July 1, 2018. The law makes it illegal for all motor vehicle drivers to “physically hold or support, with any part of his/her body” a wireless device. In addition, drivers are prohibited from writing, sending, or reading any text-based communications, including instant messages, email, or internet data usage. The law requires that a driver utilize an earpiece or hands-free device for all purposes while driving and may not touch their device. This includes utilizing any device for navigational purposes, even while stopped at a traffic signal.

There are exceptions to the new law for reporting traffic accidents: medical emergencies, fires, criminal activity, or hazardous road conditions. The exceptions do include first responders, including EMS agencies during the performance of their official duties. I believe that it is important for agencies to provide very clear communications regarding mobile device usage. I strongly suggest that any employee guidance states that the use of hand-held devices be limited to what is required to facilitate or affect patient care. It is recommended that when the use of a device is necessary, the technician or dispatcher make the notification, provided it does not interfere with monitoring or providing direct care to the patient. For more information or guidance visit the Heads Up Georgia website.

South Dakota Data Breach Law

South Dakota has enacted a new Data Breach Notification Law (SB62) for any entity conducting business in South Dakota that has or retains computerized personal or protected information of South Dakota residents. The law has a very broad definition of personal information and includes “social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card or financial information, health information, identification numbers assigned by an employer for authentication purposes, username or email addresses with passwords, security questions, etc.”

The breach notification obligation attaches when the information holder reasonably believes that personal or protected information has been acquired by an unauthorized person. The law states that they must notify the affected individual within 60 days. Breaches affecting 250 or more individuals must also be reported to the South Dakota Attorney General. If the information holder reasonably believes that the breach will not likely result in harm to the affected individual, no disclosure is necessary provided they investigate and maintain documentation of the investigation for at least three years. Employers should review their data privacy policies and practices to ensure they comply with the new law.

Vermont Recreational Marijuana

Starting July 1, 2018, the State of Vermont has legalized recreational marijuana under a measure passed by the Vermont legislature (H.B. 511). The new law permits residents to grow and possesses up to one ounce of marijuana without facing criminal penalties. This law does not prohibit employers from having policies that prohibit marijuana use. The law also provides that employers do not have to accommodate the use or transportation of marijuana in the workplace. However, employers are advised to review their current workplace drug policies and practices to ensure that their practices are consistent with the new state law.

Vermont has a long-standing prohibition of random drug testing of employees, except when required or permitted under Federal law. Under Federal law, Federal contractors and grantees must maintain a drug-free workplace under the Drug Free Workplace Act. It is important that employers seek legal consultation if an employee notifies the employer that they are using marijuana for a condition that might qualify as a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Vermont Attorney General has published a Guide to Vermont’s Laws on Marijuana in the Workplace to assist employers with compliance.

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:

  1. 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 indicated that they anticipate completing all required adjustments by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
  1. Further reduction in Medicare’s payment for non-emergency BLS transports to and from dialysis. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 further required CMS to implement an additional 13% reduction in Medicare’s payment for scheduled, non-emergency BLS transports to and from dialysis. This reduction is on top of the existing 10% payment reduction. Collectively, this means that dialysis transports will be reimbursed at a rate that is 23% less than the rate that would otherwise be applicable to BLS non-emergency transports in your area. The AAA. is reminding members that this additional reduction in payments will go into effect for transports on or after October 1, 2018.
  1. CMS has updated its SNF Consolidated Billing file to resolve the error that resulted in certain ambulance claims being incorrectly denied as being the responsibility of the SNF. Each year, CMS updates the SNF Consolidated Billing file provided to MACs. This file contains several lists of Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes, and provides instructions to the MACs on whether these codes: (i) should be accepted for separate payment under Medicare Part B or (ii) should always be denied for inclusion in the SNF Consolidated Billing system. Ambulance HCPCS codes (A0425, A0426, A0427, etc.) have always been included in the first list, as the issue of whether an ambulance transportation is bundled to the SNF is conditioned on the nature of the services that the patient will receive at the destination. To the extent the service the patient will receive at the destination is bundled, the ambulance services to and from that service will also be bundled, and vice versa. Note: there are two exceptions to this general rule. The first is that ambulance transportation to and from dialysis is specifically exempted from the SNF Consolidated Billing regime, and therefore will always be separately billable to Medicare Part B. The second exception relates to the provision of chemotherapy services furnished on an outpatient basis in a hospital. Chemotherapy services are generally bundled to the SNF; however, several years ago, Congress elected to exempt a number of particularly expensive forms of chemotherapy from the SNF bundle. In these instances, while the SNF is not responsible for the payment of the expensive chemotherapy, the SNF remains responsible for payment of the ambulance transportation to and from the hospital. Because ambulance codes may or may not be bundled to the SNF based on the nature of the transport, they are not automatically denied. Instead, the MACs are supposed to use further edits to identify those situations in which the ambulance transport would be bundled vs. separately payable. Unfortunately, in its 2018 update, CMS inadvertently left the ambulance HCPCS codes off the list of codes that are not automatically denied as being bundled to the SNF.  As a result, ambulance providers have indicated that claims were being denied using remark code “OA109.”  In some cases, claims for dates of service in 2016 or 2017 that were previously paid were being recouped. CMS recognized its error fairly quickly, and updated the SNF Consolidated Billing file in mid-February. All MACs were provided with updated instructions by February 27, 2018. Therefore, the issue has been resolved for current claims. What remains to be resolved is how CMS and its MACs will adjust or reprocess claims that were incorrectly denied. Several MACs have notified providers of the issue, and asked that they refrain from appealing the claims. These MACs are indicating that they will automatically adjust/reprocess affected claims. In other instances, the MACs have asked the providers to make a refund of affected claims that were previously paid, promising to then reprocess the entire claim. The AAA is advising members to carefully track the claims that were affected by this mistake, and to follow the instructions issued by their MAC for ensuring their reprocessing.
  1. CMS has delayed the mailing new ID cards to all Medicare beneficiaries. As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, Congress mandated that CMS remove a beneficiary’s social security number (SSN) from their Medicare ID card by April 2019. As part of this initiative, CMS will be replacing the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). CMS has already started mailing cards with the MBI to newly enrolling Medicare beneficiaries. CMS originally announced that it would be mailing new cards to existing Medicare beneficiaries starting in April 2018, but recently indicated that it would delay the mailing of new cards to existing Medicare beneficiaries until May 2018. From May to June, CMS will mail new cards to existing Medicare beneficiaries residing in Alaska, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The mailing program will then be extended to additional states in 5 “waves” over the coming year. To the extent you provide services in the above-mentioned states, you may want to educate crewmembers and other employees on the differences between the HICN and the MBI. You may want to also consider updating your existing patient databases to include the new identifier. As a reminder, CMS will permit claims to be submitted with either the HICN or the MBI during a transition period running through December 31, 2019.  Effective January 1, 2020, claims must be submitted with a patient’s MBI. This requirement applies regardless of whether the date of service occurred prior to the expiration of the transition period.
  1. Extension of prior authorization project for scheduled, repetitive transports. In December 2017, CMS indicated that it would be extending the prior authorization program for an additional year. This program is currently in place for the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The extension of the program is limited to those states. CMS has further indicated that it will be making a determination on possible national expansion at some point in the near future. CMS recently released its first interim report on the prior authorization program. As expected, that report indicated that prior authorization has been successful in reducing Medicare expenditures on scheduled, repetitive transports, without any material impact on beneficiary access to and quality of care.

Have any questions about these updates? Contact Brian Werfel at bwerfel@aol.com

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 from stakeholders about what changes to the FLSA might be appropriate.  We are still awaiting the final action.

The Persuader Rule

In 2016, the DOL Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) released its revised interpretation of the rule that seeks to level the playing field between unions and employers.  The new interpretation of the Persuader Rule, which would have taken effect on April 25, 2016, would have required that employers who hire consultants or labor attorneys to counsel them during union organizing campaigns to report if they will undertake “persuader” activities and the cost of those services.  This rule was an attempt to increase transparency for unions with regard to these services. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas blocked the persuader rule late last year stating it was overly broad, arbitrary and capricious. The DOL published a notice of public rule making in June, 2017 of its intent to rescind the new rule.

Dismantling of the ACA

In a surprising announcement this past October, the Trump Administration, the DOL, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an interim rule that rolled back the Obama Administration position regarding the requirement of employer sponsored health plans to pay for “preventative services” which included birth control and abortion procedures under religious or moral objections. This would permit employers who object on these grounds to limit or not offer these coverages under their employer sponsored health plan.  There are several lawsuits pending regarding this move, more to come in 2018.

In another October announcement, the Trump Administration stated that the President had signed an Executive Order that directed the Secretary of Labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHP) would give employers the right to form groups in multiple states for the purposes of negotiating health care benefits.  This change would require a amenedment to the current interpretation of Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA). In addition, the Executive Order directed the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider changing several ACA restrictions, including low-cost short term limited duration insurance (STDLI) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs).  The impact of this Executive Order may be an impact to the ACA insurance markets because it may attract the younger and healthier away from current plan groups causing those coverage costs to increase substantially.

Title VII Transgender Protections

In October, Attorney General Jeff Sessions published memo to Federal prosecutors stating that Title VII’s discrimination protections did not include protections on the basis of gender identity or for transgender individuals.  In the memo, Sessions states that this was a conclusion of law, not of policy and that it would be inappropriate for the DOJ to expand the law beyond what Congress provided.  Sessions said that the law provides protections for men and women but not specifically on the basis of gender identity. This goes against current interpretation and is not shared by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who enforces Title VII.  Employers need to ensure that they provide a workplace that is inclusive and respectful to all employees.

EEO-1 Pay Reporting

In February 2016, the EEOC published notice that would add pay information to the EEO-1 reporting form in an effort to further identify disparities in pay between different protected groups.  This new reporting requirement was set to go into effect on September 30, 2017. The deadline was pushed back until March 31, 2018.  Under the new pay reporting requirements, employers with 100 or more employees would report W-2 wage information and total hours worked for all employees by race, ethnicity and sex within the 12 proposed pay bands.  In August, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced plans to stay the effective date of the pay-data collection provisions in order to review the appropriateness of the revisions under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  In the meantime, employers should still observe the March 1, 2018 deadline and prepare the information on the new EEO-1 Form while we await a decision on if this requirement will go into effect.

OSHA Electronic Injury Reporting

OSHA announced in July that it will be launching the new electronic Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on August 1, 2017.  The new rules are an effort to “nudge” employers to improve safety in the workplace by publishing employee injury data, as reported by employers.  OSHA pushed back the electronic reporting deadline until December 15, 2017.  Many ambulance services already report this information electronically to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), who collects data on behalf of the Department of Labor but the employer specific information is not released publicly.  Under these new rules, employer injury data will be published.

The electronic reporting requirements are based on the size of employer.  For the purposes of determining employer size, employers must count each individual employed at any time during the calendar year as one employee.  This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers.  All employers with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301.  Employers with 20-249 employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.

If you have not already submitted your data, you need to do so immediately.

New Form I9

Starting this past January 22, 2017, employers were required to begin using the new Form I9.  The old Form I9 expired on August 31, 2017.  The new form can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.  To be certain that you are utilizing the correct form, ensure the expiration date of August 31, 2019 is in the top right hand corner of the form. Last year, several ambulance services were audited by the USCIS and fined for technical form violations.  The easiest way to ensure that you are using the correct form and filling it out correctly is to utilize the comprehensive online training resources available on the USCIS website.

Summary of State Law Changes

Ban the Box

Currently 29 states and over 150 local municipalities have enacted criminal background inquiry limitations in an effort to give individuals with criminal histories a fair chance to become employed.  Several of the states that had already enacted these laws have passed additional provisions in 2017 and 2018 that expand the application to smaller employers.

Most of the laws regarding the “ban the box” movement require the removal of criminal history inquiries on the job application.  Others require that no criminal history inquiries can be made until after a conditional job offer is made to the candidate.  If you have not done so already, please remove any criminal history questions from your pre-offer process.  For those ambulance providers that are in states that specifically permit EMS agencies from inquiring prior to a job offer, I strongly recommend that any criminal history inquiries occur after a conditional job offer is made.  State laws permissions do not prevent an employer from being liable for disparate impact discrimination.

Paid Sick Time

Multiple states (AZ, CA, CT, MA, OR, VT, DC) and municipalities already have or have enacted paid sick time laws or ordinances prior to this year.  Joining them in 2017 are Federal Contractors and the states of Arizona, Vermont, and Washington.  Each of these laws share similar provisions.  Employees earn an hour of paid sick leave after having worked a certain number of hours.  Most provide for a 90 day period of employment before an employee can utilize the accrued sick time. For the purposes of calculating working hours, the hours are counted across weeks.  Most of the laws provide for some carry-over of unused time from year to year.

Several other states have enacted or will be expanding existing paid sick time provisions which will take effect in 2018. (CA, RI, WA, VT).  The state of Oregon passed an amendment to the paid sick time law that was enacted in 2016 that permits employers to limit the accrual of sick time to 40 hours per year. In addition, the amendment permit employers to not count certain individuals in the employee count for the purposes of the application of this law.

Parental Leave

California has enacted the New Parent Leave Act which takes effect on January 1, 2018.  The Act requires employers with 20 to 49 workers to offer 12 weeks of job-protected leave to mothers and fathers for the purposes of bonding with newborn or newly adopted children, or foster care placement. The employer also must maintain the employees’ health insurance and reinstate them at the end of their leave period. The law includes a strong anti-retaliation provision for employees who take leave under this law.

Paid Family Medical Leave

Currently three states (CA, NJ, RI) provide for some form of paid Family & Medical Leave.  Starting on January 1, 2018 private employers in New York must provide their employees who regularly work at least 20 hours a week the eligibility to collect paid-family-leave benefits after 26 weeks of employment, and employees who work fewer than 20 hours a week will be eligible after 175 work days. The leave can be used to after the birth, adoption, or placement of a foster child for up to one year.  Additionally, the leave can be used to care for the serious illness of a family member or a qualifying reason an employees’ spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent being on active military duty.

The Act will be phased in over the next few years.  Providing 8 weeks of leave in 2018 paid at 50% os the state’s average weekly was (SAWW).  In 2019, the leave time extends to 10 weeks at 55% of SAWW, 2020 maintains 10 weeks of leave paid at 60% of SAWW, to full implementation in 2021 when an employee can take up to 12 weeks of leave paid at 67% SAWW.

The State of Washington has passed a paid FMLA law that will start collecting premiums from employers in 2019 for enactment in 2020.  Washington DC also enacted paid FMLA that will begin in 2020 as well.

California

Starting in 2018, the State of California will require that employers with 50 or more employees include additional training information fo its employees on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The training must include practical examples of harassment. The new law also requires employers to post a poster, developed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, on transgender rights.  In addition, the currently mandated two hour supervisor training must also include this new information and provide for annual updates to training programs.

That’s a Wrap

For many employers 2017 proved to be an unusual and challenging year. Aside from the changes details above, it is uncertain what lies on the horizon for EMS employers in 2018. As always, the American Ambulance Association will keep you posted on the important employment and human resources developments that may impact you.

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 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.

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 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 nonemergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views prehospital 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.

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, the two outstanding volunteers represent tireless work on behalf of the AAA. Dr. Russell is recognized for his ongoing support of AAA’s programs and leadership on clinical and ambulance service standards. Paul Main has achieved this honor for his dedication and service to AAA’s Government Affairs efforts.

Distinguished Service Award

Jamie Pafford-Gresham, Pafford EMS
Shawn Baird, Woodburn Ambulance Service
The American Ambulance Association is proud to award Jamie Pafford-Gresham and Shawn Baird with the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards. Jamie Pafford-Gresham and Shawn Baird have achieved this distinction through their dedication, passion, and commitment in support of AAA’s Legislative Priorities.

2017 Affiliate of the Year

REV
The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award REV with the 2017 Affiliate of the Year Award. REV has achieved this honor through their support of AAA’s programs and services including our 2017 Legislative Priorities.

EMS Partnership of the Year

James D. Green
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The EMS Partnership of the Year Award is given to an organization or individual whose collaboration with the AAA enhances educational programs, legislative priorities, and/or member benefits. James D. Green and NIOSH have achieved this honor through their commitment to ambulance vehicle and personnel safety standards.

EMS Innovation Award

Savvik Foundation
Savvik Foundation is honored with a special EMS Innovation Award for its commitment to supporting the future of emergency medical services through their grant program.

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 chief for CalFire (previously a medic for over 25 years), and my younger brother, Jerry, is an RN-MICN for Adventist Medical Center Hanford. He too was a paramedic for over 25 years with AMR and later American Ambulance Kings County.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy helping to improve the EMS system within Tulare County. This is where I started, and I’ve had an opportunity to grow and learn how to create an EMS system in one of the poorest areas in California, if not the US. I get to meet people from all aspects of EMS, health care, FIRE, Law Enforcement, and other ancillary agencies. Working with these folks has created friendships and helped teach me about how we all work toward a common goal of helping the communities we serve.

What is your biggest professional challenge?
The biggest professional challenge is balancing work with life. EMS can consume you, your focus, and energy. It has taken years to learn how not to get caught in the EMS vortex without taking time to refresh with family/friends.

What is your typical day like?
My typical day starts the night before. I usually organize my days (weeks) by creating quick to-do lists with general reminders of what needs to be accomplished. I have learned to start earlier than others, so I’m prepared mentally and day-to-day work/projects are knocked out before meetings or unplanned events derail my plans. I like to wind down in the late afternoon by doing a workout (RIPPED/Body Combat/Extreme Interval/Body Pump). After that, I’m ready for the late evening meetings or to just go home and relax for a few hours.

How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?
My participation in the AAA Government Affairs Committee has allowed me to become better versed in governmental processes for EMS on a much larger platform than I have ever been in the past. Being a part of this committee has helped open my eyes to the importance for all of us to stay atop issues affecting reimbursement, regulatory policies, and establishing a voice with congressional and senatorial representatives. It has reaffirmed there are many from all sides of the political spectrum that recognize EMS as an essential service for their constituents.

Explore AAA membership, or learn more about our advocacy for ambulance services across the country.

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 record of exemplary community engagement and service.

Widely esteemed as a pioneer of emergency medical transportation services in California, his Company, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County’s population which includes the incorporated cities of Bakersfield, Arvin, Taft, Shafter, Wasco, Tehachapi, California City, and the communities of Lamont, Frazier Park, Mojave, Rosamond, and Boron.  Hall Critical Care Transport provides both ground and air CCT service from San Francisco, to San Diego.

The prestigious recognition was a cornerstone moment for Hall.  In his honorary doctorate statement, he remarked, “We all strive to make a difference in humanity but sometimes wonder about our individual contribution.  You never know what the catalyst will be that changes your life.  Mine came in 1960 in the form of a dare to go on an ambulance ride along.  From that moment forward, I made it my life’s work to respond to people in need and treat them with dignity and pride through exemplary service.”

His commitment carried on when Hall was entrusted by the people of Bakersfield to serve as their 25th mayor for 16-years—the longest in the city’s history.  Affectionately known as Mr. Bakersfield, he has been a leading advocate for quality of life, beautification, serving as a mayor for all of the people under the belief of building unity in our community.

During his tenure, Hall presented 1,836 proclamations, issued, 10,750 certificates of appreciation, welcomed new business with 958 ribbon cuttings and 91 ground breakings, delivered 981 speeches, 469 welcomes, including 452 foreign visitors.  “Nothing made me happier than to celebrate the accomplishments, celebrations, and achievements of Bakersfield’s residents,” Hall said.

His desire to be inclusive reached across borders and oceans through his work with the Bakersfield Sister City Project Corporation to establish relationships with Queretaro, Mexico; Bucheon, Republic of South Korea; and, Amritsar, India.

Hall’s commitment to Bakersfield’s youth was evidenced through the donation of his entire mayor’s salary to fund the Mayor Harvey L. Hall Scholarship Fund, which awarded $253,000 in financial aid to 297 students.

“I have devoted a lifetime to serving the people and city that I care so passionately about,” said Hall, “The conferment of this honorary degree from our state’s university system provides me clarity for a job well done.”

###

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 Ways and Means Committee Subcommittees on Health and Tax Policy, as well as on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

In appreciation of his ongoing service to the ambulance services of the United States, AAA is proud to honor Congressman Thompson with a Legislative Recognition Award.

# # #

About the American Ambulance Association

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

AAA Stars of Life

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. Stars of Life honors the dedication of these heroes while shining light on the critical role EMS plays in our healthcare infrastructure. This year, 101 EMS professionals will be honored as the 2017 Stars of Life. Meet the stars at www.stars.ambulance.org.

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.

  • 1
  • 2