Tag: Colorado

CO Mile High RETAC Virtual Conference | National EMS Safety Summit

From Colorado’s Mile High RETAC Foundation

5th EMS Financial Symposium

March 30, 2021

12th National EMS Safety Summit

March 31-April 2, 2021

Both Conferences

Virtual “Live” Presentations

Nationally Recognized Speakers:
Asbel Montes, Matt Zavadsky, Scott Moore, Chris Cebollero, A J Heightman, Sharon Lipinski, David Wiklanski, David Dalton, Douglas Kupas, Matthew Streger, Jason Brooks, John Montes, And More!!!

Conference Schedule is based on MST

All attendees will receive a meeting invitation with a unique code to join the conference via Zoom

Registration and conference documents

www.nationalemssafetysummit.org

CEU’s offered

Vendors will provide “live” product presentations

“See” you there!

Questions contact:  Shirley Terry @ sjterry@nationalemssafetysummit.org

Download Flyer

CO | Anesthesiologists want paramedics to stop injecting people with ketamine during arrests

From the Colorado Sun

A group of Colorado anesthesiologists wants paramedics to stop injecting people with a powerful sedative when police believe suspects are out of control until officials finish a review launched nearly a year after the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man put in a stranglehold by officers and injected with ketamine.

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Colorado Natural Hazards Center Grants

The Colorado Natural Hazards Center is offering three grants of $4000 for original research.

  • 1) Communications, the Pandemic, and Local Transportation Resources: What strategies are being implemented, and how effective are they? What are best practices in communicating and messaging by transportation organizations?
  • 2) Transportation, Vulnerable Populations, and COVID-19: What are best practices in providing useful and safe transportation for various socially and economically vulnerable population groups that are traditionally heavily reliant on public transit such as low-income people and racial and ethnic minorities? What about newly vulnerable populations, such as seniors, transportation workers, bus drivers, and so forth? How can the needs of all be met while assuring health and safety among particularly medically fragile or economically marginalized people?
  • 3) Transportation and Emergency Management Policy: How should transportation leaders and emergency managers work together to deliver community services? Including but also beyond ESF-1, what are innovative ways and best practices within and among communities and transportation services to accomplish community objectives during the pandemic? For example: transit agencies have launched food delivery services for vulnerable populations using their idled vehicles and drivers; state DOT facilities have been used a COVID-19 testing sites; Wi-Fi equipped vehicles have been used as local community hot spots.

Learn more ►

EMS Week Featured Service | Eagle County Paramedic Services

Eagle County Paramedic Services
Edwards, Colorado
Facebook | Twitter 

Meet Eagle County Paramedic Services

Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies and encompassing the world-class ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, Eagle County Paramedic Services (ECPS) has a rich history in the valley. In 1967, the first ambulance service consisted of a station wagon driven by a doctor. Since then, Eagle County Paramedic Services has transitioned from Eagle County Ambulance District (1982) and Western Eagle County Ambulance District (1988) to the merging of Eagle County Health Service District and Western Eagle County Health Service District to form Eagle County Paramedic Services in 2013. ECPS is one of only six ambulance transport agencies, out of 200 in Colorado, to be nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).

ECPS operates out of five ambulance stations in Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum, Colorado and covers approximately 1,692 square miles. 80 employees work for the district in various roles with the largest division being operations to respond to emergency calls. Other services include community paramedicine, telehealth, youth programs, senior health and wellness and support for special events including major events like the GoPro Mountain Games, FIS World Cup Ski Races, Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, Colorado Classic bicycle race and others.

The Eagle County Paramedic Services COVID-19 Response

Eagle County, Colorado was one of the first “hot spots” in Colorado and in the nation. Due to the excellent foresight and preparation by ECPS administration and cooperation between the health care entities and first responders, Eagle County was able to “get in front” of the virus and help flatten the curve.

ECPS crews not only responded to 911 calls but also transported patients to Denver-area facilities–transfers that could take eight-12 hours. The escalation of the virus took place in March, when the Rocky Mountains are still in full-on winter mode, adding inclement weather (snow, ice, etc.) to the stress of these transfers.

In addition to creatively sourcing PPE for crews (including utilizing Helly Hansen rain suits that are durable and reusable rather than disposable gowns), ECPS thought outside of the box on a number of issues. These solutions included hiring members of the Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Patrol, many of whom have extensive first responder experience and some who are former EMTs, as surge crew in case full-time crews became sick or overstretched.

As Eagle County has moved into the first phase of opening up businesses and supporting the residents, ECPS is pleased to report that none of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19, a remarkable feat considering the testing, transports and community support achieved during this unprecedented time. We will continue to provide skilled, professional and compassionate healthcare to our community no matter what the future might bring.

The Eagle County Paramedic Services Leadership Perspective

“Our entire organization has risen above and beyond the call of duty during our response to COVID, responding with innovation and agility throughout this response. These professionals are the finest group of people I have ever worked with.”—Christopher Montera, Chief Executive Officer, Eagle County Paramedic Services

Frontline Voices from Eagle County Paramedic Services

“Why do I think EMS is important? Imagine if no one came to your aid when you had your heart attack, your stroke, your car wreck, your fall. EMS has a direct effect on your quality of life: every patient, every call, every day.” —Peter Brandes, Chief Operating Officer (35 years in EMS)

“A typical EMS service is important because it allows immediate 911 medical care for those who need it. EMS in Eagle County, though, not only provides that immediate 911 care, but also provides search and rescue, SWAT, community paramedic outreach, and some of the most advanced critical care services in the state.” —Scott Harmsen, Paramedic Shift Supervisor

“An Important and early step in our healthcare system, EMS saves lives, buys time and triages our citizens’ and community’s needs.” —Hank Bevington, Paramedic Shift Supervisor

“Why do I find emergency response and paramedicine so important? The truest honor is I am part of something bigger than myself, meeting people where they are. When the chips are down, whether they are incapacitated or simply have lost control of their immediate situation, I have agency to render aid and connect resources that promote general welfare and personal health accross the spectrum of the human condition.”—Ryan Bush, paramedic

How Eagle County Paramedic Services Celebrates EMS Week

Eagle County Paramedic Services is celebrating in several ways. In lieu of physical, branded gifts this year, we’re distributing gift cards to local restaurants for our crews. In addition to supporting our local dining establishments (which are unable to operate as “business as usual” during the Coronavirus pandemic) and grocery stores, this focuses on an experience rather than “stuff” and allows them to share the support with their friends and family–in a socially distant, responsible way.

We’re also running a full-page “thank you” ad in our local newspaper and through local partner e-blasts and celebrating through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.

40 Under 40: Robert Weisbaum (Crested Butte Fire Protection District – Crested Butte, CO)

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.
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Robert Weisbaum
Chief of Operations
Crested Butte Fire Protection District
Crested Butte, CO

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LinkedIn
Nominated by: Ryan McCudden (Crested Butte Fire Protection District – Crested Butte, CO)
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Biography:

Robert Weisbaum is the EMS & Fire Chief for the Crested Butte Fire Protection District (CBFPD). Robert began his career as an EMT in the suburbs of Detroit, MI and quickly earned his Paramedic as he found a passion for providing patient care. Robert quickly realized that being a Paramedic wasn’t just a job, it was a way of life and the opportunities to make a difference were endless. In addition to wanting to excel in his field, Robert dedicated himself to providing the best possible care to his patients. Robert has also helped with the professional development of countless other providers, serving as a mentor. Robert has always been known to go above and beyond the call of duty. Robert has organized fundraisers for patients and fellow colleagues when he noticed they were struggling. Robert has truly learned what it means to care and show compassion, empathy, and sympathy. Robert once was in a skydiving accident where he was severely injured. Through the care that was provided to him by the EMS team, Flight Paramedics, Nurses, and Doctors, Robert made a full recovery and witnessed how important it is to receive compassionate care. Robert strives to be an understanding leader and provide opportunities for his team to excel. Robert has shown a commitment to excellence and does not settle for anything less. Robert’s most recent endeavor has been as of Chief for CBFPD where he successfully combined a volunteer Fire and EMS department with two separate divisions into a combination paid Fire and EMS department where the standards are set high and excellence is expected.

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Reason for Nomination:

Over the years, Robert has inspired countless people to pursue a career in Emergency Medical Services. Robert works closely with the local Explorer Scout program where he helps mentor young people in the community interested learning more about their local EMS provider. Robert dedicates his time to allowing shadowing opportunities under his supervision along with after school trainings where he teaches basic skills of EMS healthcare. Robert consistently leads by example and demonstrates the skills that all EMS providers should embody. Robert is determined to keep learning within his field and has proven to be an extremely knowledgeable provider when dealing with critical scenes and complex patient care procedures. Despite being the youngest Chief, our department has ever had, Robert has always been a well-respected by his volunteers and staff. Robert has been instrumental in ensuring optimal community safety by adding a 24/7 full time crews to our department all the while still preserving the volunteer squad. Rob has effectively reinforced our emergency response system while maintaining a healthy relationship with the CBFPD volunteers who still have a desire to help the community outside of their other careers. Robert is constantly looking to improve the organization through the introduction of new equipment and recently won a grant which provided a state-of-the-art ambulance for our district. Robert has rapidly improved our response times by providing living quarters within our stations and by improving the cohesion and camaraderie among our department members. Robert fosters an environment of learning and never hesitates to give his team new training opportunities. Robert demands excellence from his staff and leads by example. Robert’s passion for his team, organization, community, and patients make him an excellent candidate for the American Ambulance Association’s 40 Under 40 recognition.

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View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

Medicaid Replacement Plans

Medicaid billing in emergency medical services is unavoidable. From trauma trips to non-emergency transports, ambulance providers face a multitude of hurdles when trying to identify, verify and bill the correct payor for Medicaid patients. Guesswork is often used instead of real-time insurance verification.

This can be especially true when commercial payors such as United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield manage the Medicaid plan, commonly termed Medicaid Replacement Plans. This article provides four valuable tips for successfully processing EMS claims when a Medicaid Replacement Plan is involved.

The Challenge for EMS Billing: Benefits Verification

Just as commercial payers see growth opportunities in managing Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, they are also overseeing hundreds of Medicaid programs. According to the annual CMS-64 Medicaid expenditure report, in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016, Medicaid expenditures across all 50 states and 6 territories exceeded $548 billion, with nearly half of all spending now flowing through Medicaid managed care programs. On average 54.67% of Medicaid dollars are spent on managed care, whether to manage the transition or fund plans. This ranged from 97.9% in Puerto Rico, down to 12.1% in Colorado.

A single trip may have Medicaid benefits, but also managed by United Healthcare or another third-party commercial payer. The result? Blended coverage for Medicaid patients and confusion for providers.

Four Tips to Expedite Medicaid Verification

 When checking benefits for Medicaid patients, carefully review the standard eligibility response. Payors usually note benefit management by a commercial payer in the response, but there is no consistency in format or location. The Medicaid Replacement Plan notification may be placed at the top, middle or very bottom of the file. Furthermore, unnecessary additional information may be provided by the payor causing more confusion and time delays for EMS billers. For example, Cigna often includes dental, pharmaceutical and other specialty coverage details even though this information is never required for ambulance trips.

To avoid reimbursement delays with Medicaid Replacement Plans, implement the following four tactics:

Ask the eligibility vendor to place replacement plan information at the top of the file. If notification is placed in the same location and in the same format for every eligibility response, billers save time searching for coverage.

  1. Request that only pertinent coverage for the claim be included in the eligibility notification. If this is not possible, ask the payer to prioritize eligibility information by placing only the relevant coverage at the top.
  2. Take time to check and verify eligibility up front. Ensuring a clean and correct claim saves EMS providers back-end expense and expedites reimbursement due to fewer payor rejections and denials.
  3. Ask your EMS software vendor to integrate eligibility checking directly in your system’s workflow for real-time access during the pre-bill and billing processes. Technology integration saves billing time by eliminating the need to access and enter data into an outside payor portal or insurance discovery application.

Numerous EMS providers struggle with insufficient billing staff to manage claims. Take every step possible to streamline efforts and reduce duplicate work due to denied or rejected claims. When checking eligibility, proper identification and billing of Medicaid Replacement Plans is an essential step.

About the Author:
Stacey Bickford is the Operations and Client Coordinator at Payor Logic. She has been involved with medical billing since a teenager with prior experience in data entry, billing and office management for physicians’ practices, hospitals and especially EMS agencies. Prior to joining Payor Logic in 2016, Stacey started with ZOLL in 2008 as a support technician moving to Product Manager of RescueNet Billing through 2016.

In her free time, Stacey enjoys travelling with her family, Michael and their dogs Benjamin and Poncho. They’ve visited 21 states in the last 15 months! She loves hiking, gardening and being outdoors as much as possible.

 

Alabama Governor Signs REPLICA Compact

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law Alabama’s REPLICA legislation, HB250. Alabama joins ten other states—Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Georgia—in this forward-thinking interstate compact.

REPLICA, the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact,  recognizes the day-to-day movement of EMS personnel across state lines. It extends the privilege to practice under authorized circumstances to EMS personnel based on their home state license, as well as allows for the rapid exchange of licensure history between Compact member states..

Learn more about how REPLICA participation can help your state at http://www.emsreplica.org.

REPLICA Compact Enacted

REPLICA Meets Goal, Interstate Compact Becomes Official

May 8, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Sue Prentiss
603-381-9195
prentiss@emsreplica.org

May 8, 2017 (Falls Church, VA). With the 10th member state enactment, the Recognition of
Emergency Medical Services Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) has become official.
Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed Senate Bill 109 on today activating the nation’s first EMS
licensure compact. States that have passed REPLICA to date include: Colorado, Texas, Kansas,
Virginia, Tennessee, Idaho, Utah, Mississippi, Wyoming and Georgia.

Released in 2014, REPLICA’s model legislation creates a formal pathway for the licensed individual
to provide pre-hospital care across state lines under authorized circumstances. According to Keith
Wages, president of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), “REPLICA
represents a collective, nationwide effort to address the problems faced by responders when needing
to cross state borders in the line of their duties.” Wages highlighted the compact’s abilities to
“increase access to healthcare, reduce regulatory barriers for EMS responders, and place an
umbrella of quality over cross border practice not previously seen in the EMS profession.” Wages
also noted that the partnership with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
(NREMT) has been essential during the advocacy and implementation phases. “We are grateful for
their continued support and contributions.”

Through funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NASEMSO led 23 EMS,
fire, law enforcement organizations and associations as well as key federal partners in the design and
drafting of REPLICA. The National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) currently provides funding to finalize
the development of the Commission.

The compact calls for establishment of an Interstate Commission with each state that has passed
REPLICA holding a seat, as well as a national EMS personnel coordinated database. Member states
will be able to rapidly share personnel licensure information, develop policy focused only on cross
border EMS practice, and hold EMS personnel originating in other states accountable in an
unprecedented way. The National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT) has committed to the development
and hosting of the coordinated database.

Twelve national associations and organizations support REPLICA. Three states have REPLICA bills
under consideration in their legislative sessions. Learn more at www.emsreplica.org.

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Congressman Mike Coffman Receives AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Mike Coffman to Receive
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 Mike Coffman of Colorado with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services.

Congressman Coffman will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Colorado Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Boulder State are Kira Gressman of American Medical Response, as well as Gabe Moreno of Trinidad Ambulance District.

Congressman Coffman was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for introducing the Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act (H.R. 1445). AAA members are deeply appreciative of his championing efforts to ensure that ambulance services are properly reimbursed for providing emergency medical services to veterans.

AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Congressman Coffman has been a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in Colorado and across our country. The AAA is proud to present him with a Legislative Recognition Award.”

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 from Colorado’s 6th congressional district, Congressman Coffman serves on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

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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.

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

Representatives

Status of the American Health Care Act

Today, citing “growing pains” of his Republican majority, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), in consultation with President Donald Trump, determined not to proceed with a planned vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which repealed and replaced important elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Speaker indicated that the House Republican Caucus “came up short” in the number of votes needed for the bill.  House Republican Leadership had been moving AHCA through the Chamber at a rapid pace.  The bill was officially released on March 6, and had been changed several times to try to appease various conservative and moderate voting blocs within the Republican Caucus.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated the bill would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion, and subsequently downgraded the deficit reduction to $150 billion based on additional substantive policy changes to the bill.  The CBO estimates the bill would have increased the country’s number of uninsured by about 24 million people.

In negotiating the provisions of AHCA, the House Republican Leadership had faced a constant seesaw, as efforts to appease one ideological bloc upset the other.  Ultimately, throughout the day in advance of the scheduled vote, an increasing number of moderate Republicans, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), announced they would vote against the bill.  As the moderates disappeared, not enough members of the conservative Freedom Caucus decided to support the bill.

As disarray in the House Republican Caucus occurred, there appeared to be a similar lack of consensus amongst their Republican colleagues on the Senate side.  While Senate Leadership had planned to move the bill directly to the Senate floor as fast as within a week of receipt from the House, there were a number of Senators from a range of political perspectives with serious concerns about the bill.  On one side of the Republican spectrum, Senators Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT) and Ted Cruz (TX) had planned to push the limits of what can be included in a reconciliation bill to make it more conservative. Senator Paul had advocated for repealing the ACA in full and dealing with the replacement later on. On the other side, more moderate or “purple state” Members like Senators Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rob Portman (OH), Cory Gardner (CO) and Dean Heller (NV) raised concerns about insurance affordability and the expedited rollback of Medicaid expansion in the House version of the bill. Other Senators who will likely play a prominent role in any further health reform developments include physician Senator Bill Cassidy (LA), and Senator Tom Cotton (AR), who advocated all along to slow the process down. Republicans can only lose two Senators and still pass any health reform bill, with the vote of Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.

As a next step, House and Senate Republican Leadership plan to take more time to develop consensus in any future approach to health reform.  How much time is unclear – but it seems unlikely the bill will be the legislative focus in the short term.  Instead, there will likely be a cooling-off period on health reform legislative activity, since the fundamental disagreements within the caucus are not easily fixed.  There will continue to be significant messaging against ACA from conservatives, and there is the potential that the idea of “repeal and delay” may gain more traction.  Nonetheless, in the short term, the Speaker indicated he would move on to other items on his conference’s agenda – including tax reform.  Keep in mind, however, that since health-related tax provisions are a major component of the tax code, it would not be surprising to see some health issues resurface in tax reform.

The Speaker indicated that he expects the ACA marketplace to get worse – specifically citing rising premium costs.  In his own remarks on the failure to pass AHCA, the President suggested the Democrats will own any rising premiums, and provided a rare moment of optimism for the day when he indicated that a bipartisan health care reform bill may be achievable in the future when that happens.   As the Legislative Branch takes time to develop consensus, more focus will be placed on the Executive Branch.

We expect HHS Secretary Tom Price and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to take an increasingly important role in driving the health agenda.  It is unclear at this point whether the Trump Administration will let ACA drift in the wind, take administrative actions to try to improve the marketplace, or even actively work to derail it further.  A likely bellwether as to the Administration’s intent is how it approaches the pending litigation over cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies.  The House had sued the Obama Administration over the program, which funnels federal dollars to insurers to help keep out-of-pocket costs manageable for lower-income individuals, saying the funding had to be appropriated.  But after the inauguration, the House and Trump Administration sought a stay of the case until May 22 to allow time to resolve the issue.  If the Administration agrees to fold, the subsidies would be cut off, leading to further market instability.  If the House folds, the CSR payments would continue into the indefinite future.

From a health care legislative perspective, 2017 will still be far from a quiet year.  The President has proposed significant changes in the funding levels of important discretionary health programs.  Those budget battles will now move more front and center on the legislative agenda.  Furthermore, there continue to be “must pass” pieces of health care legislation, including CHIP reauthorization, FDA User Fee legislation, and certain Medicare extenders legislation.

Rep. Coffman Reintroduces VA Emergency Ambulance Service Bill

On March 9, 2017, Rep. Mike Coffman [R-CO-6] reintroduced the Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act (H.R. 1445).

The VREASA (Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act) would provide veterans with reimbursement for emergency ambulance services when a Prudent Layperson would have a reasonable expectation that a delay in seeking immediate medical attention will jeopardize the life or health of the veteran.

Currently, prior to reimbursement, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires all medical records be provided, including the records of treatment after the emergency service has taken place. Should those records show that it was not a life threatening emergency or a false alarm, the claim for reimbursement is denied. The veteran is stuck with the bill.

Medicare, Medicaid, and other major payers adhere to the “prudent layperson” standard for the reimbursement of emergency ambulance services. The VA is the only major payer to not follow this standard. It is time we ensure our veterans are not stuck with the bill for their emergency ambulance service.

AAA Member, American Medical Response and their ‎VP Federal Reimbursement & Regulatory Affairs, Deb Gault, have been working with Rep. Coffman’s office to get this bill reintroduced.

MAC Novitas March 2016 Updates to Ambulance Services

On March 4, Novitas Solutions, Medicare Administrative Contract managers for several jurisdictions, asked AAA to share the following information with ambulance services.

March 4, 2016 – Letter to Ambulance Providers | March 4, 2016 – Letter to Beneficiaries

Jurisdictions Covered By Novitas

  • The Medicare Administrative Contract (MAC) Jurisdiction L (JL), which spans Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Washington D.C.;
  • The Medicare Administrative Contract (MAC) Jurisdiction H (JH), which spans Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indian Health Service (IHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA); and
  • The payment processing for the Federal Reimbursement of Emergency Health Services Furnished to Undocumented Aliens contract, as authorized under Section 1011 of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act.

Spotlight: Ron Thackery

Ron Thackery
AAA Professional Standards Committee Co-Chair
Senior Vice President Professional Services
American Medical Response
Greenwood Village, CO

Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Wichita, KS and lived there until I graduated from high school. Most of my siblings still live in Wichita. I moved to Memphis and attended Christian Brothers University for undergraduate and taught high school for five years. I went to night law school at the University of Memphis and practiced in-house for 10 years. I have two children, Conor (31) and Kaitlin (29), who live in Memphis. Conor is an auto mechanic and Kaitlin teaches high school English. My wife, Diane, is a nurse in the operating room at Sky Ridge Hospital in Denver. I love to play golf – fortunately Diane does as well. She and I also ride road bikes and last summer took a biking vacation in the Piedmont area of Italy.

How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?

I have worked in EMS for 20 years. I am not a clinician. Previous to AMR, I worked as in-house counsel at Federal Express. I knew someone from FedEx who worked at AMR and he recruited me to take a position with AMR when they moved their corporate headquarters from Boston to Denver. I have learned plenty about EMS and have had the privilege of leading national functions in safety, risk management, fleet and real estate.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have a wide variety of duties and it is not uncommon for issues related to any of those matters to rise to the top of the to do list each day. While that presents challenges to planning, it creates opportunities to engage with people and processes that are rewarding. I do like AMR and Envision HealthCare and have been very fortunate to be part of those companies. They have enabled me to grow professionally, learn to lead others and engage in activities that enhance EMS. It seems that I work all the time because I enjoy the challenges it presents.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

I am an advocate for safety of patients, caregivers and the general public. Great headway has been made through research with regard to ambulances, stretchers, exposures, etc. More research on fatigue and EMS safety will continue in the next few years. The challenge is finding the most efficient process to introduce, influence and implement these solutions for private EMS providers.

What is your typical day like?

I maintain a running list of TO DO items and focus on completing those as time permits. I travel a few weeks each month across the country. I meet with EMS operators and caregivers, I work on many facets of safety and claims, I work strategically to influence standards, I communicate with other leaders in the organization to keep them aimed in a common direction. My days are relatively planned with the flexibility to address matters that arise each day. I try to stay out of the way of things that need to be done and are best led by others, and simply provide support for those efforts.

How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?

AAA is the glue that enables EMS operators to focus on issues of importance. AAA allows EMS operators to collectively pursue strategies to enhance the industry. AAA has enabled AMR to advance safety initiatives before national associations and regulatory agencies.