In Memory of Fred Della Valle

The AAA Board is deeply saddened to share the passing of Fred Della Valle, former AAA Regional Director and longtime AMR leader. Our thoughts are with his wife, JoAnn, family, friends, and colleagues. This page will be updated with his obituary as soon as it becomes available. Arrangements Tuesday, February 5, 2019 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wake Iovanne Funeral Home 11 Wooster Place New Haven, CT 06511 203-865-8961 www.iovanne.com Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:00 am Mass of the Christian Burial Saint Therese Church 555 Middletown Ave North Haven, CT 06473 203-239-1671 Obituary Read his obituary here. Fred In His Own Words In 2016, Fred shared with AAA a little bit about his life and professional journey.

2017 Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award

Contact: Jessica Marvin Telephone: 703-610-9018 Email: jmarvin@ambulance.org AMERICAN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION HONORS FRED DELLA VALLE WITH THE 2017 ROBERT L. FORBUSS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award Fred Della Valle with the 2017 Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award. The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. The award recognizes a volunteer leader who has made a lifetime body of work that has enhanced the programs and services of the AAA and its members. Fred has achieved this through his decades of service, commitment, and dedication to the AAA and its members. AAA President Mark Postma noted, “Throughout his years of service to the AAA, Fred has worked tirelessly to advance our mission and serve our members. We are proud to celebrate his contributions and achievements to the AAA and our industry by presenting him with the Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017.” Mr. Della Valle will be presented with the Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award at the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. This event is the (more…)

House Holds Hearing on Veterans Choice Program

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

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AAA Spotlight: New Britain EMS

New Britain EMS: Energized to Succeed   New Britain, Connecticut lies just nine miles southwest of Hartford. Its 73,000 residents and visitors to this region of soft rolling hills and young forests are served by New Britain EMS, one of the first grant-funded emergency medical services organizations in the country. Founded in 1977, the service annually responds to 13,500 9-1-1 requests and transports 11,550 patients. Emphasis on company culture is a driving force at NBEMS. The core values of Community, Team, Service, Caring, and Excellence are reinforced at every opportunity. Teams work closely and embrace a commitment to personal and group excellence. The office space for medics, a comfortable, open area, fosters collaboration and sharing. Senior staff’s offices are nearby and on-duty leaders are always accessible to the teams. “Our organizational culture is one where learning is energized at all levels,” explained NBEMS CEO Chief Bruce Baxter, “and employees are taught to focus on the continuous improvement of their skills.” From the early days of their employment, team members experiment, acquire valuable experience, and grow—both as people and as practitioners. Honest mistakes are not to be feared, provided they are made with a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development. (more…)

In Memory of Joe Paolella, Sr

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Joseph “Joe” Paolella, Sr. Joe, along with his brother Phil Paolella, was the co-owner of New Haven Ambulance Service, one of the four companies that founded American Medical Response (AMR). Joe was an innovator and pioneer in the field of pre-hospital care, and he will be deeply missed by the American Ambulance Association and it’s members throughout the United States. Joe devoted much of his career to advocating for legislation and regulations that paved the way in ensuring that the highest levels of patient care are delivered by ambulance providers in Connecticut and across our nation. Joe also selflessly mentored many ambulance leaders throughout their careers, giving many hours of his time to developing the talents of others. Joe’s wife, Lorraine Paolella, and their entire family are in our thoughts. Visiting Hours Wednesday, December 21, 2016 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Iovanne Funeral Home, Inc. 11 Wooster Place New Haven, CT US 06511 Mass A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday morning at 11:30 in St. George Church, Guilford. Please go directly to Church Thursday morning. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven. St. George Church 33 (more…)

2015 Medicare Data Shows Evident of Crackdown on Non-Emergency Transport

2015 Medicare Payment Data Offers Evidence of Nationwide Crackdown on Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Transportation; Impact Varies Dramatically by Medicare Administrative Contractor Every year, CMS releases data on aggregate Medicare payments for the preceding year. This file is referred to as the Physician/Supplier Procedure Master File (PSP Master File). This past month, CMS released the 2016 PSP Master File, which contains information on all Part B and DME claims processed through the Medicare Common Working File with 2015 dates of service. In September’s blog post, I discussed the results of the first year of the prior authorization demonstration project for repetitive, scheduled non-emergency ground ambulance transports. During this first year, the project was limited to three states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The data confirms that these three states saw a dramatic reduction in Medicare’s approved payments for dialysis transports. This month, I will be discussing the national payment trends for non-emergency ground ambulance transports, and, in particular, Basic Life Support non-emergencies. In 2015, Medicare paid approximately $990 million for BLS non-emergency transports. This is 13% less than what it paid for BLS non-emergency transports in 2014 ($1.14 billion). Please note that these figures only reflect payments for the base...

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Spotlight: Fred Della Valle, AMR

Fred Della Valle Vice President Government Relations, American Medical Response (AMR) AAA Board, Alternate Director Region 1 New Haven, CT Tell us a little about yourself, please. Grew up and still live in the state of Connecticut. Married for more than 40 years. My wife, JoAnn, and I have two grown boys, a 3 month old grandson and a 2 year old beagle. I enjoy both saltwater and freshwater fishing, golf, and traveling. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? I became an EMT in 1976 working for New Haven Ambulance Service, one of the first four founding companies of American Medical Response. Over the years I have served in various capacities including operations, communications, public relations, business development, and government relations. What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy most interacting with colleagues in EMS and other public safety agencies, and sharing best practices and new ideas. In my government relations role, the interaction with local, state, and federal legislators and regulators is always both a challenge and opportunity to educate those who oversee our regulatory and payment strategies. What is your biggest professional challenge? Certainly the greatest challenge has (more…)

Service Spotlight: Hunter’s Ambulance

Hunter’s Ambulance 450 W. Main St. Meriden, CT 06451 Founded in 1963 by Vern and Barbara Hunter, Hunter’s Ambulance is a leader in innovation and patient care. Hunter’s Ambulance, located in Meriden, Connecticut, provides emergency dispatch services for approximately 160 square miles and conducts about 200,000 emergency and non-emergency transports a year. Prior to 1963, Vern Hunter owned and operated a gas station with a tow truck. When he was called to car accident scenes to tow vehicles, he often found himself helping with patients. It was through this work that Vern became interested in the emergency medical services industry, and he began Hunter’s Ambulance with his wife and their eight children. Today, Hunter’s Ambulance is still run by Vern and Barbara’s daughter, Donna Hunter. From the beginning, Hunter’s Ambulance has adopted a philosophy that you should always “serve yourself with backup,” and therefore began actively expanding its coverage throughout the community. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hunter’s made several acquisitions, beginning with the purchase of a service on the other side of town. Today, Hunter’s operates five transportation divisions. Its main headquarters is in Meriden and houses the administration offices, the vehicle maintenance station for all vehicles, and the (more…)