Tag: COVID-19

Feb 2 Webinar | Free: Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic

Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic
Co-Hosted by NASEMSO, NAEMSP, and AIMHI
Tuesday, February 2 | Noon ET
Register Free

Many EMS agencies have dramatically transformed their clinical and operational and approach for care delivery, as well as enhancing their role in the community, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. EMS regulators have had to navigate the regulatory environment to change rules that facilitate the changes necessary for EMS agencies to effectively serve their communities. Implementing transformational change requires strong clinical leadership, responsive operational acumen, and in many cases, changes in the regulatory environment. Successful transformation takes close collaboration with medical direction, operations and regulatory oversight.

Join panelists from the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the National Association of State EMS Officials as they highlight examples and best practices for navigating the clinical, operational and regulatory maze to facilitate transforming the role of EMS.

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CDC | Essential Workers Vaccine Communication Toolkit

CDC has designed a COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers to help employers build confidence in this important new vaccine. The toolkit will help employers across various industries educate their workforce about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns.

Access Toolkit

The toolkit contains a variety of resources including:

  • key messages,
  • an educational slide deck,
  • FAQs,
  • posters/flyers,
  • newsletter content,
  • a plain language vaccine factsheet (available in several different languages),
  • a template letter for employees,
  • social media content, and
  • vaccination sticker templates.

This toolkit will help your organization educate employees about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns.
Access Toolkit

Biden Administration Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

LODD Grants | Brave of Heart Fund

The Brave of Heart Fund provides monetary grants to eligible family members of frontline healthcare workers, healthcare volunteers and healthcare support staff who have lost their lives because of COVID-19. A spouse or domestic partner, a dependent child, or dependent parent are eligible. The Fund also offers behavioral and emotional support services from Cigna and grief coping resources from New York Life.

Established by the Foundations of New York Life and Cigna, the Brave of Heart Fund is owned and administered by E4E Relief, a disaster relief-focused subsidiary of Foundation For The Carolinas, a Section 501(c)(3) public charity.

Learn More & Apply

Eligible Healthcare Workers

For the purpose of the Brave of Heart Fund, an eligible healthcare worker is a person who lived in the U.S. at time of death and who worked or volunteered in or for a:

  • Licensed hospital
  • Medical center or clinic
  • Nursing home
  • Medical transport vehicle
  • Triage center
  • Other licensed medical facility, provider or setting

Also those who worked or volunteered as an emergency medical technician, ambulance technician or paramedic and who died from COVID-19-related causes any time through May 15, 2021.

Grants Description

There are two phases of grants available. Eligible expenses vary based upon which grant phase the eligible family member is applying . You may be eligible for both a Phase 1 and Phase 2 grant.

Phase 1

Phase 1 assistance is intended to cover expenses related to funeral and burial costs.

The family member who is eligible for a Phase 1 grant is the family member who is responsible for the funeral/burial expenses. Only one family member is eligible for a Phase 1 grant.

Phase 1 grants are $15,000. Only one Phase 1 grant is available in connection with each eligible healthcare worker or healthcare volunteer.

Phase 2

Phase 2 assistance is intended to cover long-term expenses such as food, clothing, housing, basic essential utilities, daycare/ childcare expenses, educational expenses, counseling, medical expenses for deceased healthcare worker, and transportation.

The family member(s) who is eligible for a Phase 2 grant is the family member(s) who was dependent on the deceased healthcare worker’s income for those expenses.

Phase 2 grants range up to $60,000 per eligible healthcare worker.
The exact amount will depend on a variety of factors including the applicant’s demonstration of financial need and the number of
eligible beneficiaries.

Learn More & Apply

For answers to frequently asked questions, including questions about eligibility, visit braveofheartfund.com/FAOs. Grant awards are discretionary and e final determination of grant eligibility and amounts will be made by E4E Relief, which is the public charity that owns and administers the Fund.

Questions about the Fund: (855) 334-7932 or email: questions@replyemail.braveofheartfund.com
Learn More & Apply

CMS | Updated Medicare COVID-19 Snapshot

From CMS on January 15

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released our monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data show over 1.9 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 493,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The updated snapshot covers the period from January 1 to November 21, 2020. It is based on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims and Medicare Advantage encounter data CMS received by December 18, 2020.

Read on CMS.gov

BMJ | Pfizer Second Dose Efficacy 95%

Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper shows
BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4826 (Published 11 December 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4826

The Pfizer and BioNTech covid-19 vaccine may provide some early protection, starting 12 days after the first dose, the peer reviewed results of a phase III trial have found.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,1 found that vaccine efficacy between the first and second doses was 52% (95% credible interval 29.5% to 68.4%), with 39 cases of covid-19 in the vaccine group and 82 cases in the placebo group.

Seven or more days after the second dose, vaccine efficacy then rose to 95% (90.3% to 97.6%), with eight covid-19 cases reported in the vaccine group and 162 cases in the placebo group.

The vaccine has so far been approved in Canada and in the UK, where it is already being rolled out to people over 80 and healthcare workers. In the US the Food and Drug Administration’s independent panel has voted in favour of emergency use authorisation for the vaccine, and the agency is expected to approve it within days.2

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AJC | Georgia EMS crews near ‘breaking point’

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 8

On a recent day, a Dawsonville ambulance worker was trying to rush a patient with dangerously high blood pressure to the hospital.

But after a brief call, she learned its emergency department was on “diversion,” meaning her patient could wait more than an hour for a bed, tying up the ambulance from responding to other calls.

“I have been hung up … and told to go else where!” she posted on the social media page of a statewide group of emergency medical personnel.

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KHN | One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-Covid Patients

From Kaiser Health News on January 11

One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-Covid Patients

Keely Connolly thought she would be safe once the ambulance arrived at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center in Kansas.

She was having difficulty breathing because she’d had to miss a kidney dialysis treatment a few days earlier for lack of child care. Her potassium was dangerously high, putting her at risk of a heart attack. But she trusted she would be fine once she was admitted and dialysis was begun.

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JEMS Op-Ed | You Should Take the Vaccine

COVID-19 Can Kill You Now or Later. You Should Take the Vaccine.
By AJ Heightman on December 31, 2020

It pains me to have to write about a young, healthy EMS provider/firefighter from my hometown of Scranton, PA, but there is an important message for you to hear about COVID-19 and importance for all emergency responders to take the vaccines being offered to them.

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On-Demand | EMS Physician Virtual Town Hall: COVID Vaccines

Cohosted by NAEMT, NAEMSP, and NASEMSO
Recorded Thursday, January 7, 2021
2:00–3:00 pm EST

EMS practitioners have been serving as the “tip of the spear” in responding to and managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Paramedics and EMTs across the country have contracted COVID-19, and too many have succumbed to the virus. The launch of the vaccination program has included a great deal of information about the vaccines, not all of which has been accurate. Confusing or misleading information about COVID-19 vaccinations may cause some EMS practitioners to choose not to receive the vaccine.

To help cut through the noise, NAEMT has assembled some of our nation’s most notable EMS physician leaders for a virtual town hall to answer your questions and concerns regarding the COVID vaccines. This will be a spirited discussion, led primarily by the questions YOU ask. Questions can be asked live, or submitted in advance to Matt Zavadsky.

Moderator: Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, NREMT – Chief Strategic Integration Officer, Medstar Mobile Healthcare, Ft. Worth, TX; 2019-2020 President, NAEMT

Panelists:

  • Doug Kupas, MD, FAEMS, FACEP – EMS Medical Director, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; NAEMSP Board Member; NASEMSO Medical Director’s Council
  • Kenneth A. Scheppke, MD, FAEMS – EMS Medical Director, State of Florida; Medical Director, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue
  • Veer D. Vithalani, MD, FACEP, FAEMS – System Medical Director, Office of the Medical Director, Metropolitan Area EMS Authority; Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Mobile Healthcare
  • Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS – Director, Office of EMS, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Team Lead, HHS Healthcare Resiliency Working Group EMS/Prehospital Team

de Beaumont | COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Language

From the de Beaumont Foundation

The findings of a new national poll, “The Language of Vaccine Acceptance,” reveal the urgent need for political and health leaders to adjust their messaging to improve confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. The poll identifies the language that will be most effective in reaching all Americans, especially those who are currently less likely to take a vaccine, including rural Americans, Republicans age 18-49, Black Americans 18-49, and women 18-49.

The nationwide poll was conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation and pollster Frank Luntz in partnership with the American Public Health Association, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and Resolve to Save Lives, an Initiative of Vital Strategies.

Highlights

  • Sixty percent of Americans said they were either “absolutely certain” or would “probably” get the vaccine if they could now.
  • The groups least likely to say they were “absolutely certain” were Americans in rural/farm communities (26%), Republicans age 18-49 (27%), Black Americans 18-49 (28%), and women 18-49 (29%). This compares with 41% of all respondents who said they were “absolutely certain” they would get the vaccine.
  • When asked about the biggest concern about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, one-third of all respondents (33%) said either long-term side effects or short-term side effects. The top three statements about side effects that respondents found most reassuring were “the likelihood of experiencing a severe side effect is less than 0.5%,” mild side effects “are normal signs that their body is building protection,” and “most side effects should go away in a few days.”
  • When asked what they want most from a vaccine, respondents said “a return to normal,” followed by “safety” and “immunity.”
  • When asked which statement was the most convincing, 62% of respondents chose “getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, your community, the economy, and your country safe and healthy” over “taking the vaccine is the right thing to do for yourself, for your family, your community, the economy, and the country” (38%). This highlights the need to avoid moralizing and lecturing Americans when it comes to the importance of vaccine acceptance.
  • Family is by far the most powerful motivator for vaccine acceptance. Significantly more Americans said they’d be most willing to take the vaccine for their family as opposed to “your country,” “the economy,” “your community,” or “your friends.”
  • The most convincing reasons to take the vaccine were “at 95 percent efficacy, this vaccine is extraordinarily effective at protecting you from the virus” and “vaccines will help bring this pandemic to an end,” and “getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, your community, and your country healthy and safe.”

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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

 

COVID-19 EMS Association Thank You Video

#EMS association leaders say THANK YOU to #paramedics, #EMTs, #dispatchers, and other #MobileHealthcare professionals. Thank you for serving on the very front lines of our nation’s #COVID19 response!

Thank you to Matt Zavadsky for creating this video!

COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group Vax Videos

The Federal Pre-Hospital / EMS COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group put together two wonderful videos to encourage EMS providers to get both the COVID-19 vaccination and seasonal flu shot. Please share with your staff!

Watch Video 1: https://vimeo.com/492847212/3682909c4c

Watch Video 2: https://vimeo.com/492847424/d5a17f6b4c

 

 

Congress Passes $900 Billion Stimulus Package with Ambulance Relief

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives followed soon after by the United States Senate passed an approximately $900 billion legislative package to provide additional economic relief to businesses and individuals struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. The package also contained numerous unrelated policy changes with several provisions on interest to ground ambulance service organizations. The AAA is currently analyzing the legislative text of the massive 3,000 plus page package and will provide members with the final analysis. In the meantime, below are some highlights.

Sequestration Delay

Sequestration, which reduces Medicare reimbursement by 2% for Medicare providers and suppliers, is suspended through March 31, 2021.

Provider Relief Fund

An additional $3 billion is added to the Provider Relief Fund administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Balance Billing

Health care providers will no longer be able to balance bill patients with private insurance. Rates will be determined through an arbitration process. The restrictions do not apply to ground ambulance services. The AAA along with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Firefighters and National Association of EMTs successfully educated lawmakers about the oversight role of local governments in 911 EMS systems. The legislation instead establishes an Advisory Committee on Ground Ambulance Billing which will issue a report to Congress on its findings. The AAA will be pushing for representatives of the AAA to be on the Committee.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Another round of $284 billion in PPP funding is made available to small businesses hit especially hard by the pandemic. Businesses must employ 300 or fewer employees and report losses of 25% or more in order to qualify. For ground ambulance service organizations which receive PPP funds under the past round or the current one, expenses covered by forgiven funds will now be deductible.

 

Today’s AAA webinar, “Wrapping Up a Year for the Record Books”, will include an overview of the stimulus package. This webinar is free for AAA members. Register Here!

NYT | What You Can Do Post-Vaccine, and When

From the New York Times

Vaccines are here, bringing hope of the pandemic’s end. But even when you get your dose, it won’t mean an immediate return to life as you knew it.

Scientists cite several reasons for staying masked and cautious as you start your post-vaccine life. Vaccines don’t offer perfect protection; we don’t yet know whether vaccinated people can spread the virus; and coronavirus is likely to continue its rapid spread until a large majority of the population is vaccinated or has survived a natural infection.

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