Interim Guidance: COVID-19 and Field Trauma Triage Principles.

The Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force has released interim guidance on COVID-19 and Field Trauma Triage Principles. This document provides a brief overview of how the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) impacts trauma triage for first responders, including Emergency Medical Service (EMS), fire & rescue, and law enforcement. The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies....

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COVID Resource Reporting Tool

The NHTSA Office of EMS has designed a reporting tool to provide you with a way to report personnel shortages, and PPE needs or “stress” your agency is experiencing due to the COVID outbreak and the impending Influenza season. The tool can be accessed HERE....

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AAA Letter to Trump about Press Conference

On August 11, AAA President Aarron Reinert sent a letter to President Trump in follow up to the White House Press Conference last week in which President Trump engaged in dialogue with a reporter about the need for additional ambulance relief....

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COVID-19 employee Travel FAQ

Over the last week, we have received several questions from AAA members about various COVID-19 impacts on EMS organizations.  As the infection numbers around the country are on the rise, many new issues have arisen that are posing issues with many EMS employers. Travel Orders What can I do when our employee voluntarily chooses to travel out of state and, due to state level travel orders which require mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon their return, the employee cannot work and is seeking to be paid emergency leave under the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) or take additional unpaid leave during the quarantine period? As an employer, you have several options.  One of the most important things to know is that your employee does have to abide by any federal, state, or local quarantine order.  However, this does not mean that the employer is helpless in addressing this the issue of employee voluntary travel.  The last few months have been incredibly trying on all of us, particularly those who are on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic, it is understandable that employees are looking to take vacations out of state.  While this is understandable, the employee is still making...

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Webinar: EMS, Stress and Cultivating Resilience

Special EMS Focus webinar on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 3 p.m. EDT /12 p.m. PDT will address the challenges and stresses of EMS work and offer practical advice for cultivating resilience Adversity and stress are unavoidable aspects of serving as EMS clinicians, thanks to the challenges of everyday EMS work and the added difficulties brought on by extraordinary events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. There are ways, though, to cultivate resilience, recognize and manage stress, and turn adversity into an opportunity for personal growth and becoming a better version of yourself. In this webinar, two EMS veterans, leaders and resilience experts will engage in a conversation about self-awareness, self-care, and specific actions, practices and wisdom for living well. Mike Washington, MSW, is a 27-year firefighter/EMT with the Seattle Fire Department, a mental health therapist and a multiple combat tour Marine veteran with a powerful story about his own journey to wellbeing. He’ll be joined by organizational psychologist John Becknell, PhD, a former paramedic who studies and works with EMS, fire and law enforcement in areas of living well, peer support, organizational culture and leadership development. Kate Elkins, MPH, an EMS specialist with the NHTSA Office of EMS and paramedic with more than two...

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State-Level COVID Funding and Distribution

From Dept. Of Treasury:  The Department of the Treasury Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for monitoring and oversight of the receipt, disbursement, and use of Coronavirus Relief Fund payments. On July 2, 2020, OIG notified each prime recipient of an Interim Report requirement for reporting costs incurred during the period March 1 through June 30, 2020. State and local governments have spent a minimal amount of funds allocated as part of Congressional relief packages, according to the Treasury Inspector General. The Inspector General published data showing how much each state was given from the federal government and how much each state has spent as of June 30th. While the report doesn’t reflect data for the month of July yet, members may work within their states to try to obtain funding there as well. To learn more about this Treasury Report, CLICK HERE. You will find a list of statements and disbursements to local entities....

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CMS Updates Cost Data Collection FAQs and Data Collection Instrument

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released printable version of the ground ambulance data collection instrument and an expanded FAQ. Both updated documents address some of the more common questions that CMS has heard over the past months, many of which the American Ambulance Association raised.  Importantly, CMS announces through the FAQs the registration process will begin December 2021. The topics covered in the FAQs include: General questions related to the rationale for collecting data, definitions, and how the information will be used and reported; Sampling and notification questions related to how ground ambulance organizations will be selected to participate in the data collection system; Data collection and reporting timelines and effort questions, which focus on the timelines for collecting and reporting the information, as well as the projected effort required; There are three new FAQs in this section about the impact of the delay due to the pandemic (the questions and answers are below) Requirement to report questions, which focus on the types of information that must be reported and responding to requests from MACs; There is a new FAQ in this section about applying for a hardship exemption (the questions and answers is below) Reporting...

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Income Disparities In Access To Critical Care Services

From Health Affairs Income Disparities In Access To Critical Care Services Genevieve P. Kanter, Andrea G. Segal, and Peter W. Groeneveld ABSTRACT The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the importance of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in preventing death from the severe respiratory illness associated with COVID-19. However, the availability of ICU beds is highly variable across the US, and health care resources are generally more plentiful in wealthier communities. We examined disparities in community ICU beds by US communities’ median household income. We found a large gap in access by income: 49 percent of the lowest-income communities had no ICU beds in their communities, whereas only 3 percent of the highest-income communities had no ICU beds. Income disparities in the availability of community ICU beds were more acute in rural areas than in urban areas. Policies that facilitate hospital coordination are urgently needed to address shortages in ICU hospital bed supply to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality rates in low-income communities. Continue Reading