40 Under 40: Jeremy Tinter (Sunstar Paramedics – Largo, FL)

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. ____ Jeremy Tinter Director of Clinical Services Sunstar Paramedics Largo, FL ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: John Peterson (Sunstar Paramedics – Largo, FL) ____ Biography: Jeremy Tinter is Patientcare Logistics Solutions’ Director of Clinical Services for the Pinellas County Florida Operation. Jeremy served as the Clinical Services Coordinator for Sunstar Paramedics from June 2015 to June 2016 and held various positions ranging from Field Training Officer, Critical Care Paramedic, and Assistant Supervisor over the past 10 years. Jeremy’s emergency medical services career has not only been in clinical care but also focused on education and training. Jeremy holds many instructor ratings ranging from AHA to NAEMT, leads the simulation lab for Pinellas County, and has been responsible for the successful clearing of clinicians to the field. A certified Paramedic in the state of Florida, Jeremy has also served as an adjunct, non-credit faculty/CME Instructor at St. Petersburg College and has taught continuing education classes through the Pinellas County Authority CME Program to EMTs, Paramedics, and Nurses. Jeremy was the proud recipient of the 2016 (more…)

2019 AMBY Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 AMBY Awards. The AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize  mobile healthcare. 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 November 5 in Nashville. Please join us in congratulating our 2019 winners! Clinical Outcome Program Medic Ambulance Service Inc. CPR Initiative Community Impact Program Advanced Medical Transport CPR Race to the Top American Medical Response (Manchester/Nashua, NH) Safe Station Project Sunstar Paramedics Health & Safety Fair Employee Programs American Medical Response (Buffalo, NY) Recruitment/Training Program Northstar EMS, Inc Medical Director Engagement Through Technology Public Relations Campaign Acadian Ambulance Service Hometown Hero Initiative Mecklenburg EMS Agency Bystander CPR Initiative With Pulsepoint Once again, join us in celebrating the 2019 winners! Learn more about the AMBYs.

President’s Perspective: April 2018

Dear Fellow AAA Member, Spring has sprung, and the American Ambulance Association is busier than ever working on your behalf to build the future of EMS. The AAA is pleased to announce that since our last Response Times update, Congress has passed the 5-year extension of the Medicare ambulance add-ons. The extension included the AAA’s preferred method of cost data collection that provides flexibility to the Secretary of HHS in developing the system. Consultation with the industry is required so that it strikes the appropriate balance between obtaining meaningful data and avoiding overly burdening or onerously penalizing the ambulance services. This legislation was a true victory for the AAA and the entire industry. Learn more► This success would not have been possible without months of effort by AAA volunteer leaders, advocacy experts, and staff, as well as support from our key champions in Congress. In particular, the AAA would like to thank Senator Debbie Stabenow for spearheading our legislation and ensuring that the Senate language prevailed. In recognition of Senator Stabenow’s support, she has been named the AAA’s 2018 Legislator of the Year. The AAA would also like to thank Senators Schumer, Roberts, Collins, Leahy, Hatch, Wyden, Thune, and many (more…)

2017 AMBY Winner: Sunstar Paramedic

Sunstar Paramedics 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 Sunstar Paramedics 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. Sunstar Paramedics is being recognized with an AMBY Award in recognition of their process improvement program for new hires. The program identified the need to streamline the pre-hire process, improve the quality of training of the new EMTs and Paramedics, and provide the Field Training Officers (FTO) with more leadership skills and abilities. Representatives from Sunstar Paramedics 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 (more…)

2017 Affiliate of the Year Award

Contact: Jessica Marvin Telephone: 703-610-9018 Email: jmarvin@ambulance.org AMERICAN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION HONORS REV WITH THE 2017 AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AWARD Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award REV with the 2017 Affiliate of the Year Award. The Affiliate of the Year Award is given to the vendor who supports the programs of the association. REV has achieved this honor through their support of AAA’s programs and services including our 2017 Legislative Priorities. AAA President Mark Postma noted, “REV has been an outstanding supporter of the AAA’s programs and services over this past year. It is an honor to celebrate their contributions to the AAA and our industry by presenting them with the Affiliate of the Year Award for 2017.” Representatives for REV will be presented the Affiliate of the Year 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 (more…)

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.

President’s Perspective: October 2017

Dear Fellow AAA Members, As I reflect on the past few months, I am awed by the dedication of ambulance services across the nation as they responded to emergencies ranging from hurricanes to wildfires to the Las Vegas MCI. As always, EMS aided their communities with humanity, efficiency, and deep-rooted professionalism. The outcomes of each of these incidents would assuredly have been far worse without the selfless service of our fellow healthcare providers. I was privileged to see this commitment to excellence firsthand as our staff at Sunstar responded to Hurricane Maria here in Florida, assisted by hundreds of EMTs, Paramedics, and strike team leaders who drove hours or days to help. Thanks to each of you for your service in our country’s time of need. Advocacy Update The AAA continues working hard to ensure the Medicare add-on payments don’t expire at the end of this year. In the Senate, S. 967 would make the add-on payments permanent. In the House, two versions of a bill (H.R. 3236, H.R. 3729) would extend the payments for five years. Extensions of Medicare provider provisions, including the ambulance add-on payments, will likely be addressed closer to the end of the year. We have...

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In Memory of Lahiri Garcia & Paul Besaw (AMR Palm Beach/Broward)

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn that Lahiri Garcia (51) and Paul Besaw (36) were killed on June 1 in the line of duty. Both were longstanding and respected team members at AMR Palm Beach/Broward County in Florida. In an interview with WPTV, AMR Regional Director Bill Hall said, “The AMR family has lost two amazing people. They were dedicated husbands, fathers, friends and teammates. Our thoughts are with both families during this difficult time. Lahiri and Paul will be greatly missed. Garcia and Besaw were committed to caring for others, and together they had nearly 40 years of service for AMR and the community.” “Thank you all for your kind thoughts and sentiments during the past few days. This week, we celebrate the lives of our fallen colleagues, Paul Besaw and Lahiri Garcia, who tragically lost their lives in an unfortunate ambulance accident last Thursday morning,” said Terance Ramotar, regional director of AMR. “These two gentleman have dedicated their lives to the EMS profession and we are preparing a tribute on Thursday to honor their service.” A processional, followed by funeral services, is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Courtyard Gardens of Jupiter, FL, located at 1790 (more…)

Former Employee Plants False Story Against AAA President

AAA Fully Supports Mr. Mark Postma, Sunstar COO FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Amanda Riordan Sr Director of Membership & Marketing, AAA 703-610-0264 ariordan@ambulance.org McLean, VA–The American Ambulance Association has recently become aware of baseless Facebook and “prank” news site allegations of arrest leveled against our President, Mr. Mark Postma. Mr. Postma is Chief Operating Officer of Sunstar Paramedics in Largo, Florida. These scurrilous claims were posted to social media in the form of a fake news story created by a former employee. Mr. Postma and Sunstar Paramedics have requested the post’s immediate removal from Facebook as well as Channel 23 News, a “prank” news site. Additionally, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the defamatory posting. Mr. Postma and Sunstar Paramedics have the full support of the American Ambulance Association as they take all steps necessary to delete this libelous story and defend Mr. Postma’s sterling reputation. # # # 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 (more…)

President’s Perspective April 2017

Dear Fellow AAA Member, As you know, the Medicare ambulance add-on payments are set to expire on December 31, 2017. The AAA Board, Government Affairs Committee, advocacy consultants, and staff have been working diligently to build support on Capitol Hill to ensure that this critical revenue remains in place. As we continue to connect with policymakers in preparation for the introduction of our legislation, I ask that you pay special attention to the requests for advocacy action you receive from the AAA. Now, more than ever, we need the active participation of each member organization to ensure our collective future! Capital Campaign and Financial Status In addition to representing our members’ current interests in Washington, AAA strives to serve ambulance providers over the longer term. It is key that the Association build a pool of capital for use in case of an unexpected legislative or regulatory threat, or once-in-a-blue-moon strategic opportunity. For these reasons, I announced the creation of a Capital Campaign the day I assumed the office of President. Funds contributed to this campaign are managed separately from other assets, and can only be accessed after a full AAA Board vote. To date, we have raised more than $250,000 of our $1mm goal through the generous contributions of our fellow members. My deepest thanks to all who have given. If you have (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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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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In Memory of Barry M. Mogil

The American Ambulance Association is sad to report that Barry M. Mogil, former CAAS reviewer and director of communications for Pinellas County, Florida EMS, passed away. Our thoughts are with his family. Barry’s contributions to Florida EMS will not be forgotten. David C Gross Funeral Home Obituary Tampa Bay Times Obituary

Spotlight: Mark Postma

Mark Postma Vice President, Paramedics Plus President-Elect, AAA Board Chair, Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) Largo, Florida, USA Can you please tell us a little about yourself? How did you come to work in EMS? I grew up in a small town outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and obtained my EMT license at age 16. I became a paramedic in 1984 and began working in Davenport, Iowa at MEDIC EMS. After working there for 20 years and becoming Executive Director, I began at SUNSTAR Paramedics in 2004. I am the COO for SUNSTAR and Vice President of Paramedics Plus operations (Sioux Falls, Fort Wayne, and Oakland). I have been married 31 years to my great wife, Lisa. I have two children: Delaney, a registered nurse at Florida Hospital in Orlando; and my son, Parker, a sophomore at the University of Florida. My hobbies are basketball, boating, and IndyCar Racing. What do you enjoy most about your job? It is very diverse. As the Vice President, I really oversee daily operations and have great people who work for me. They are local and report out how things are going, daily achievements and challenges. Paramedics Plus/ETMC is a great organization (more…)

Spotlight: John Peterson

John Peterson Chief Administrative Officer Sunstar/Paramedics Plus Largo, FL Can you please tell us a little about yourself? I am originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. I attended college in Chicago where I met my wife, Sarah. She is also a native Minnesotan. In 2003 we made the move to Florida for warmer weather. We enjoy Florida living, including kayaking and spending time at the beach. We are avid NFL football fans and are season ticket holders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Of course, our Minnesota Vikings purple pride still remains. One thing that some people don’t know about me is that besides being a paramedic, I am also a board certified Occupational Therapist. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? My first experience in EMS came when I injured my back playing football in high school. This became my first ambulance ride and was an experience I’ll never forget. After graduating from college I had a friend who was working for a private ambulance service. He told me that the company he worked for was paying for people to go to EMT school and then providing them with...

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CMS Extends Ambulance Enrollment Moratoria

On July 25, 2015, CMS issued a notice extending the temporary moratorium for enrollment of new ambulance suppliers in the Texas counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller, as well as in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery (Pennsylvania), Burlington, Camden and Gloucester (New Jersey). This notice will appear in the Federal Register on July 28, 2015. Read the PDF announcement (available now). Read the Federal Register post (available tomorrow, July 28, 2015).