Tag: Hurricane Harvey

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 seen progress already in the House on the ambulance add-ons. On September 11, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up H.R. 3729, the Comprehensive Operations, Sustainability, and Transport Act of 2017. Similar to H.R. 3236, which the AAA supports, H.R. 3729 would extend the Medicare add-on payments for five years and require ambulance service suppliers to report cost data. However, H.R. 3729 would subject suppliers to an overpayment penalty which could potentially put all Medicare payments at risk for a supplier who does not submit timely, accurate, and complete data.

H.R. 3729 also includes a 22% across-the-board cut to all ambulance providers and suppliers for non-emergency BLS transports to and from dialysis centers. The 22% cut was the figure estimated as necessary to offset the cost of the five-year extension of the add-on payments. Since then, the AAA was able to demonstrate to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that our estimate of a five-year extension of the add-ons was the more appropriate approach. As a result, AAA has received a commitment from the Ways and Means Committee to lower the amount of any cut to cover the lower estimate. However, the AAA opposes any across-the-board cut and is working with the Committee and the bill sponsors to focus on addressing fraud and abuse within the dialysis transport benefit.

The AAA is working with key congressional offices as well as industry stakeholders to make changes to H.R. 3729. We remain hopeful that we can come to a consensus on these outstanding issues.

Meanwhile, on the Senate side, S. 967 is up to 12 co-sponsors with the addition of Sen. Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Boozman (R-AR), and Sen. Cassidy (R-LA). AAA encourages members to continue reaching out to their Senators to ask them to co-sponsor S. 967. The AAA will keep you updated on our progress working on extending the add-ons. Thank you for your continued support.

AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

As we face this challenging political and regulatory climate, it is essential that ambulance leaders stay abreast of new developments and best practices in reimbursement, operations, leadership, and human resources. In addition to myriad industry experts, this year’s AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show program features three inspiring keynotes—Steven M.R. CoveyMel Robbins, and Dr. Zubin “ZDoggMD” Damania—plus a ceremony honoring AMBY Award winners for their community impact.

I hope that you will join me and hundreds of our colleagues for networking, learning, and fun in Las Vegas November 13–15. Online registration for Annual is open now.

AAA Board Election

It’s that time again! The 2017 AAA Board of Directors election is underway. This year, active members will elect Regional Directors (Regions 1–5) and new members of the Ethics Committee. Voting opened on Wednesday, October 11th, and closes at 11:59pm Eastern on Thursday, November 2nd. Best of luck to all of the candidates! (If you are the primary contact for an active member organization and did not receive your e-ballot, please contact acamas@ambulance.org.)

Renew Your Support of AAA

Has your organization yet renewed its AAA membership? Your continued support is critically important as AAA fights for fair ambulance reimbursement. Membership also include benefits such as free use of the Savvik Buying Group, complimentary CISM and EAP-based counseling for your employees, and access to industry experts on Medicare, operations, and HR.

If you have already renewed, please accept our most sincere thanks. If you have not yet submitted payment for this year’s membership, I encourage you to renew online or reach out to staff at info@ambulance.org for assistance.

Capital Campaign

Lastly, many of you are aware that during my presidency I began a Capital Campaign to raise $1,000,000 to help sustain our organization and to increase our “rainy day” fund. The funds raised by this effort can only be used in the case of a majority vote by the Board of Directors.

Today, we have raised $250,000 of the $1,000,000 goal, for which I am grateful to our member supporters. But this is not enoughwe need to be strong when a crises hits our industry and we must deploy more resources for our advocacy programs. If you have already given, I would ask that you consider another commitment to this fund. If you have not already contributed, I respectfully ask you to support your national association as it works to fight for the future of ambulance services. Thank you in advance! Contribute online now.

It continues to be my pleasure to serve so many talented, dedicated healthcare professionals. Thank you again for your service, and I look forward to seeing you at AAA Annual in Las Vegas!

—POST!
Mark Postma—President
American Ambulance Association
Representing EMS in America

Hurricane Harvey: JEMS-AAA Adopt-An-EMS-Family Program

JEMSEMS professionals selflessly serve their communities each day. But even the most capable healthcare providers sometimes need a little help themselves, especially in the face of a natural disaster. AAA has partnered with JEMS to assist EMS families severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana via the “Adopt-an-EMS-Family” program.

Established in August 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the program is empowers EMS agencies, their staff, and other participants to provide direct, personal support to EMTs, Paramedics, Dispatchers, and other EMS professionals who were significantly affected by a large-scale disaster.

We invite your ambulance service to join us in adopting the families of EMS providers recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Sign up below to be assigned a family or group of families to assist in their time of need. Thank you in advance for your support and participation.

AAA Members Serve in Disaster Relief

Expedited Application Processing to Join Federal Disaster Response

We are seeing unprecedented, catastrophic flooding in Texas and it looks as though disaster response efforts could potentially continue for the foreseeable future.

American Medical Response (AMR), has been a member of the AAA since 1992. The AMR Office of Emergency Management (OEM), within its national ambulance contract as the Federal EMS provider has responded to the state of Texas in its role as the FEMA prime contractor. The company has engaged a number of EMS companies who have responded to the Hurricane Harvey deployment. Many AAA member companies are disaster subcontractors for AMR and have proudly responded to federally-declared disasters since 2007.

Because of the potential protracted length of this storm and recovery efforts, AMR is now processing new applications to augment its existing operations. To help with those efforts, AAA wants to extend information about becoming a network provider for AMR. If your organization is interested in applying, please use this PDF application.

When officially deployed by AMR as a subcontractor, EMS providers are compensated portal-to-portal. During deployments, lodging, subsistence, and fuel may be provided. If not provided, EMS subcontractors will be reimbursed for approved expenses.

We recognize that many EMS providers are regulated by local or state agencies and may have restrictions when it comes to responding to out-of-area disasters. The EMS needs of local communities are primary and participation in the AMR Emergency Response Network is not intended to undermine those obligations. States may have Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreements with ambulance services; therefore, AMR will not utilize assets that are committed under EMAC.

We are all hoping the waters will recede and first responders will be able to return to their homes soon, but we could be looking at prolonged recovery, and we know our AAA members are always called to serve.

For additional information, you can contact:

Laura Vigus
Laura.Vigus@amr.net
214-793-4073

Thank You, Participating Members!

AAA is deeply proud to represent dozens of member organizations who deploy at a moment’s notice to serve in large-scale disasters like Hurricane Harvey as part of AMR’s federal emergency contract. Thank you for your service to our nation.

Acadian Ambulance(TX)
Alert Ambulance Service Inc (NJ)
Alliance Mobile Health (MI)
Amcare Ambulance (VT)
America Ambulance Service Inc.
American Trans Med(SC)
Anniston EMS (AL)
Arizona Ambulance(AZ)
ATS Ambulance
Baca/Crestone Ambulance Service (CO)
Bangs Ambulance(NY)
Bartlesville Ambulance(OK)
Beauport Ambulance Service Inc (MA)
Bell Ambulance Inc. (WI)
Bennington Rescue Squad(VT)
Calex Ambulance(VT)
Cape County Ambulance(MO)
Central Emergency Medical Service Inc. (GA)
Citywide Mobile Response Corp (NY)
Community (Mid Georgia) (GA)
Community Ambulance Genesis (OH)
Community Care Ambulance Network (OH)
Community EMS (MI)
Community EMS Dayton (OH)
Elgin Medi Transport(IL)
Elizabeth Township EMS (PA) (12167)
Empress Ambulance Service Inc (NY)
Erway Ambulance(NY)
F-M Ambulance Service Inc (ND)
Fraser Medical Services(IA)
Guardian Angel Ambulance Service Inc (PA)
Humboldt General Hospital (NV)
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc(AL)
Huron Valley/Jackson Community Ambulance(MI)
Lakes Region EMS Inc (WI)
Life EMS (OK)
Life EMS(MI)
Lifecare ambulance(MI)
Lifecare of Virginia(VA)
Lifeguard Ambulance (TN)
Lifeguard Columbia County (FL)
Lifeguard Knoxville (TN)
Lifeguard Mobile (AL)
Lifeguard Morgan County (AL)
Lifeguard Nashville (TN)
Lifeguard Santa Rosa (FL)
Lifeline Ambulance (IL)
Livingston EMS(MI)
Lyndon Rescue(VT)
Medfleet Systems Inc (FL)
Medshore Ambulance Service (SC)
Medstar Ambulance (MI)
Memorial Hospital of Converse County (WY)
Metro Medical Services Inc (IL)
METS Ambulance(MO)
Mobile Medical Response Inc.(MI)
Mohawk Ambulance (NY) Parkland
Newport Ambulance Service Inc.(VT)
Newton County Ambulance(MO)
North Shore University Hospital (NY) Northwell Health
Pafford Medical Services (AR)
Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Corp Inc.
Professional Ambulance and Oxygen(MA)
Professional Med Team Inc.(MI)
ProMed Ambulance(AR)
Puckett EMS(GA)
Regional Ambulance (VT)
Riverside Ambulance (AR)
Rockland Mobile Care(NY)
Rockland Paramedic Service(NY)
Rugby (ND)
Seniorcare EMS(NY)
Southstar Ambulance(GA)
Spirit Medical Transport (OH)
Star EMS/Miles Grubb Assoc.(MI)
Stat EMS (MI)
Summit County Ambulance(CO)
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service Inc (IL)
Taney County (MO)
TLC Emergency Medical Services Inc.(NY)
Trace Ambulance Service(IL)
Trans Am(NY)
Tri Hospital EMS(MI)
Tri-Township Ambulance Service(MI)
Valley Ambulance Authority (PA)