40 Under 40: Lauren Emanuelson (Advanced Medical Transport – Peoria, IL)

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. ____ Lauren Emanuelson Director of Resuscitation Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois Peoria, IL ____ Nominated by: Josh Bradshaw (Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois – Peoria, IL) ____ Biography: Lauren began her career in EMS over 11 years ago as an EMT in Peru, Illinois and is now a Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse and Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation trainer at Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) in Peoria, Illinois. AMT receives approximately 65,000 calls for service and completes approximately 57,000 transports per year, responding to an average of 250 cardiac arrests per year. In 2017, Lauren was promoted to the Director of Resuscitation overseeing Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance activities, training and education for both BLS and ALS field providers as well as collaboration with the office of the Medical Director, first responder agencies, and hospital partners. Lauren is a member of the American Ambulance Association’s Professional Standards Committee where she shares her knowledge to set best practices for the industry. ____ Reason for Nomination: Lauren has taken a very robust program, expanded it, and pushed (more…)

40 Under 40: Chase Hodges (Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service – Bolingbrook, IL)

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. ____ Chase Hodges General Manager Illinois Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service Bolingbrook, IL ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Kim Godden (AAA Board of Directors, Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service – Elmhurst, IL) ____ Biography: As the General Manager, Chase has been instrumental in reshaping the culture of EMS at Superior Ambulance. Chase’s view on safety as not a part time commitment, but a true full time commitment has helped reduced accidents by 40%. Chase sits on Superior’s retention committee, Field Training Officer and training committee, and policy and procedures committee. Chase is also a part of Superior’s Special Event team which provides EMS for events happening all over the Chicago Land area, and is a member of the Ebola transport team. ____ Reason for Nomination: Chase is being nominated for this honor for many reasons that cannot be fully expressed in such few words. Chase started in EMS with our company as a para-transit driver and also worked as a dispatcher and EMT before being chosen as a General Manager overseeing several stations, including one of (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.

Congrats to CAAS Accreditations & Recerts

Congratulations to the AAA members who received Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) accreditation or reaccreditation in November and December! New certifications Superior Air-Ground Ambulance (Elmhurst, IL) Recertifications Ambucare (Bremen, GA) American Medical Response Central Mississippi (Jackson, MS) American Medical Response, Los Angeles (Irwindale, CA) American Medical Response, San Diego (San Diego, CA) American Medical Response of West Michigan (Grand Rapids, MI) American Medical Response South Mississippi (Gulfport, MS) Lifeguard Ambulance Service (Milton, FL) Metro West Ambulance (Hillsboro, OR) Richmond Ambulance Authority (Richmond, VA)

Congressman Peter Roskam Receives AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Peter Roskam Receives 2017 AAA Legislative Recognition Award For Immediate Release Contact: Amanda Riordan ariordan@ambulance.org 703-610-0264 Washington, DC – The American Ambulance Association (AAA) will honor Congressman Peter Roskam of Illinois with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Roskam will be presented the honor in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Illinois Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Prairie State are Eric Eizenga, Kyle Wolber, and Ellen Fleming of Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service as well as Jeff Odenthal of Abbott EMS/American Medical Response. Congressman Roskam was selected for his support of the Medicare ambulance temporary add-on increases and the super rural bonus payment. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Congressman Roskam has been a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in Illinois and across our country.” Congressman Roskam has represented Illinois’s 6th congressional district since 2007. He is the current Chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, as well as a member of the Subcommittee on Health. In appreciation of his ongoing service to the ambulance services of the United States, AAA is proud to (more…)

2017 AAA Legislative Awards

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 AAA Legislative Awards, in recognition of their strong advocacy for emergency medical services. Each legislator was chosen for their ongoing service to the ambulance services of the United States. 2017 AAA Legislator of the Year Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) – Press Release, Facebook Post, Twitter Post 2017 AAA Legislative Recognition Award Recipients Senators Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) – Press Release Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – Press Release Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – Press Release Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – Press Release Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Press Release Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) – Press Release Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Press Release Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) – Press Release Representatives Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) – Press Release Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) – Press Release Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) – Press Release Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) – Press Release Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) – Press Release Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) – Press Release Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)...

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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…)

AAA Members on Capitol Hill

This week, AAA members were once again on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress. AAA Government Affairs Committee Chair, Jamie Pafford-Gresham of Pafford EMS, met with entire Congressional Arkansas delegation. While on the Hill, Jamie also met with members from Oklahoma and Mississippi. AAA Board Member, Kim Godden (Superior Air-Ground Ambulance), Payment Reform Committee Chair, Asbel Montes (Acadian Ambulance Service), and AMR VP Federal Reimbursement & Regulatory Affairs, Deb Gault were also on the Hill for meetings this week. Collectively the group met with over twenty Congressional offices this week. Thank you to all of our members for their hard work fighting for permanent Medicare relief. We appreciate you taking the time to visit Washington and meet with your representatives. Pafford EMS CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham, and Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas Pafford EMS CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham, and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas Have you met recently with a Member of Congress? Are you interested in getting involved with the AAA’s advocacy efforts? If so, email Aidan Camas at acamas@ambulance.org!

AAA Board Member Meets with VP Mike Pence

AAA Board Member and Chair of the AAA’s new Non-Emergency Task Force, Kim Godden, Vice President of Legal & Government Relations at Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc., recently had the opportunity to meet with new Vice President, Mike Pence. Kim worked with the Vice President during his time as Governor of Indiana and used this meeting to remind the Vice President of issues facing ambulance services around the country. Kim was also able to relay to Vice President Pence how important permanent Medicare relief is for ambulance services around the country. Thank you, Kim, for all of your hard work on the AAA’s advocacy efforts! Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc. President/CEO, David Hill III, Vice President, Mike Pence, and Superior VP of Legal & Government Relations   Have you met recently with a Member of Congress? Are you interested in getting involved with the AAA’s advocacy efforts? If so, email Aidan Camas at acamas@ambulance.org!

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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2016 AMBY Best Clinical Outcome: Advanced Medical Transport, Race to the Top Program

Advanced Medical Transport’s Race to the Top Program Awarded the 2016 AMBY for Best Clinical Outcome Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) | Peoria, IL Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) developed the Race to the Top Program to provide the communities they serve with some of the top cardiac resuscitation rates in the nation. “By concentrating on eight highly-interdependent elements of a world-class emergency cardiac care and response system, we soldier more forces together and win more battles in the war on sudden cardiac arrest,” said AMT’s Josh Bradshaw. Even before implementing Race to the Top, AMT’s cardiac arrest resuscitation rates were three times the national average.  However, the leadership team felt that they could push the rates higher through a multifaceted outreach program. The project began in in late 2014, with eight specific, measurable, and actionable objectives: Immediate recognition of sudden cardiac arrest; 911 activation, “First-Care” hands-only CPR, GPS to the rescue (PulsePoint); Access to and utilization of AEDs; Pit crew resuscitation by EMS providers; Deployment of Advanced Practice Paramedics; Advanced biomedical tools; Immediate provider feedback; and Community and caregiver recognition. AMT began the program with a Return of Spontaneous Circulation rate of 27%, and have now reached 45%, well on the way to their near-60% goal. The (more…)

Spotlight: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital STARS Program

The Special Needs Tracking & Awareness Response System (STARS), was founded just over two years ago at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The team at Cardinal Glennon realized that they needed to do something to address the growing number of children in the U.S. with special health care needs, many of whom are at a higher risk for repeated ambulance transports. As an EMT for over 18 years, Patricia Casey, the Missouri Coordinator of the STARS Program, knows how intimidating it can be for a first responder to walk into a home that in many ways may look like a hospital room. Children with special health care needs can require many different types of in home medical equipment that first responders are often not familiar with. The STARS Program aims to make the job of the first responders easier while making children with medical needs and their parents more comfortable with ambulances in case they need to be transported in one. Cardinal Glennon works with local ambulance districts to enroll children with special medical needs in that district’s STAR Program. Once a child is registered in STARS, they are given a unique patient identification number (more…)

Musings on 2014 Medicare Payment Data…Part 2

Brian S. Werfel, AAA Medicare Consultant Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases data on Medicare payments for the preceding year. The 2015 Physician/Supplier Procedure Master File (PSP Master File) was released in late November 2015. This report contains information on all Part B and DME claims processed through the Medicare Common Working File with 2014 dates of service. In last month’s post, I focused on total Medicare spending. This month, I want to shine the spotlight on Medicare’s payment for ambulance transports to and from dialysis. It is no secret that the federal government has long viewed dialysis transports with suspicion. In 1994, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report citing dialysis transports as an area of concern. In a 2013 report, the OIG cited the dramatic increase in the volume of dialysis transports since the implementation of the Medicare Ambulance Fee Schedule as evidence that the Medicare ambulance benefit is vulnerable to fraud and abuse. Dialysis transports were also featured heavily in the OIG’s 2015 report on questionable billing practices.  A 2013 report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) noted that the utilization of BLS non-emergency transports, dialysis in...

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Spotlight: Kim Godden

Kim Godden Vice President of Legal and Government Relations Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois) Region 3 Alternate, American Ambulance Association Board Elmhurst, IL Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Barlett, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. I received my BA in History and Political Science from Purdue University and my law degree from DePaul University College of Law. After graduating from Purdue, I worked for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office while attending law school in the evening. While with the Attorney General’s office, I was an policy analyst/attorney for criminal justice and victims’ rights initiatives. During this time, I reviewed, drafted, and testified on various legislative and regulatory initiatives. In 2007, I was able to bring this experience to the ambulance industry when I joined Superior. In addition to sitting on the AAA board, I also sit on the boards of the Illinois State Ambulance Association and the Indiana EMS Association. I also participate on the government affairs committee for the Michigan Association of Ambulance Services. In addition to overseeing government relations and regulatory and compliance matters for Superior, I oversee the legal department which manages litigation, contracts, real estate and employment matters. I have been (more…)

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).