To address the importance of the work that the payment reform committee is doing, we must consider the value of the part that small providers play in the healthcare delivery system today, and how imperative it is that we accomplish goals such as moving from Supplier to Provider status for all ambulance services in order to set the table for reimbursement that is more creative than just fee for transports. For example, 73% of all ambulance services who are credentialed by Medicare do less than 1,000 transports per year, which does not add up to sustainability for ambulances services endeavoring to adhere to best practices in providing emergency medical care.   A vast majority of those services represented in the 73% are the first line—and in many cases the only line—of emergency medical care in their communities.

—Jimmy Johnson
Past President, American Ambulance Association
Co-Chair, American Ambulance Association Payment Reform Committee
Enid, OK

Life EMS’s Jimmy Johnson on Sustainable Reimbursement

Spotlight: Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson President, Life Emergency Medical Services Immediate Past President, AAA Board Enid, OK Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Frederick, OK – a small town in the southwest. I attended college for two years at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and finished my last two years at Phillips University with a degree in Business Management. Throughout college I worked at Life EMS as an EMT, and in 1972 I was offered the opportunity to purchase half of the company from the original owner. A few years later, my partner sold the second half of the company to me. I am a OU football fan, and I love to golf and to cook. I have a wonderful supporting cast in Pam and our three sons. What do you enjoy most about your job? The people I work with. I have this never ending respect for paramedics. They’re a highly skilled creature in a fairly small arena of medicine – cardiac issues, trauma, some pediatric emergencies. They’re as good as it gets. They may start an IV between a toilet and a bathtub, or between a bed and a wall, or in a ditch at 10 degrees below zero, or at a (more…)

Spotlight: Patrick Hatch

Patrick Hatch Paramedic Life EMS Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA Can you please tell us a little about yourself? Grand Rapids has always been my home. This city has transformed itself in the last 30 years, I love it here! I have a strong passion for music, specifically classic rock era, and I play guitar and perform in a cover band. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? I became a paramedic in 1984 with the intention of becoming certified in criminal justice. What do you enjoy most about your job? I still like the high priority patients. I like to mentor and practice with particular attention to detail! What is your biggest professional challenge? I would like to see a structured tier of paramedics where the medic provider can obtain higher training in areas such as RSI; non-urgent cases such minor suture repair and pain management; and greater responsibility. What is your typical day like? It can vary from multiple back to back high acuity patients to relatively easy transports and encounters!...

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