Congressman Richard Neal to Receive AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Richard Neal to Receive 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 Richard Neal of Massachusetts with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Neal will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Massachusetts Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Bay State are Kerry Flynn, and Beth Keegan of Armstrong Ambulance Service; Matthew Miner, Mark Hogue, and Paige Hoffman of Action Ambulance Service Inc.; and Deanne Lione, and Andrea Ball of Cataldo Ambulance Service. Congressman Neal was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for being a champion of the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act which would make permanent the current temporary Medicare ambulance add-on increases of 2% urban and 3% urban and the super rural bonus payment. The legislation, HR 745 from the 114th Congress, would also treat ambulance services more like providers of health care services and require CMS to collect cost data utilizing a survey methodology that would result in usable information for future reform of the Medicare ambulance (more…)

Cataldo Ambulance Service Wellness Couch to 5K

In October 2016, Kelli Megill, a Human Resources Generalist at AAA member company, Cataldo Ambulance Service based in Somerville, MA, attended the safety symposium hosted by their worker’s compensation carrier. Much of the symposium focused on why employees get hurt and what employers can do to help stop the trend. A reoccurring thread in all of the most effective injury prevention programs was promoting the fitness and wellness of an organization’s employees. Kelli decided to launch what has been the most embraced wellness initiative in the 40 year history of the company. The Cataldo Couch to 5K Program began about 8 weeks ago and culminating with the 5K road race/walk on June 5th. Kelli pitched the program to the other members of the Human Resources team and Ron Quaranto, the Chief Operating Officer (AAA Region 1 Director). The program now has over 100 employees participating in the program which is more than just the run/walk on June 4th. Cataldo has tackled wellness events in the past, including the company hockey team, Spartan races, and other chartable road races. The company, which provides emergency services to several of the communities along the Boston Marathon route, sponsored several employees to run the...

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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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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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Spotlight: Ron Quaranto, Cataldo Ambulance

Ron Quaranto Chief Operating Officer, Cataldo Ambulance Service Vice President, Massachusetts Ambulance Association AAA Board, Director Region 1 Somerville, MA Tell us a little about yourself, please. I grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and graduated Natick High School in 1988. I am married and have two children; my daughter, Courtney, is 19 and my son, Justin, is 16. I like to exercise. I enjoy hockey, which I play two days a week, and I run 3–4 days a week. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? In 1989, I began my career at Chaulk Ambulance in Natick, Massachusetts as a chair car driver while taking their EMT course. I worked as an EMT for many years and became a base Supervisor. I went to Paramedic School in 1994, and was certified as a Nationally Registered Paramedic in 1995. I then became a Field Supervisor for AMR and quickly moved up the ranks to Director of Operations overseeing operations from Boston to Worcester. In 2006 I moved over to Cataldo Ambulance Service, where I am currently employed as their COO. What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy helping people. I (more…)

2016 AMBY Best Use of Technology: Trinity EMS & Firstwatch, Opioid Epidemic Project

Trinity EMS & FirstWatch Opioid Epidemic Project Awarded a 2016 AMBY for Best Use of Technology Trinity EMS & FirstWatch | Massachusetts Massachusetts has seen a massive increase in opiate overdoses and deaths. In 2013 there were 918 opiate related deaths in Massachusetts. Massachusetts had 1531 deaths in the first six months of 2016. Many of the communities Trinity EMS serves are on the front lines of this issue. Their EMT’s and paramedics are helping to revive patients every day from an opiate overdose. Understanding the scope of an issue is a critical first step to solving an issue. They started using their PCR data to help frame the issue for their communities. They began tracking the demographics such as age and gender of the patients, time of day and day of the week, and location within the communities. They also monitor the volume to identify spikes in volume in individual communities and system wide. Trinity reported data monthly, one month behind to the health department, public safety partners, methadone clinics, hospitals and city governments. This data was well received. Other services contacted them for help in developing their tracking and reporting. They added FirstWatch to their program to speed up the notifications. (more…)

As a current mobile integrated health provider, we recognize the values of an MIH program which most importantly provides quality patient care to those in need, often in the comfort of their own homes. This is often done under the direction of the patient’s primary care physician in conjunction with the patient’s healthcare team. This allows for the patient to maintain their quality of life while receiving the medical attention they need—and ultimately reducing the healthcare expenses of hospitalization.

Ron Quaranto
COO, Cataldo Ambulance Service

Cataldo Ambulance’s Ron Quaranto on Mobile Integrated Health

Sept 28 Webinar: Fallon Ambulance on Alternative Destinations

Join Patrick “Sean” Tyler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fallon Ambulance Service, on September 28 for Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience. Alternative Pathways to Care: The Massachusetts Experience Speaker: P. Sean Tyler, Fallon Ambulance September 28 at 2:00 PM ET $99 for Members | $199 for non-Members REGISTER NOW► EMS systems around the US have historically been incentivized by Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), private insurers and other payers to transport all patients encountered through accessing 911 emergency call systems, to an acute care facility emergency department (ED). The reimbursement model for ambulance services in place currently only provides payment for transport of any patient to a state licensed ED according to CMS. The changing healthcare system in the US, through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010, looks to healthcare systems and contractors to provide healthcare at a lower cost. CMS is prescribed, as part of the ACA, to test innovative delivery models to reduce program expenditures…while preserving or enhancing quality of care furnished to individuals.” This session will review the concepts and programs of implementing a modified system of care whereas trained EMS providers, under the supervision of a physician Medical Director, can transport patients experiencing a (more…)