In Memory of Walter L. Reisner

The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Walter L. Reisner, longtime owner of Trans Am Ambulance Services. Walter was a pillar of the EMS community, and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and former colleagues. November 2016 article about Walter’s receipt of a community service award. Brief obituary and service details.

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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“Northwell Health’s Center for EMS is an active participant in the AAA and encourage every EMS agency in the U.S. to participate. Through this relationship, we receive insights, expert analysis and input into important industry issues that affect us all. Our membership has returned  dividends in countless ways and therefore its value proposition is significant.  From risk management, to financial reform, leadership development and industry best practice, the AAA has given us a platform from which to learn, share and grow as an organization and as leaders in our industry.”

Jonathan D. Washko, MBA, NREMT-P, AEMD
Assistant Vice President, Center for EMS at Northwell Health
Alternate Director, American Ambulance Association Board

Northwell Health’s Jonathan Washko on AAA Membership

AUCTION: TransCare Ambulance Service Certificates

The Bankruptcy Trustee of Transcare Corporation, et al. is selling seven (7) Ambulance Service Certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health covering New York City, Hudson Valley and Long Island at public auction, free and clear of any and all claims. This presents an unparalleled opportunity to serve both NYC EMS and many of the largest and most respected health care providers in the area covering nearly 14 million residents and millions of commuters and tourists. The Service Certificates cover the following counties: Bid on one or more of the service certificates! Auction sale to be held on: June 28, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. United States Bankruptcy Court Room 723 One Bowling Green New York, New York 10004 Offers to purchase must be made by twelve o’clock noon on June 27, 2016 and are required to comply with prescribed Sale Terms as outlined in the Sale Order filed in connection with the TransCare Corporation, et al. bankruptcy proceeding which is available upon request by contacting: Salvatore LaMonica, as Chapter 7 Trustee c/o LaMonica Herbst & Maniscalco, LLP 3305 Jerusalem Avenue Wantagh, New York 11793 Telephone:  (516) 826-6500 or Jonathan N. Helfat, Esq. c/o Otterbourg P.C. 230 (more…)

Fasten Your Seatbelts for Paid Leave

A few days ago, something big happened in the State of New York that is going to have an enormous impact on employers.  The New York State Legislature finalized a budget that will increase the State Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour, and will provide for paid Family and Medical Leave to all employees over the next few years.  While there are a few states in the country that currently provide for some form of paid leave, this is by far the most aggressive plan to phase in twelve weeks of paid leave to all employees by 2021.  This continues a trend that is sweeping the country to provide more paid leave to all employees. Today, employers with 50 or more employees are already required to provide up to twelve weeks of job protected unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  However, not all employees are eligible for that leave as they must have worked at least 1250 hours in the preceding twelve month period.  Under this new New York paid leave, both full and part time employees will be eligible for paid leave. Employers currently struggle with administering FMLA and other forms of job protected leave...

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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: James McPartlon

James “Jim” McPartlon Schenectady, NY, USA President, Mohawk Ambulance Past President and current Director, AAA Board of Directors Tell us a little about yourself, please. I grew up just outside Schenectady, in upstate New York. Winters here can be challenging at times, so at a fairly early age I began to to ski and continue to do so when time allows. During the summer I try to spend as much time as possible at Lake George and sail. My son, JP, is a registered lobbyist and is currently in law school. My daughter, Chelsea, is currently in Italy completing her masters degree. They are my pride and joy and I could not be more proud and couldn’t ask for better children. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? I started working in EMS 38 years ago and have been active ever since. I remember watching a Cadillac ambulance go flying down the street and wondered what it would be like be involved. I called the owner of the company and asked if I could observe for a day. The rest is history, I have been involved from that day on. [quote_right]The highlight (more…)