July Brings Legal Changes for Employers in Many States

Oregon Statewide Transit Tax Important notice to ambulance service employers based in the state of Oregon: there is a new statewide transit tax taking effect on July 1, 2018. Beginning July 1st, employers must start withholding a tax of 1/10th of 1% from the wages of Oregon residents or from non-residents who perform services in Oregon. The Department of Revenue has published detailed information on the statewide tax with a list of available resources to assist employers with compliance. Iowa Lowers Standard for Positive Alcohol Tests Effective July 1, 2018, Iowa employers may lower their standard for taking employment action for positive alcohol tests from the old state standard of .04 to .02. Iowa has one of the strictest employment drug and alcohol testing requirements in the country. Employers are required to have a written policy that is distributed to all employees and job candidates for their review. Employers must establish a drug and alcohol awareness program alerting employees of the dangers of drug and alcohol use in the workplace, and most employees must be provided an option to enter a rehabilitation program instead of being disciplined. In addition, all supervisory staff must attend a two-hour initial drug and alcohol...

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Update on Medicare Reimbursement Issues

The AAA would like to take this opportunity to update members on a number of issues related to Medicare reimbursement: CMS and its contractors have begun adjusting claims for ground ambulance services to reflect the restoration of the temporary add-ons. Section 50203(a) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 retroactively reinstated the temporary add-ons for ground ambulance services. These add-ons increase the applicable Medicare allowables by 2% in urban areas, 3% in rural areas, and 22.6% in “super rural” areas (over and above the corresponding rural rate), retroactive to January 1, 2018. On a March 7, 2018 Open Door Forum, CMS indicated that it had updated the Medicare Ambulance fee schedule to reflect these higher rates, and that it has provided a Change Request to each of its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). The AAA has confirmed that all MACs have successfully implemented the new rates, and that all are paying current claims at the correct rate. The AAA has further confirmed that MACs have started to adjust 2018 claims paid at the original (lower) rates. Unfortunately, neither CMS nor its MACs have committed to a firm timetable for the completion of all required adjustments; however, a number of MACs have...

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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)

2017 Distinguished Service Award

Contact: Jessica Marvin Telephone: 703-610-9018 Email: jmarvin@ambulance.org AMERICAN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION HONORS JAMIE PAFFORD-GRESHAM AND SHAWN BAIRD WITH THE 2017 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award Jamie Pafford-Gresham and Shawn Baird with the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards. The Distinguished Service Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the advancement of the AAA. Jamie and Shawn have achieved this distinction through their dedication, passion, and commitment in support of AAA’s Legislative Priorities. AAA President Mark Postma noted, “Jamie and Shawn have been steadfast in their service on behalf of the AAA. We are proud to celebrate their contributions and achievements to the AAA and our industry by presenting them with Distinguished Service Awards for 2017.” Shawn and Jamie will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. This event is the premier event for leaders in the ambulance industry, featuring world-class education, networking, and cutting-edge technology. # # # About the American Ambulance Association Founded in 1979, the AAA represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in (more…)

2017 AAA Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce this year’s award winners. Awards will be presented at the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners! J. Walter Schaeffer Award Mark Meijer, Life EMS Ambulance The J. Walter Schaeffer Award is given annually to an individual whose work in EMS has contributed positively to the advancement of the industry as a whole. Mark Meijer has achieved this through his many years of commitment and service to the ambulance industry. Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award Fred Della Valle, AMR Connecticut The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. It recognizes a volunteer leader who has made a significant long-term impact on the association. Fred Della Valle has achieved this through his decades of service, commitment, and dedication to the AAA and its members. President’s Award Dr. John Russell, Cape County Private Ambulance Paul Main, American Ambulance of Visalia These awards are bestowed by the President to volunteer leaders who have shown commitment to the advancement of the AAA above and beyond the call of duty. This year, (more…)

Congressman Greg Walden to Receive AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Greg Walden 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 Greg Walden of Oregon with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Walden will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Oregon Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Beaver State are Harlan Brock, Theresa “Trese” Helstowski, Jennel Smith, Melissa Zimmer of Metro West Ambulance, Sheryl Maia of American Medical Response, Padrick O’Grady and James Wilcott of Bay Cities Ambulance, Bob Johnson of Medix Ambulance, and Aaron Pawol of Mercy Flights. Congressman Walden was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for championing 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, H.R. 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 methodology that would result in usable information for future reform (more…)

Senator Ron Wyden Receives AAA Legislative Honor

Senator Ron Wyden 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 Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Senator Wyden will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Oregon Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Beaver State are Harlan Brock, Theresa Helstowski, and Melissa Zimmer of Metro West Ambulance, Sheryl Maia of American Medical Response, Padrick O’Grady and James Wilcott of Bay Cities Ambulance, Bob Johnson of Medix Ambulance, and Aaron Pawol of Mercy Flights. Senator Wyden was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for his leadership on health care issues and support of the Medicare temporary ambulance add-on payments, and a system for collecting ambulance cost data utilizing a methodology that would likely result in usable information. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Senator Wyden is a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in Oregon and across our country. The AAA is proud to present him with a Legislative Recognition Award.” Elected to the U.S. (more…)

Senator Roberts Receives Legislative Recognition Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Amanda Riordan 703-610-9018 ariordan@ambulance.org Washington, D.C.– The American Ambulance Association (AAA) has selected Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas as recipient of an AAA Legislative Recognition Award in honor of his strong advocacy for emergency medical services. Senator Roberts received his award during EMS on the Hill Day events on April 25. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “We would like to thank Senator Roberts for his commitment to sustainable reimbursement for ambulance services in Kansas and across our nation.” Senator Roberts was recognized for championing the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act, which would make permanent the current temporary Medicare ambulance add-on increases and the super rural bonus payment. The legislation would also treat ambulance services more like providers of health care services, and require CMS to collect cost data utilizing a methodology that would likely result in usable information and not be an unnecessary burden on rural ambulance services. Senator Roberts was presented the award by Brandon Beck, President of the Kansas EMS Association (KEMSA), and other KEMSA representatives as well as Shawn Baird of Woodburn Ambulance (OR) AAA Treasurer and Vice Chair of the AAA Government Affairs Committee. In appreciation of his ongoing (more…)