EMS Week Featured Service | Metro West Ambulance, Inc.

Metro West Ambulance, Inc. Hillsboro, Oregon Facebook | Twitter  Meet Metro West Ambulance, Inc. Metro West Ambulance Services, Inc. has a history rich in meeting the needs and caring for those we serve from very small rural communities to large urban areas. We’ve had great successes, marked many firsts in our industry, have been a part of the evolution of prehospital care over the decades. Founded in 1953, we have grown from a small base operation in  Forest Grove, Oregon to the largest and oldest continuously owner-operated ambulance service in the Pacific Northwest. Today our Family of Companies has over 900 employees and includes seven licensed ALS ambulance services in Oregon, one licensed ALS ambulance service in northern California, and one brokerage in Oregon serving the Pacific Northwest. Under the guidance of J.D. Fuiten, our founder’s son and our company’s owner and President, Metro West Ambulance has expanded into a Family of Companies serving Oregon, Washington and northern California.  Our companies include Metro West Ambulance, Pacific West Ambulance, Medix Ambulance, Bay Cities Ambulance, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, Mid-Valley Ambulance, Del Norte Ambulance and Woodburn Ambulance. Metro West Ambulance , serving Washington County and the Portland Metro region provides  911 response and (more…)

40 Under 40: Jenn Ford (Mid-Valley Ambulance – Springfield, OR)

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. ____ Jenn Ford Manager Mid-Valley Ambulance Springfield, OR ____ Nominated by: Shawn Baird (Metro West Ambulance – Hillsboro, OR) ____ Biography: Jenn started her career in EMS with Charleston Fire department as a volunteer. Soon afterward, Jenn decided to attend an in-house EMR class and received her First Responder certification. Jenn became interested in dispatching and was able to take a dispatching course in Coos Bay, OR. After becoming a Emergency Medical Dispatch certified dispatcher, Jenn began working with Bay Cities Ambulance. In 2006 when the organization was acquired and there was a lot of transition with our leadership team, Jenn just naturally stepped up to fill the void. Jenn accepted the roll of Dispatch Manager but also accepted other duties to include managing the wheelchair department and becoming an essential part of senior leadership. Jenn also went on to receive her EMT certification. ____ Reason for Nomination: Jenn’s has a strong work ethic and unwavering commitment to her community. When the opportunity for growth presented itself, Jenn accepted the position of Operations (more…)

40 Under 40: Sabrina E. Riggs (Oregon State Ambulance Association – Lake Oswego, OR)

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. ____ Sabrina E. Riggs Lobbyist Oregon State Ambulance Association Lake Oswego, OR ____ Nominated by: Shawn Baird ____ Reason for Nomination Sabrina is a lobbyist for the Oregon State Ambulance Association (OSAA). Sabrina has helped defeat a bill that would have disturbed the unbiased way that ambulance contracts are assigned. Sabarina successfully lobbied all sponsors to pull their name from the bill. After having GEMT denied for private providers, Sabrina worked with agency staff, stakeholders, and OSAA to find a viable alternative for private ambulance service providers. This Included conducting an in-depth survey of OSAA members, complicated formulas, and then drafting language, working with legislators, agency staff, and building coalitions. Sabrina also worked to kill and/or amend legislation that would create unnecessary cost burden on EMS providers. ____ View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Matthew Philbrick (Mercy Flights, Inc. – Medford, OR)

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. ____ Matthew Philbrick Medical Operations Manager Mercy Flights, Inc. Medford, OR ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: John Becknell (SafeTech Solutions, LLP.) ____ Biography: Matt Philbrick is a California native but has been living in Southern Oregon for over 11 years. Matt is a Paramedic and currently works as the Medical Operations Manager of the non-profit Mercy Flights. Matt started his career as a Paramedic over a decade ago with the desire to ‘help people in need’ and has continued that philosophy in his current position. Matt now, “takes care of the people that are taking care of our community” and finds great pleasure in helping responders have meaningful careers in Emergency Medical Services. Matt’s career in EMS has taken him in several directions including Ski Patrol, Volunteer Firefighting, ground 9-1-1 ambulance care, and critical care flight medicine. At Mercy Flights, Matt has had the opportunity to grow as a both a clinician and a leader. In his current role, Matt helps plan organic growth for the company and also manages a dynamic operation. Currently (more…)

40 Under 40: Tom Krowkowski (Umpqua Valley Ambulance – Roseburg, OR)

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. ____ Tom Krowkowski Operations Manager Umpqua Valley Ambulance Roseburg, OR ____ Nominated by: Shawn Baird (Metro West Ambulance – Hillsboro, OR) ____ Biography: Tom graduated from high school in Roseburg and went to Umpqua Community College while pursuing his associate degree in music. While studying, Tom was selected to participate in the “Umpqua Singers” and had the honor of traveling with them in 2006 while they traveled across county to deliver the “National Christmas Tree” to Washington, DC. During this trip they played approximately eight venues per day over 30 days. Once arriving in DC, Tom performed for Vice President Dick Cheney and numerous members of congress. After receiving this associate degree, Tom went to work for Roseburg Forest Products work while learning to do all of the different tasks. While there, Tom had the opportunity to do a ride along with a close family friend who was a career firefighter with Douglas County Fire District #2. Tom was so intrigued after the ride along that while working graveyard shift, he went back (more…)

January Law Changes– OR, NJ, NY, NV

Oregon Pregnancy Accommodations Law   Following many other states, the new law prohibits employers from deny employment opportunities to applicants or employees who need reasonable accommodations due to or related to their pregnancy or childbirth.  New Jersey Pay Inquiry Restrictions   This law prohibits screening candidates based upon an applicant’s prior wage history. It is also illegal to establish a job candidate’s salary or benefits compensation based upon their prior salary or wage history. New York Pay Inquiry Restrictions   This law prohibits all employers from inquiring about a job candidate’s wage history or relying on prior wage levels in establishing compensation or benefits. Nevada Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Restrictions   This law exempts employees who are firefighters, EMTs or who operate motor vehicles during the course of their duties.  While this would eliminate many positions within an EMS agency.  EMS employers who are not Federal Contractors or Grantees, need to heed these restrictions for those positions within their organization that do not fit into one of the exempt positions below....

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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…)

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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2016 AMBY Best Public Relations Campaign: EMSA, CPR Education Program

EMSA CPR Education Program Awarded a 2016 AMBY for Best Public Relations Campaign Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) | Tulsa, Oklahoma EMSA, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, is Oklahoma’s largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care. We provide ambulance service to more than 1.1 million residents in central and northeast Oklahoma. EMSA was established in Tulsa in 1977 and later expanded to include Bixby, Jenks and Sand Springs. EMSA began providing service to Oklahoma City in 1990. EMSA is the ambulance provider in 16 cities across the state. As a public trust authority of the City of Tulsa and City of Oklahoma City governments, EMSA is charged with ensuring the highest quality of emergency medical service at the best possible price. There are several entities that work together in the EMSA system, including the Cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the medical director, and the contracted ambulance provider. EMSA oversees all business aspects including ambulances and other capital equipment, maintaining patient records, billing and more. The medical director conducts routine audits and testing of all medics practicing in the system, writes seamless protocols to ensure the continuity of care between first responders and transport medics, researches new treatment modalities and evaluates complaints. EMSA (more…)

2016 AMBY Best Community Impact Program: AMR, River Rescue Program

American Medical Response River Rescue Program Awarded a 2016 AMBY for Best Community Impact Program AMR | Oregon The Oregon River Safety Program (aka AMR River Rescue Program) is provided by American Medical Response (AMR) as a community service for two communities it serves in Oregon. The program is the only one of its kind exclusively operated by a private EMS provider, supported by strong community partnerships, and was developed after a series of thirteen drowning deaths over five years in the 1990s at two popular river parks. Ten years earlier, AMR developed its Reach and Treat (RAT) Wilderness Medicine Program to provide medical care for people ill or injured on Mount Hood and the surrounding national forest. Since Swift Water Rescue was part of the existing Reach and Treat Teams training and competency, AMR worked with the Troutdale City Council and a group of dedicated civic leaders to launch the River Rescue Program in July, 1999. For the remainder of the summer, AMR used its RAT Team members as Swift Water Rescue Specialists to staff the new River Rescue program. The program was developed to meet the certification standards of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) for open water lifeguarding, and is staffed by (more…)

Metro West Ambulance’s Mobile Integrated Heath Program is a leader in the emerging world of community paramedicine and MIH.  The successes in our programs have been centered on the strong relationships we have built with our health system partners.  This partnership allows Metro West Ambulance MIH paramedics to better participate in the longitudinal care of our patients instead of the focused, episodic care of traditional EMS. We have now positioned ourselves as an integral part of the health care team.  The value of an MIH paramedic continues to expand as the skills, tools and knowledge of the paramedic profession as a whole continues to increase.

As the success of the MIH programs across the country continue to prove their value, we look forward to full recognition by CMS as a valuable patient care service that should be recognized outside of the traditional transport fee for service.

JD Fuiten
CEO, Metro West Ambulance
Director, AAA Board
2015 AAA Distinguished Service Award Winner
Hillsboro, OR

MetroWest’s JD Fuiten on Mobile Integrated Health

Medicaid Waivers to End Coverage of Non-Emergency Transportation

By David M. Werfel, Esq | AAA Medicare Consultant Updated February 16, 2016 Federal law requires that state Medicaid programs cover necessary transportation to and from health care providers in order to ensure access to care. However, as a result of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and cost increases, recently, a few states have asked CMS to waive the requirement for non-emergency transportation so they can end coverage of non-emergency transportation. CMS granted waivers to Iowa and Indiana. Pennsylvania received permission, but the subsequent change in the governor’s office altered the state’s expansion plans and state officials ultimately chose not to use it. Arizona has a pending request to provide prior authorization. When Iowa was granted the waiver, a beneficiary survey was conducted to determine the impact on access to care. The survey found some beneficiaries with incomes under the poverty level did not have transportation to or from a healthcare visit. Other beneficiaries said a lack of transportation could prevent them from getting a physical exam in the coming year. However, CMS stated the cases of negative impact were not statistically significant enough to discontinue the waiver. As a result of the complaints, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (more…)