40 Under 40: Amanda Shell Jennings (Priority Ambulance – Knoxville, TN)

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. ____ Amanda Shell Jennings Director of Marketing and Communications Priority Ambulance Knoxville, Tennessee ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Dennis Rowe ____ Biography: As Director of Marketing and Communications, Amanda Shell Jennings manages internal and external communications throughout the Priority Ambulance family of companies. Jennings provided marketing and public relations support for the company since its founding in 2014 in her previous role as Senior Account Executive with public relations firm Moxley Carmichael. Prior to joining Priority Ambulance, Jennings was a top performing account executive at premier East Tennessee public relations firm Moxley Carmichael for five years, where she created and executed strategic communications plans for Priority Ambulance, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, US Nitrogen, and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, among other clients. Jennings specializes in media relations, event planning, marketing, crisis communications, internal communications, and social media strategy. Jennings is involved in local professional organizations. Jennings currently serves on the Communications Committee for the American Ambulance Association and as Treasurer of the Volunteer Chapter of the Public Relations Society (more…)

40 Under 40: William Pitt (Puckett EMS – Chattanooga, TN)

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. ____ William Pitt Vice President of Operations, Southeast Tennessee/Northwest Georgia Puckett EMS (Member of the Priority Ambulance family of companies) Chattanooga, TN ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Amanda Jennings (Priority Ambulance – Knoxville, TN) ____ Biography: Will Pitt has more than 15 years of experience in the emergency medical service field. As Vice President of Operations, Pitt oversees a 250-person team serving 10 hospitals and five counties with 9-1-1 service in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia for Puckett EMS. During Pitt’s time at Puckett EMS, the service has seen a 40 percent increase in service volume in his region. Pitt has also been instrumental in the design and launch of the Puckett EMS Training Academy, the largest initial education program in the region. The academy provides annual opportunities for EMT, EMT-Advanced, and Paramedic certification training to the region. Prior to his work at Puckett, Pitt spent seven years at Walker County Fire and Emergency Services where he advanced from the field to senior management ultimately serving as the Chief of EMS. During his tenure, (more…)

2018 AMBY Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 AMBY Awards. The AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. The mission of the awards is to showcase creativity and innovation in the ambulance industry by fostering a culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. This year’s awards will be presented at the Annual Conference & Trade Show Awards Reception on September 7, 2018. Please join us in congratulating our 2018 winners! Clinical Outcome Program Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. | Vallejo, CA Community Impact Program NorthStar EMS, Inc. | Tuscaloosa, AL Employee Programs Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA Innovation in EMS Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN Mercy Ambulance Service, Inc. | Savannah, GA Public Relations Campaign MEDIC EMS Agency | Charlotte, NC Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA Quality Improvement Program Sunstar Paramedics | Largo, FL Patient and Employee Safety Program Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN Once again, join us in celebrating the 2018 winners! Learn more about the AMBYs.  

Alabama Governor Signs REPLICA Compact

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law Alabama’s REPLICA legislation, HB250. Alabama joins ten other states—Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Georgia—in this forward-thinking interstate compact. REPLICA, the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact,  recognizes the day-to-day movement of EMS personnel across state lines. It extends the privilege to practice under authorized circumstances to EMS personnel based on their home state license, as well as allows for the rapid exchange of licensure history between Compact member states.. Learn more about how REPLICA participation can help your state at http://www.emsreplica.org.

REPLICA Compact Enacted

REPLICA Meets Goal, Interstate Compact Becomes Official May 8, 2017 For Immediate Release Contact: Sue Prentiss 603-381-9195 prentiss@emsreplica.org May 8, 2017 (Falls Church, VA). With the 10th member state enactment, the Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) has become official. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed Senate Bill 109 on today activating the nation’s first EMS licensure compact. States that have passed REPLICA to date include: Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, Tennessee, Idaho, Utah, Mississippi, Wyoming and Georgia. Released in 2014, REPLICA’s model legislation creates a formal pathway for the licensed individual to provide pre-hospital care across state lines under authorized circumstances. According to Keith Wages, president of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), “REPLICA represents a collective, nationwide effort to address the problems faced by responders when needing to cross state borders in the line of their duties.” Wages highlighted the compact’s abilities to “increase access to healthcare, reduce regulatory barriers for EMS responders, and place an umbrella of quality over cross border practice not previously seen in the EMS profession.” Wages also noted that the partnership with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) has been essential during the advocacy and implementation phases. (more…)

House Holds Hearing on Veterans Choice Program

The House VA Committee hearing started at 7:30 p.m., but it was well-attended and lasted until 10 p.m. The witnesses included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), VA Secretary David Shulkin, and representatives of the VA Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office. Senator McCain and Secretary Shulkin were both warmly welcomed by Members of the Committee on a bipartisan basis. Chairman Roe (R-TN) emphasized the need to act quickly to extend the authorization for the Veterans Choice Program, which expires on August 7. To that end, the House VA Committee is voting today on a bill to eliminate the sunset of the program’s authorization. In addition, the Committee will consider broader legislation later this year to make comprehensive reforms to the Choice Program. He noted that the VA has additional funds available but will not be able to spend them once the authorization expires. A copy of Chairman Roe’s opening statement is available here. Secretary Shulkin testified in support of extending the Choice Program, and he clarified that the VA was not seeking additional funding – just the authority to spend funds already obligated. He noted that the VA already is being forced to deny Choice Program coverage to...

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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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