EMS Week Featured Service | Harris County Emergency Corps

Harris County Emergency Corps Houston, Texas Facebook Meet Harris County Emergency Corps Committed to preserving lives through clinical excellence, progressive medicine, and professional service, Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) is a premier EMS agency and the only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accredited agency with headquarters in Houston. HCEC was the first EMS agency formed in the state of Texas (1933). Serving approximately 400,000 citizens in 76 square miles in north Harris County, HCEC provides 911 services for Harris County Emergency Services District No. 1. HCEC also provides event medical coverage across Texas, trains clinicians with highly specialized classes, communicates with 11 other agencies through our innovative dispatch center, and leads Houston’s first Community Health Paramedic Program. The Harris County Emergency Corps COVID-19 Response With the pandemic of COVID-19, HCEC has seen a remarkable team pull together to tackle new challenges in our community and our organization.  Utilizing the power of social media, website content, and informational flyers for our community, we have attempted to keep the public informed of best practices and resources available to them for assistance.  Responding to emergencies with an emphasis on patient and crew safety has been a top priority. Harris County and the (more…)

40 Under 40: James Campbell (Montgomery County Hospital District EMS – Conroe, TX)

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. ____ James Campbell Chief of EMS Montgomery County Hospital District EMS Conroe, TX ____ LinkedIn | Twitter Nominated by: Misti Willingham (Montgomery County Hospital District EMS – Conroe, TX) ____ Biography: Chief Campbell joined Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) in June of 2018 and began his role as the Chief of EMS in March of 2019. Chief Campbell began his EMS and Fire career in 2002 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Upon returning to Texas in 2008, Chief Campbell joined the City of Celina Fire Department, where he served as the EMS Captain for four years. Chief Campbell is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Emergency Health Sciences from The University of Texas Health Science Center. Chief Campbell is committed to working closely with the MCHD Board of Directors, other first responder agencies, and hospital partners to continue a successful and collaborative healthcare model in Montgomery County. Chief Campbell is a certified member of the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE), serves as a member on the Governor’s EMS & Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) (more…)

40 Under 40: Remle P. Crowe, PhD (ESO – Austin, TX)

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. ____ Remle P. Crowe, PhD Research Scientist & Performance Improvement Manager ESO Austin, TX ____ LinkedIn | Twitter Nominated by: Amanda Riordan ____ Biography: Dr. Remle Crowe is an expert in using data to power quality improvement and research initiatives in EMS. Remle’s career in EMS began as a volunteer EMT and instructor in Mexico City with the Red Cross. During that time, Remle also worked as a Power-train Quality Engineer at Ford Motor Company, where she received black belt training in Six Sigma quality improvement methodology. From truck clutches to clinical care, Dr. Crowe has shown how improvement science and sound research methodology work to solve problems across any field. As an EMT with a passion for advancing EMS, Remle earned her PhD in Epidemiology and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. Now, as a research scientist and performance improvement manager at ESO, Dr. Crowe routinely uses data to improve community health and safety. ____ Reason for Nomination: As an EMS researcher, Remle is dedicated to improving the health and safety of communities (more…)

Annual 2021 Session Submissions Are Now Open!

Please note that all session selections for the AAA 2020 Annual Conference & Trade Show have been made. The full agenda is posted to the #Ambucon20 website. If you are interested in speaking NEXT YEAR in 2021, please complete the form below. Thank you for your support and participation! AAA 2021 Session Proposals Due January 31, 2021 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show November 1–3, 2021 Gaylord Texan | Grapevine, Texas | #Ambucon21 The American Ambulance Association Annual Conference & Trade Show brings together mobile healthcare leaders from across the country to learn, network, and plan for the future of our industry. AAA Annual is committed to empowering our participants with the insights and best practices they need to serve their patients as well as operate efficiently and profitably. Speaking at the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show is your opportunity to share best practices and insights with your peers as you build your personal brand. We invite you to submit your session proposals before January 31, 2021. Topics Sample speaking proposal topics considered include, but are not limited to: Recruitment, Retention, and Human Resources Operations, Risk Management and Safety Management and Supervision Leadership Development & Structure Improved Fleet Maintenance/Management Clinical/Quality (more…)

40 Under 40: Dan Gillespie (Allegiance Mobile Health – Georgetown, TX)

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. ____ Dan Gillespie Chief Operating Officer Allegiance Mobile Health Georgetown, TX ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: David Lee (Allegiance Mobile Health – Georgetown, TX) ____ Biography: Dan Gillespie is an experienced senior level executive with over 15 years of healthcare experience. Dan has a proven track record of success in growth strategy, P&L management, cost reduction techniques, merger & acquisitions, and operations management. Dan truly cares about his patients and will do whatever it takes to deliver high quality care. Among his employees, Dan has developed a culture of empowerment with an emphasis on enabling growth from within the organization. Dan approaches each patient individually from the perspective of how best to meet their needs and solve their problems in an innovative and open-minded fashion. This can be seen by the fact that Dan puts over 1,000 miles a week on his truck in order to be able to meet in-person with patients, staff, and organizational leadership. Dan has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Organizational Leadership from the University of Indianapolis where he (more…)

Spotlight: Desiree Partain, Medstar Mobile Healthcare

Desiree Partain Mobile Integrated Healthcare Manager Medstar Mobile Healthcare Fort Worth, Texas Other Titles & Roles MIH Manager at Large, IBSC, NAEMT member Tell us a little about yourself. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, California. I have a military ( marine grandfather and navy grandfather, brother, and nephew) and first responder (law enforcement mother) family background. Days were spent in the water, whether it was our backyard pool or the beach. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me at a young age that began as the neighborhood babysitter, to various positions at assisted living facilities and finally in EMS. I learned to take pride in the things I had and my work, whether it was completing a household chore, a writing assignment at school, or the vehicles I owned. Your history with EMS My mother was a police officer in the town I was raised in so the police and fire department was often my home away from home. I can remember being so fascinated with the ambulance and in admiration of the paramedics when I would go to visit. I told my parents when I was little that when I grew up, I would become (more…)

Remembering Joe Huffman

It is with great sadness the American Ambulance Association announces the passing of long-time member and leader Joe Huffman. Obituary  Joe (Joel Claude) Huffman, a long- time member of the American Ambulance Association Board of Directors answered his Last Call July 1, 2019. after a long battle with Leukemia. Born August 11, 1954, Mr. Huffman died at his home in Garland surrounded by his family and friends. From his funeral service at First United Methodist Church of Richardson Mr. Huffman was taken in an ambulance rather than a hearse to Grove Hill Memorial  Park in Dallas The funeral procession included 17 ambulances and 14  command vehicles, as well as a police honor guard  and other mourners.  Following a rendition of Amazing Grace on  bagpipes first responders performed The Last Call ceremony. A licensed paramedic, Mr. Huffman was also active in professional organizations, serving on the board of directors of American Ambulance Association for 18 years and as a member many more years. He served as president of the Texas Ambulance Association for two years, and was on its executive board many of the more than 30 years he was a member While president of the Texas Ambulance Association, Mr. Huffman (more…)

Federal District Court Judge Strikes Down the ACA

On December 14, 2018, a federal district court judge for the Northern District of Texas issued a ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the grounds that the Individual Mandate was unconstitutional, and that the rest of the law cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny without the Individual Mandate. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision relates to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by 20 states and two individuals. The plaintiffs argued that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 — which amended the Individual Mandate to eliminate the penalty on individuals that failed to purchase qualifying insurance effect January 1, 2019 — rendered the Individual Mandate unconstitutional. The plaintiffs further argued that the Individual Mandate was inseverable from the rest of the ACA, and, therefore, that the entire ACA should be struck down. The defendants in this case were the United States of America, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar, in his capacity as the Secretary of HHS, and David J. Kautter, in his capacity as the Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 16 states and the District of Columbia intervened as additional defendants. In order to properly understand the district (more…)

CMS Extends Moratorium on Non-Emergency Ground Services

CMS Extends Temporary Moratorium on Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania On January 30, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice in the Federal Register extending the temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B non-emergency ground ambulance providers and suppliers in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The extended moratoria will run through July 29, 2018. Section 6401(a) of the Affordable Care Act granted CMS the authority to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare providers and suppliers to the extent doing so was necessary to combat fraud or abuse. On July 31, 2013, CMS used this new authority to impose a moratorium on the enrollment of new ambulance providers in Houston, Texas and the surrounding counties. On February 4, 2014, CMS imposed a second moratorium on newly enrolling ambulance providers in the Philadelphia metropolitan areas. These moratoriums were subsequently extended on August 1, 2014, February 2, 2015, July 28, 2015, and February 2, 2016. On August 3, 2016, CMS announced changes to the moratoria on the enrollment of new ground ambulance suppliers. Specifically, CMS announced that: (1) the enrollment moratoria would be lifted for the...

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Is the TX Moratorium Ending?

Is CMS Ending the Temporary Moratorium on Enrollment of New Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Providers in Texas? On September 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a notice on its website that it was lifting the temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Part B non-emergency ambulance suppliers in Texas, effective September 1, 2017.  CMS indicated that the lifting of this temporary moratorium was intended to aid in the disaster response to Hurricane Harvey. For reasons I will discuss in greater detail below, this explanation has struck a number of commentators as curious.  These commentators have speculated that this may notice may foretell a permanent elimination of the enrollment moratorium for non-emergency ground ambulance providers in Texas. Background on Temporary Moratorium on New Enrollments in Texas The Affordable Care Act granted CMS several new tools to combat fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.  This included Section 6401(a), which granted the CMS Secretary the authority to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP providers to the extent the Secretary determined that doing was necessary to prevent fraud and abuse. The implementation of the first enrollment moratorium...

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CMS Lifts Moratorium Enrollment Non-Emergency Providers (TX)

In order to assist with the disaster response to Hurricane Harvey, CMS has announced that it has lifted the temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Part B non-emergency ambulance suppliers in Texas, effective September 1, 2017. The lifting of this moratorium applies to new enrollments in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CMS indicated that it will publish a notice in the Federal Register to formally announce the lifting of the moratorium. As a result, Part B ambulance suppliers that are not otherwise already enrolled as non-emergency ambulance provider in the State of Texas will be permitted to enroll in the Medicare Program. The lifting of the moratorium will also permit companies that are already enrolled as non-emergency ambulance suppliers to add additional practice locations throughout the state. CMS has indicated that both new enrollments and changes in enrollment to add additional practice locations will be subject to “high” screening under 42 C.F.R. §424.518(c)(3)(iii).

CMS Extends Moratorium on Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance

CMS Extends Temporary Moratorium on Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas On July 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice in the Federal Register extending the temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B non-emergency ground ambulance providers and suppliers in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The extended moratoria will run through January 29, 2018. Section 6401(a) of the Affordable Care Act granted CMS the authority to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare providers and suppliers to the extent doing so was necessary to combat fraud or abuse. On July 31, 2013, CMS used this new authority to impose a moratorium on the enrollment of new ambulance providers in Houston, Texas and the surrounding counties. On February 4, 2014, CMS imposed a second moratorium on newly enrolling ambulance providers in the Philadelphia metropolitan areas. On August 3, 2016, CMS announced changes to the moratoria on the enrollment of new ground ambulance suppliers. Specifically, CMS announced that: (1) the enrollment moratoria would be lifted for the enrollment of new emergency ambulance providers and supplier and (2) the enrollment moratoria on non-emergency ambulance services...

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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.

Congressman Kenny Marchant to Receive AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Kenny Marchant 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 Kenny Marchant of Texas with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Marchant will be presented this award in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Texas Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Lone Star State are Chris Eachen of Paramedics Plus; Cindy Hitchcock of American Medical Response; Rhonda Dees-Lockwood, and Sloane Brown of Acadian Ambulance Service; and Thomas Faticone, Daniel Dormady, and Elizabeth Roden of MedStar Mobile Healthcare. Congressman Marchant was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for his support of the Medicare ambulance temporary add-on increases and the super rural bonus payment. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Congressman Marchant has been a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in Texas and across our country.” Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, Congressman Marchant represents Texas’s 24th congressional district. Congressman Marchant serves on the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittees on Health and Tax Policy, as well as on the (more…)

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…)

Congressman Kevin Brady Receives AAA Legislative Honor

Congressman Kevin Brady to Receive 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 Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas with a Legislative Recognition Award in appreciation of his advocacy for emergency medical services. Congressman Brady will be presented this honor in June in Washington, DC by AAA’s Texas Stars of Life—EMS personnel selected for their excellence and dedication. This year’s Stars from the Lone Star State are Chris Eachen of Paramedics Plus; Cindy Hitchcock of American Medical Response; Rhonda Dees-Lockwood, and Sloane Brown of Acadian Ambulance Service; and Thomas Faticone, Daniel Dormady, and Elizabeth Roden of MedStar Mobile Healthcare. Congressman Brady was selected for the Legislative Recognition Award for his leadership on health care issues and help ensuring the extension of the Medicare temporary ambulance add-on payments. AAA President Mark Postma notes, “Congressman Brady has been a trusted advocate for health care and emergency medical services, both in Texas and across our country. The AAA is proud to present him with a Legislative Recognition Award.” Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 from Texas’s 8th congressional district, Congressman Brady is the Chairman of the House Ways (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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Status of the American Health Care Act

Today, citing “growing pains” of his Republican majority, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), in consultation with President Donald Trump, determined not to proceed with a planned vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which repealed and replaced important elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Speaker indicated that the House Republican Caucus “came up short” in the number of votes needed for the bill.  House Republican Leadership had been moving AHCA through the Chamber at a rapid pace.  The bill was officially released on March 6, and had been changed several times to try to appease various conservative and moderate voting blocs within the Republican Caucus.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated the bill would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion, and subsequently downgraded the deficit reduction to $150 billion based on additional substantive policy changes to the bill.  The CBO estimates the bill would have increased the country’s number of uninsured by about 24 million people. In negotiating the provisions of AHCA, the House Republican Leadership had faced a constant seesaw, as efforts to appease one ideological bloc upset the other.  Ultimately, throughout the day in advance of the scheduled vote, an increasing number of moderate Republicans,...

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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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CMS Extends Temporary Moratorium (NJ, PA, TX)

On January 9, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice in the Federal Register extending the temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B non-emergency ground ambulance providers and suppliers in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The extended moratoria will run through July 29, 2017. Section 6401(a) of the Affordable Care Act granted CMS the authority to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare providers and suppliers to the extent doing so was necessary to combat fraud or abuse. On July 31, 2013, CMS used this new authority to impose a moratorium on the enrollment of new ambulance providers in Houston, Texas and the surrounding counties. On February 4, 2014, CMS imposed a second moratorium on newly enrolling ambulance providers in the Philadelphia metropolitan areas. These moratoria have been extended every six months thereafter. However, on August 3, 2016, CMS announced changes to its existing moratoria on the enrollment of new ground ambulance suppliers. Specifically, CMS announced that the moratoria would be lifted for the enrollment of new emergency ambulance providers and supplier, but that it would expand the enrollment moratorium on non-emergency ambulance services to cover the...

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