Welcome letter from PAAW President Patrick Ryan
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March 5, 2014
Ambulance Chassis Shortage Predicted Throughout 2014
Both Ford and GM, the primary producers of chassis for our industry, will be producing fewer chassis for ambulance production in calendar year 2014.
The slowdown has already started at Ford, where a V-10 engine commodity problem has curtailed the availability of Econoline 6.8L vans and cutaways so far this year. Many ambulance manufacturers are reporting they are virtually out of both models, and that new chassis will be scarce for the foreseeable future.
The shortage will escalate in June, when Ford cutaway (Type III) production is shut down for 6 weeks due to a plant modification. In addition, the venerable Econoline van, long the workhorse of our industry, will be completely discontinued at that same time. It will be replaced by the new Ford Transit as part of Ford’s global plan.
Industry sources state that the Transit startup in a new Ford plant will be slower than planned, and that the gas powered Transit vans with the required ambulance package are not expected to be available until early calendar 2015. Diesel powered Transit vans may be available slightly earlier.
GM is also making some moves that will affect the supply of their ambulance chassis in 2014. A startup of production for a new mid-size pickup in the same GM plant that produces the G series vans and cutaways will reduce the production of those models by approximately 50% in the second half of calendar 2014. GM does not have any significant changes in their ambulance chassis models scheduled in the short term.
Supplies of Ford F cab chassis, Sprinter, International, Freightliner and Ram ambulance chassis appear to be normal, and no shortage is anticipated in those models at this time.
Source: American Ambulance Association
February 25, 2014
PAAW's Next Board Meeting Agenda Posted
The Professional Ambulance Association Board of Directors will convene next on Thursday, March 6th, starting at 10:00 AM in Portage at Divine Savior Healthcare (EMS). The meeting is open to person's interested in EMS in Wisconsin. You do not need to be a PAAW member to attend. If you cannot attend in-person, please join by teleconference. A free lunch is offered following the meeting and is sponsored by meeting host Divine Savior EMS.
Click here for the meeting agenda. Click here for the Board of Director's meeting webpage.
February 22, 2014
State of Wisconsin EMS Office Announces 2014-2016 Biennium License Renewal Process and Timeline
Deadline to complete your renewal application is June 30, 2014To read the long version of this memo officially released by the Wisconsin EMS Office, click here.
The mission of the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program is to ensure that the highest quality and standards of pre-hospital emergency medical care are available to all Wisconsin citizens and visitors. To operate as an EMT or Emergency Medical First Responder, one must be licensed with the State of Wisconsin and credentialed with an ambulance service.
The 2014-2016 Provider License Renewal application is now available online through individual E-Licensing accounts. The Renewal application must be completed by June 30, 2014, in order to obtain a current certification or license that is valid until June 30, 2016. All current Wisconsin EMS provider licenses and certifications expire on June 30, 2014.
Important renewal dates to remember for 2014-2016:
November 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 is the standard renewal period.
July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 is the late renewal period.
January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 is the reinstatement period.
A license or certification that has been expired for two years or more may only be reinstated by successful completion of the initial education, training and examination requirements.As an EMS provider applicant, you will need the following information to complete the 2014-2016, EMS Provider Renewal Application on the E-Licensing system:
- Your initial or continuing EMS education refresher training completed between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014;
- Your current CPR card; and
- Whether you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or deferred prosecution, since your last application, or have pending charges at this time, or received a traffic violation that led to the suspension, revocation or withdrawal of your driver's license, and all required court documentation. (You will have the opportunity to upload the documents if you have them electronically.) If you cannot upload your documents into the application, you should email them to the Wisconsin EMS program at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 608-266-6391.
2014-2016, renewal instructions by provider level
2014-2016, First Responder Renewal Instructions
2014-2016, EMT Basic Renewal Instructions
2014-2016, EMT Intermediate Technician /AEMT Renewal Instructions
2014-2016, EMT Intermediate Renewal Instructions
2014-2016, EMT Paramedic Renewal Instructions
2014-2016, EMT Paramedic with Critical Care Endorsement Renewal Instructions
February 20, 2014 - Newest Webcast Posted
AAA Update: Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act and more for EMSBesides delivering EMS care to a community, two of the most important business responsibilities an ambulance manager has is obviously billing for services provided and daily sales outstanding (the number of days from the patient being transported to the ambulance service actually being paid). Topping the list for many is the fee structure paid by Medicare (Federal), Medicaid (BadgerCare at the State of Wisconsin), and now the Affordable Care Act through health insurance exchanges.
These three important areas are discussed in this newest webcast with Tristan North, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the American Ambulance Association in Washington, D.C.
Two items covered in the webcast are worth noting:
- A current study is being completed to compile a ranking of state Medicaid rates paid to ambulance services. We know Wisconsin ranks low in rates paid for BLS and ALS patient transportation; however, the final results will be telling.
- The Affordable Care Act appears to offer insurance plans that cover many hospital charges, but not ambulance transportation. The greater concern is some of these plan options have much higher deductibles in the thousands of dollars, possibly changing the payer mix to more self-pay patient transports. This may put an ambulance service more at risk for not getting paid for 911 and other call out requests in serving the public's emergency or medical needs.
To listen to the webcast, click here.
February 11, 2014
Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Officially Exempted from Affordable Care Act MandateFire companies, ambulance services and other emergency crews that depend on volunteers to respond to calls can now officially breathe a sigh of relief. The final regulations for implementing the employer responsibility provisions under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act released on Monday, February 10, make it official: bonafide volunteers for a government or tax-exempt entity are exempted from being counted as full-time employees. Read more...
Source: The Patriot News
February 10, 2014
EMS Leadership Academy- Registration Now Open
The EMS Leadership Academy is a dynamic, four-level, 60-hour educational program designed to prepare persons to lead and manage today’s EMS organization. It is designed to give participants the basic tools and information needed to quickly and successfully assume or be in the role of an EMS leader. The program series is underwritten and sponsored by the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.
Since 2009, more than 900 leaders across the nation have participated in the Academy, many from Wisconsin during the past couple of years.
Each level is a 15-hour, two-day program presented on consecutive days in comfortable settings that invite participation and openness. Class size is limited and the sessions are engaging, lively and participatory.
Each course is two-days and costs only $40 - inclusive of both days. Meals and refreshments are included. Please note that the levels need to be taken in order. The previous level is a prerequisite for the next. Click here for the program brochure and outline.
Register on-line at: https://charge.wisc.edu/ruralhealth/workshops.asp
March 15-16, 2014
Marshfield Fire and Rescue Dept., Marshfield, WI
April 24-25, 2014
Green County EMS, Monroe, WI
April 26-27, 2014
Green County EMS, Monroe, WI
July 26-27, 2014
Lemonweir Valley Phone Company, Camp Douglas, WI
August 16-17, 2014
Three Bears Lodge, Warrens, WI
For additional information or if you have a question, contact: Kathryn Miller, Program Manager, Rural Hospitals & Clinics Program, Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, Phone: 608-261-1891.
January 20, 2014
2014 Medicare Rates Announced by CMSCMS has posted the Medicare rates for January 1, 2014 - March 31, 2014 on their web site. The rates can be accessed at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AmbulanceFeeSchedule/afspuf.html.
The rates listed reflect the extension of the temporary adjustments for ground ambulance transports through March 31, 2014. The rates do NOT reflect the 10% reduction for BLS non-emergency transports for dialysis.The other factors that influence the rates for 2014 are: (a) the inflation update of 1% and (b) the changes to the practice expense GPCIs.
Source: American Ambulance Association
January 15, 2014
Joe Covelli Named Executive Director at PAAWThe Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin hired Joe Covelli as Executive Director at its January 9th Board of Directors meeting.
Covelli succeeds Dan Williams who held the position during 2013, but resigned last month to continue to pursue EMS consulting work that demanded more of his time. Williams also co-leads the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin (PSOW) Conference, which PAAW is directly involved in. This relationship will continue and possibly expand into additional areas of interest.
PAAW President Patrick Ryan commented, “We appreciated Dan’s efforts this past year and the work he did to further the Association in key areas. We also welcome Joe back in a new, expanded role as Executive Director.”
Covelli initially joined PAAW in January 2010 as Director of Business and Development. He held that position for three years, growing the Association’s brand and identity with a newly designed website and producing an interview webcast program called EMS to the Point.
His EMS work began in 1988 at Fitch-Rona EMS in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Previously, Covelli has been Director of Sales and Public Relations with the Wisconsin EMS Association, EMS EXPO Show Manager at Cygnus Business Media and Regional Manager at Life Link III in Minneapolis.
In addition, he was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle to the Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board and served a four year term from 2004 to 2008, as well held committee positions with the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT).
Covelli earned a MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. He is an EMT-Basic with St. Croix EMS in Hudson, Wisconsin.
January 14, 2014
MTM Monthly Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Data Now OnlineIt is a great reprieve for EMS to be done dealing with LogistiCare as the State’s Medicaid beneficiary broker in scheduling transportation, to include ambulance service and rides to non-emergency medical appointments. MTM, Inc. has taken over these responsibilities and, by all accounts, is doing an excellent job.
During its short lived contract, LogistiCare cost the Wisconsin ambulance industry millions of dollars in unpaid ambulance bills, leaving many services at a financial loss, and in one instance, out of business.
While MTM has come in following the aftermath of LogistiCare, the State’s Department of Health Services has become all the wiser to prevent further embarrassment and raise the level expected for brokered transportation services. Evidence of this is MTM is required to provide the Department of Health Services a monthly report that details Non-Emergency Medical Transportation performance and quality data.
This information is online and you can view it (click here). Due to the time it takes for all of the claims to be received (approximately three months) and for the data to be compiled and validated; each monthly report will generally be available three months after the month services were provided.
December 18, 2013
Congress Passes 3-Month Ambulance Relief ExtensionWednesday, December 18, the U.S. Senate passed a two-year federal budget agreement which contained a three-month extension of the current temporary 2% urban, 3% rural and super rural increases in payments under the Medicare ambulance fee schedule. The increases were scheduled to expire on December 31 of this year and would now expire on March 31, 2014. The House had passed the agreement on December 12. The agreement now goes to the President who has stated he will sign the legislation into law.
Also, on December 12, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved a proposal to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare payments to physicians. As reported last week, the proposal includes a provision to extend for five years the temporary increases in Medicare ambulance payments. The three-month extension of the temporary fix to the physician fee schedule and ambulance increases is intended to provide Congress more time to address a permanent repeal of the SGR formula and the long-term extension of the increases in payments for ambulance services.
The House and Senate have adjourned for the year and will return in January to continue discussions on the SGR repeal and ambulance relief. We will be therefore calling on you right after the New Year to help advocate for the long-term extension of Medicare ambulance relief.
Source: American Ambulance Association
September 2013Congratulations 2013 Wisconsin Stars of Life Honorees
The picture above is of the 2013 PAAW STARS of Life. It is a true honor to be selected as a STAR and the above individuals should be very proud of this recognition.
Click the link below to learn more about each one of them and why they were selected by their local ambulance service.
FINAL v5 - 2013 WI Stars Photo Album.pdf
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