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PAAW is dedicated to healthy, sustainable ambulance and emergency medical service delivery in Wisconsin

Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
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Current News and Information from PAAW

May 20, 2015

Department of Health Services releases Legislative Audit Bureau report on non emergency medical transportation

The Department of Health Services (DHS) administers the State’s Medical Assistance program, which includes non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services (to include ambulance providers) for individuals with low and moderate incomes. From August 2013 through June 2014, Medical Transportation Management (MTM), Inc., a transportation broker with which DHS has contracted, provided 2.3 million trips to approximately 69,300 Medical Assistance recipients. The Legislative Audit Bureau analyzed concerns with the transportation provided by MTM, including no-shows and late arrivals, and made recommendations to improve NEMT services and enhance oversight by DHS.

>> Non Emergency Medical Transportation (full report)

>> Briefing sheet

>> Report highlights

May 20, 2015

Ambulance concerns in Lafayette County

If you were ever in an accident, you'd expect the closest first responders would be the ones to help you. But that's not the case in certain parts of southern Wisconsin. There's an area where the wait time for an ambulance has jumped from five minutes to nearly 30 and it's all because of a state regulation.

Note:  The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin Board of Directors, along with the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association, Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and Wisconsin EMS Association, is currently working with the National Association of State EMS Officials to have Wisconsin join a national effort to adopt legislation, called REPLICA, that would alleviate the problem with cross border ambulance personnel licensure.  Illinois is the only non National Registry state.  In addition, the state's fire and EMS stakeholder associations are coordinating efforts regarding cross border mutual aid legislation.  >> Click for a webcast interview on REPLICA.

May 20, 2015

Lawsuit against hospitals sending patients home in ambulances could have nationwide impact

A federal prosecutor in Jacksonville, Florida has developed a legal strategy that could have hospitals across the country on the hook for billions of dollars in unnecessary ambulance services.

U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said a group of Jacksonville hospitals has agreed to reimburse the federal government for ambulance companies’ inappropriate billing despite the hospitals not receiving direct financial gain.

The legal strategy allows the government to sue because the hospitals were the cause of the fraudulent billing by calling the ambulance services to take patients from the hospital to their residence and provided the necessary forms to bill federal health care programs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The total amount of the settlement is about $7.5 million.

The hospitals agreed to reimburse the government $6.25 million for non-emergency ambulance rides. An ambulance service agreed to pay $1.25 million.

>> Click to read more

May 18, 2015

Every Wisconsin Ambulance Service to Benefit from TRIP

This PAAW driven initiative simply awaits Governor Walker's signature

A bill introduced by Rep. Paul Tittl and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has passed both the Assembly and Senate, and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.  Once signed by Governor Walker, the new law would let the Department of Revenue apply its tax refund intercept program (TRIP) to debts owed to all Wisconsin ambulance services who wish to access it. 

Essentially, DOR could reduce a person’s tax refund by the amount needed to cover the unpaid costs of those services as long as they were performed pursuant to a contract with a municipality or county and are in response to a 911 call in that area. TRIP does not, however, apply to patients with Medicare or Medicaid. 

Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, proposed the bill, and, according to his office, it arose from complaints that some ambulance companies carry bad debt because when insurance carriers mail a check directly to the patient for the cost of their services, the money is not always used for its intended purpose in paying the ambulance bill.

According to PAAW President Patrick Ryan, “Because of the efforts of PAAW, now all 911 ambulance providers can use TRIP as a means to collect on bad debt that continues to go unpaid by the patient for vital services rendered to them. This is another tool to help insure the strength and vitality of EMS in Wisconsin”.

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin has pursued TRIP legislation the past seven years, with the last two years showing the most promise in getting passed.  PAAW is represented by Michael Brozek with Midwest Strategies, a government relations firm in Madison.

CBS News 58 in Milwaukee recently interviewed Bell Ambulance Operations Director Chris Anderson regarding TRIP.  Click the player below to watch.


May 18, 2015

National EMS Week - May 17 to 23

National EMS Week is May 17 to 23.  It is a great time to create community and department events and opportunities around EMS, and spotlight the people who deliver patient care and operate within the system.  National EMS Week is sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the National Association of EMTs.

To coordinate the occasion, Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed Wisconsin EMS Week, May 17-23.  >> Click to download Governor Walker's Wisconsin EMS Week Proclamation

The Wisconsin EMS Office issued a statement, "We would like to thank you for your partnership in the Wisconsin EMS System. Your contributions to the Wisconsin EMS System ensure the highest level and quality of pre-hospital emergency medical care in your communities throughout Wisconsin. As always, the EMS office and the Department of Health Services appreciates your commitment to EMS in Wisconsin and our continued partnership to make the system the best it can be."

May 6, 2015

Live Show recording with Randolph Mantooth now on-line

Over 3,200 downloads within the first two weeks!

>> Click to listen now or go to http://tobtr.com/s/7522693

Meet real life Firefighter Paramedic John Gage from EMERGENCY!  Learn why he believes the 1970s hit TV show was such a success - and why it's still referred to so often nearly 40 years after it first aired.  The NBC program was watched by 30 million viewers per episode for seven straight years from 1972 to 1979.

The interview includes Pioneer of Paramedicine Dr. Eugene Nagel, Randolph Mantooth and Nancy McFarland.  They are responsible for the rise of Paramedics in the 1960s and 70s.  Find out what it means for us today and how this great EMS industry history has been archived!

The 60 minute program was dedicated to discussing the start of Paramedic systems, those responsible for its rise in the 1960's and 70's, the determination and vision it took, and based on their experiences how they see the industry evolving into Community Paramedicine!

(Picture insert:  Dr. Nagel and Randolph Mantooth on May 7, 2010 standing by the original Squad 51 used in the 1970's hit TV show EMERGENCY!  Nancy McFarland brought them together to record the early history of EMS)

Randolph Mantooth is widely known for his role as Paramedic John Gage in the TV series EMERGENCY! -- the show that transformed America's perception and approach to emergency medical care in the 1970s and introduced millions to the word "paramedic" for the first time. Mr. Mantooth is a popular speaker at Fire and EMS events, and an advocate for firefighter health and safety.  His website is www.RandolphMantooth.com.

Upcoming Wisconsin EMS Live show webcasts:

>> June 9 EMS Controlled Narcotics:  The Chain of Custody, Diversion and Best Practices.  Guests: Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Wisconsin Supervisor Kathy Federico, Wisconsin Ambulance Inspector Paul Schilling, and Baraboo District Ambulance Chief Dana Sechler.

More information at www.PAAW.us/wisconsinemslive

May 5, 2015

EMS Advisory Board announces openings on sub-committees, invites applications

The Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board announced it will have sub-committee elections.  Interested persons are encouraged to apply for committee positions by May 26, 2015.  Elections will take place at the June 3 EMS Advisory Board meeting at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.  All applicants are invited to address the EMS Advisory Board at the June 3 meeting. 

Subcommittees are formed to address specific issues and develop recommendations for EMS Advisory Board consideration.  There are four subcommittees accepting applications:

  1. System Quality and Data
  2. EMS Education and Training
  3. EMS System Development and Management
  4. EMS Physician Advisory Committee

All persons interested in serving on a subcommittee should submit their application (Form F-00568) to dhsemssmail@wisconsin.gov by Tuesday, May 26, 2015. For more information about the WI EMS Board information, please visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ems/boards/index.htm.

May 4, 2015

PAAW begins new featured blog:  "Standby for Tones"

Within the past few weeks, the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin began featuring  writings on its website by Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance employee and Critical Care Paramedic Crystal Wallin.

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli, "We never considered a writers blog until PAAW board member and Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance Executive Director Tom Tornstrom suggested the idea."  He added, "Tom shared a few of Crystal's writings with me.  She has the natural ability to put you, the reader, right in the human experience as an EMT and patient caregiver - and the range of emotions the job and work life deliver." 

Covelli shared Wallin's writings with EMS World Editorial Director Nancy Perry, who quickly agreed it is very good.  Perry offered Wallin space at EMSWorld.com for her writings and visibility to an audience of 50,000 online readers.  EMS World is a leading national EMS magazine and online publisher of EMS news, information and content.

According to Wallin, "This is all so surreal".

>> Click to review Wallin's featured blog, "Standby for Tones".

(Picture insert:  Crystal Wallin, featured writer and Critical Care Paramedic at Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance, La Crosse.  Photo credit: Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune)

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities

Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP)
Community Paramedicine / Mobile Integrated Healthcare
Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA)
Stars of Life 2015 Awards and Recognition Event
Collaboration with Dept of Health Services/EMS Office

WI Medicaid Patient Transportation Rates

Next Live Show

Tuesday, June 9 

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


EMS Controlled Narcotics, Chain of Custody, Drug Diversion, Best Practice Examples 

Guests: DEA Inspector, Wisconsin Ambulance Inspector, Baraboo District Ambulance Chief

Also, info on REACH-A-CHILD

Dial in number to listen to the live show or speak with the co-hosts and guests:  


Or listen on any internet connected device - even email in a question.

Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year

Over 400,000

>> See who's a PAAW member.  Not a PAAW member? That's okay. Subscribe to receive free email updates and alerts from PAAW.  >> C lick to get started.

Same Tool, Enhanced Use:  Nasal Cannula Apneic Oxygenation

(Posted 4/27/15 - Run Time 18 min:45 sec)


Dr. Mark Westfall
Medical Director, Gold Cross Ambulance (Fox Valley) & PAAW

PAAW continues to monitor the ongoing EMS pharmaceutical drug and IV fluids backorder situation by posting weekly updates, courtesy of Bound Tree Medical.

Through a special arrangement with EMS World magazine, PAAW members and their employees or volunteers receive a free 12-month subscription, a $40 value. 

Stay on top of national EMS news, tips, a variety of topics and special reports - delivered right to your home or work address or e-mail account the beginning of every month!  >> Click to receive this benefit.

Monitor Police, Fire and EMS Radio Traffic Around the U.S.!

Browse over 2,000 police, fire and EMS scanner monitoring stations around the U.S. with a simple click of your computer mouse.  It's sure to make any scanner junkie go wild!

>> Click here to find out more about selecting your own monitoring station or click the scanner below to open the audio player for Milwaukee County Fire radio traffic.

Milwaukee County Fire
(click scanner below to activate feed)

Winamp Aplha Display

Crystal Wallin

Wisconsin Critical Care Paramedic and Nationally Featured Writer

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

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