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MAAS December Newsletter
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Happy Holidays

From the MAAS office!

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

As the Holiday Season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped to shape our business and impact our lives in a most significant way.  We value our relationship with the membership and look forward to working with the MAAS membership in the years to come.

Sincerely,
Tobi Lyon Moore, Executive Director
Kelly Ann Hekler, Member Relations
Heather Kelso, Expo Manager
Sarah Mangiapagne, Expo Coordinator 
Chad Covell, Accounting
Shawn Detlor, Communications

Update from MAAS Lobbyist

Bret Marr of Muchmore, Harrington, Smalley & Associates, Inc.

Quick Election Recap – November 4th of this year, Michiganians went to the ballot to elect officials to multiple federal, state and local offices.  As you know, Governor Rick Snyder won reelection to his second and final term as the state’s Chief Executive.  Attorney General Bill Schuette won reelection as well, as did Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.  The State Senate remains under Republican control with a 27-11 majority and the State House saw Republicans increase their majority from 59-51 to 63-47 beginning in January.  The next legislative session begins January 14, 2015 and lasts for two years.
 
MAAS 2014 legislative plate full – MAAS had its busiest legislative year in recent memory.  We began the year working with the Department of Community Health (MDCH) on their package to fully fund the EMS Division in the department.  MDCH had proposed a fee package that was met with much resistance.  MAAS proposed multiple variations of increased fees but eventually the proposal was abandoned as the budget process moved forward.
 
Focus on rural EMS – MAAS has spent multiple hours on SB 885, introduced by Upper Peninsula State Senator Tom Casperson.  The MAAS Board of Directors has made two trips to the UP to educate EMS providers and first responders on the state’s EMS requirements.  I believe that MAAS’ efforts and attention to this issue have helped improve the conversation for making changes to the delivery of EMS in our state’s numerous rural areas.  SB 885 will not move this calendar year, but expect some changes to be made to rural EMS delivery early next year. 
 
Challenges for 2015 – MAAS worked in a coordinated effort over the past two year legislative cycle with all health care providers to oppose proposals to drastically reform Auto No Fault in our state.  We have been successful in keeping those proposals from passing either chamber.  With increased GOP majorities in each chamber, property and casualty insurers are looking at a more favorable environment for jamming through auto no fault “reforms”.  MAAS and its members will have to be diligent in its efforts next session by educating new and returning members on the spiraling costs of providing emergency services in our great state.  Severely reducing or eliminating auto no fault coverage could cripple the EMS community.  MAAS will keep you posted on developments in the new session on this issue.
 
MAAS also worked with other health care providers on the passage of the state’s Medicaid Expansion program, Healthy Michigan.  In light of the election results I highlighted above, there are a number of conservative members in the Michigan House who do not support “Obamacare” and want to explore defunding the Healthy Michigan program.  MAAS is concerned about the impact of removing over 475,000 from health insurance coverage that are utilizing EMS in our state.  Once again, MAAS will keep you posted as the issue begins to unfold in the new year.

MAAS Members in the News

 

Congratulations to Dale Berry from HVA and MAAS President-Elect on being recognized as the 2014 AAA Lifetime Achievement award winner at the AAA conference in Las Vegas. 

Dale Berry has served as a Board member, on the Executive Committee and as a Committee Chair for the AAA for a combined 25 years of service. He has tackled some of the AAA’s biggest issues from Bylaws to membership categories and dues.

For more information about this award, please click here.

 

Bill Grubb of Star EMS was recognized at the McLaren Oakland Foundation's Annual Black Tie Gala Saturday, November 1st for his outstanding contribution to the foundation and the communities it serves.


For more information about his recognition, click here.

2014 Bylaw Changes Pass

During the MAAS annual membership meeting that was held on Thursday, December 4th, the membership voted and passed both of the proposed bylaw changes.  Below is the new language that will be incorporated into the MAAS bylaws.

Article XIII  Section 6 (A)
An Annual Meeting of the members for election of directors for such other business as may come before the meeting shall be held each fiscal year at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors unless such action is taken by written consent pursuant to the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws.

Article III Section 1 (A) Active Membership
An Active Member must be an entity or organization licensed by the State of Michigan to provide emergency medical services and patient transport by stretcher, cot, litter, or isolette (emergent or non-emergent) and which does not provide fire-protection or fire-fighting services.

MAAS PAC Raffle

The MAAS PAC held a raffle to raise money for the PAC general fund by raffling three (3) full registrations to the 2015 EMS EXPO

Thank you to all who contributed to the MAAS PAC Raffle!  Tickets were sold in the weeks leading up to and at the 2014 Annual Meeting on December 4, where the drawing took place.

Winners Included:
Denise Landis with U of M Survival Flight
Kim Piesik with Superior Air-Ground Ambulance
Jeff Boyd with Livingston County EMS

Election Results

Voting took place at the 2014 Annual Meeting for the four (4) Director At-Large position.

Congratulation to the following candidates on their election to the 2015-2016 term to serve on the MAAS Board of Directors!

Jack Fisher, Jr., Executive Director of Medic 1 Ambulance
Kolby Miller, MBA, PMP, EMT-P, I/C, Chief Executive Officer of Medstar Ambulance
Matt McConnon, Chief Operations Officer of Rockford Ambulance
Jeff White, Director of Emergency Medical Services, Richmond Lenox EMS Ambulance Authority

Exhibit. Sponsor. Promote.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be in front of more than 300 EMTs, paramedics, and senior-level ambulance service managers from across Michigan! As an EMS EXPO sponsor, your company will be advertised and promoted as a supporter of Michigan mobile emergency professionals.  Sponsorship opportunities include educational sessions, the conference mobile application, elevator display logo, charging station, networking reception or lounge, coffee breaks, and much more!
 
As an exhibitor, you can showcase your company’s products and services for two days in a high traffic area where attendees gather in between sessions. Exhibitors will receive prime locations no matter where attendees are because at EXPO, exhibitors will interact with attendees.
 
Together, the commitment of MAAS and MiEMSPA contribute to the betterment of pre-hospital care and promote the interests and values of EMS professionals. Your support will help provide quality continuing education, provider skills, competition, quality exhibits of the latest technology and equipment, and most of all, affordability in today’s economically challenged environment.

Please let us know by January 16th if your company would like to advertise in our registration brochure.

MAAS has a new website!

 

The Michigan Association of Ambulance Services is excited to announce the launch of our redesigned website, www.miambulance.org. The new site has a expanded functionality:

· Join or renew your membership online

· Easier event registration

· Easily maintain your profile

· Member-only access to archives, including MAAS newsletters and file libraries



Login information for the new website was emailed to the primary contact for each current MAAS member.  Please log on and familiarize yourself with the new site.

If you need help with logging in, please contact Kelly.

AAA Disagrees with CMS on Zip Code Changes

 

We provided details on November 3 about the zip code changes included in the final rule on Medicare ambulance fee schedule updates for calendar year 2015.  In the final rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated 3,038 zip codes would change from rural to urban instead of only 122 zip codes as stated in the proposed rule.  The final rule, “Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule, Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, Access to Identifiable Data for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Models & Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2015” was formally published in today’s Federal Register and CMS has now posted a list of the exact zip codes the Agency has determined would lose rural status.

The AAA strongly disagrees with the number of zip codes that CMS has determined would lose rural status.  Instead of the 3,038 zip codes cited in the final rule, the AAA had determined a far fewer number of approximately 1,600 zip codes would switch from rural to urban.  The AAA figured out CMS had applied the Goldsmith Modification, which uses Rural Urban Commuting Areas, to not only urban counties with large rural areas but also incorrectly to rural counties.  This improper application of the Goldsmith Modification resulted in CMS citing that roughly 1,400 additional zip codes would lose rural status.

The loss of rural status means those transports previously originating in a rural area will no longer be eligible for the 50% increase in the first 1 to 17 miles of the trip as well as the additional 1% difference in the current temporary Medicare ambulance add-on payments.  The AAA has been working with CMS to correct this problem.  We are hopeful that a correction will be announced on the Ambulance Open Door Forum scheduled for November 19.

When the proposed rule was issued, the AAA determined that CMS had not applied the updated information from Rural Urban Commuting Areas and thus many more than 122 zip codes would switch from rural to urban and more than the stated 100 zip codes would switch from urban to rural.  In our comment letter on the proposed rule, the AAA requested a phase-in of the implementation of the change in zip codes to give ambulance service providers more time to budget for decreases in Medicare reimbursement.  In the final rule, CMS noted the request but denied it.

With the incorrect determination of the number of zip codes which would lose rural status as well as the short notification of the large number of zip codes that would change, the AAA is now pushing for a one-year delay in implementation of the changes.  We are asking those AAA members who face a significant negative impact by the loss of status of rural zip codes in your area to contact the AAA so we can help you reach out to your Members of Congress and request a delay.  The AAA plans to push for the delay regardless of whether CMS corrects the zip code issue identified by the AAA prior to implementation.
To help determine the change is zip codes in your service area, the AAA is providing the following:

 

  1. The list by CMS of those zip codes which switch geographical status.  CLICK HERE
  1. AAA list of the rural zip codes identified by CMS that would switch to urban and whether the AAA agrees with CMS on each of those codes.  CLICK HERE
  1. Map developed by the AAA on which zip codes should change to urban (RED AREAS) and which should not change (GREEN AREAS).  CLICK HERE

Please contact AAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tristan North at tnorth@the-aaa.org if your operation would lose significant reimbursement as a result of the zip code change.

We will keep you posted of new developments on this important issue.

Michigan Ambulance News


For the full story, click on the article

Pennfield may bill non-residents for ambulance dispatch
Inside EMS Podcast: New CAAS Standards for Ambulance Design?
Emergency Cardiopulmonary Bypass Creates Potential for Saving the Nearly Dead
STEMI Accelerator: Faster emergency response linked to improved survival

American Ambulance Association News
 

For the full story, click on the article


Member Advisory: CMS Issues Final Rule on Medicare Incentive Program and Provider Enrollment Standards --> AAA’s comment letter can be viewed by clicking here. (check your inbox for full details from Brian Werfel)

AAA submits comment letter on proposed changes by HHS OIG on Safe Harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute

Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention & Reform Act (H.R. 5460) -- Submit a support letter 

Other Ambulance News
 

For the full story, click on the article


FirstNet: Is Opting Out an Option?

Senate passes $1.1T funding bill and What the $1.1 trillion spending bill contains

An exhausted medic’s mistake: Overtired people make poor decisions

Project offers disability training to first responders

House approves $1.1T bill to fund government despite Dem uprising and Senate to consider $1.1T package Friday

'Cromnibus' could hamper O-Care implementation

Medicare and Medicaid Program; Revisions to Certain Patient’s Rights Conditions of Participation and Conditions for Coverage Overview

CMS Webinar to Learn How to Successfully Report Clinical Quality Measures for 2014 on Wednesday, December 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET for an overview of 2014 clinical quality measures (CQMs) and reporting options.

MAAS Membership Dues

 

MAAS appreicaites your current membership and looks forward to continuing to work on your behalf in the coming year!

All current MAAS memberships will expire on December 31, 2014.  Information on how to renew membership for 2015 online were emailed to the primary contact for each current MAAS member.

If you need help renewing your dues or didn't get a notice, please contact Kelly
.

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