MAAS January Newsletter
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Legislative Changes in Michigan

Public Act 413

On December 30th Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 413 which resulted from H.B. 5842 being passed through the legislature during 2014 lame duck session.  H.B. 5842 was a result of a combination of several other bills. One of those bills was H.B. 5454 that MAAS had been opposing during the 2014 legislative session.  

Public Act 413 provides the ability for a limited or advanced ambulance operation whose primary service area is in a county or micropolitian area with a population of 10,000 or less and whose primary service area has a population density of less than 7 people per square mile may have an ambulance available at less than the limited or advanced level of licensure.

A micropolitan area is defined to mean a micropolitan statistical area as most recently delineated by the United States Office of Management and Budget.

In order to do this both of the following conditions need to be meet:

  • The medical control authority under which the ambulance operation operates authorizes the lesser availability.
  • The advanced ambulance operation has department—approved local medical control authority protocols in place.

MAAS was able to get a sunset included in this law which makes provision repealed on January 1, 2018.  

MAAS Goes on Record

During the January MAAS Board meeting, the board took action by endorsing the Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention and Reform Act (H.R. 5460).   A letter has been sent to bill sponsor Congressman Greg Walden and to the American Ambulance Association.  

For more information on H.R. 5460 click here

MAAS Medicare Data Collection

MAAS is providing the membership with the results of a state-wide project that the Reimbursement Committee recently completed.   The purpose of the project was to provide members the educational opportunity on the medicare activity range in the state.  In 2014, Medicare released information related to charges billed to Medicare in 2012 for all Michigan providers, which included ambulance providers.  MAAS reviewed the public data and compiled it to compare the percentage of calls that ambulance providers billed ALS calls versus BLS calls for emergency transports.
As you are aware, a number of years ago Medicare changed the provision of their regulations that allowed ambulance services to bill all of their calls at the ALS level due to a local ordinance was eliminated, and now requires billing based on ALS care or ALS assessments being necessary by medical protocol.
For the past several years, CMS (Medicare) has used a third party vendor to measure the percentage of calls that are ALS vs BLS, emergency calls versus transfers, and percentage of dialysis calls against total transfers.  This information was sent via fax to individual services.  To see where your ambulance service stands in comparison to the other services in Michigan, reference that ALS/BLS Comparative Data Report.

Click here to view the data chart MAAS has prepared.
On the chart, each point represents an individual ambulance service.  There is a line representing the state-wide average, as well as statistical data representing the Upper Control Limit (UCL) and Lower Control Limit (LCL).  (These lines represent 3 standard deviations from the average.)  If the percentage of calls you billed at the ALS level are outside of those control limit ranges, you may want to consider reviewing your billing policies and processes.
If you have questions about this information, please contact the MAAS office, at 517-485-3376. 

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EMS Expo April 23-25, 2015
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

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.

Michigan Ambulance News

For the full story, click on the article

Gov. Rick Snyder signed an amendment to the state's budget that will raise the sales tax from 1%t to 7% and replace a sales tax on gasoline with a new wholesale tax.

Rescue workers deal with trauma on a daily basis 

Brandon hires new ambulance service: Pafford EMS to replace AMR 

Ambulance millage funds distributed 

Large Grant Awarded to Michigan EMS


AAA News

For the full story, click on the article

  • The AAA submitted a comment letter to CMS asking the Agency to delay implementation of the changes in zip codes losing their rural status starting in 2015.
  • Businesses with 50 employees or fewer can offer The Small Business Health Options Program plans. Apply online -- Overview of the SHOP Marketplace
  • The American Ambulance Association is pleased to announce the release of its 2015 Medicare Rate Calculator tool.  The AAA believes this is a valuable tool that can assist members in budgeting for the current year.  This calculator has been updated to account for recent changes in Medicare policies, including the 2015 Ambulance Inflation Factor, changes to the Geographic Practice Cost Indices, changes to the Zip Code Geographic Delineations, and the current temporary add-ons.
    • To access the Rate Calculator, please click here.
    • The 2015 Ambulance Fee Schedule Public Use File can be viewed by clicking here.

Federal News

For the full story, click on the article

The "Ambulance Fee Schedule" Fact Sheet (ICN 006835) was revised. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on the Ambulance Fee Schedule. It includes the following information: background, the Medicare ambulance transport benefit, ambulance providers and suppliers, Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage, payments, how payment rates are set, and updates to the fee schedule.

The “Medicare Secondary Payer for Providers, Physicians, Other Suppliers, and Billing Staff” Fact Sheet (ICN 006903) was revised. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) provisions. It includes information on MSP basics, common situations when Medicare may pay first or second, Medicare conditional payments, the Coordination of Benefits rules, and role the Benefits Coordination & Recovery Center.

DOT investigating ambulance driver training

Modern Healthcare: MedPAC seeks reimbursement rate freeze (subscription req)

MedPAC Voices Concerns about Burden of Medicare Quality Measures

Why the Supreme Court's Medicaid Decision Matters

Push For Two-Year Spending Bills, Especially for the Indian Health Service

Medicaid expansion is next top healthcare challenge, advocates say

New GOP senator: ‘Tide rising’ against ObamaCare

Majority still support single-payer healthcare option, poll finds

Other Ambulance News

For the full story, click on the article

NEMSMA and IAEMSC Suspend Merger Discussions

Is ambulance diversion an event to end police protests?

ER use grows despite declining number of uninsured

Being an EMS Leader Comes with Risks

A Little Boost Never Hurts

Paramedicine Programs Define New Role of Paramedics as Mobile Caregivers

New Ambulance Privacy Officer Certification Program Announced

How Slipping Performance Becomes Acceptable

Facebook To Post Amber Alerts To Help Find Missing Kids

$225,000 Grant to Foster Innovative Healthcare Delivery Models in EMS

Pandemic Preparation Shouldn’t Stop When Threat Decreases

New NAEMT President Takes the Helm

New Ambulance Crash Requirements Will Enhance Provider, Patient Safety

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