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Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?


JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, attended and participated in the opening session at the AAA Conference in Las Vegas on Nov. 18, 2013, where ambulance service leaders and managers discussed multiple issues that are, or will be, impacting the ambulance/EMS Industry.

In a lively panel discussion and open forum session, attendees and faculty reported that we don’t exactly know where the new healthcare environment is headed but that we do know the following:

• Populations in rural areas are aging;
• Young adults are flocking to the major cities for opportunities;
• EMS agencies are all striving to change and fit into the changing healthcare system;
• More and more agencies are moving into or exploring mobile healthcare delivery;
• Hospitals are starting to realize that EMS is imporatnat and can bring value, customers and increased revenue;
• All hospitals are losing patients and are clamoring to develop new relationships;
• EMS data is becoming more and more important;
• All EMS services need to understand the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim” initiative;
• The use of a large, expensive ambulance is no longer the center of our universe;
• One ambulance service noted his service billed 192 different payers and noted it is difficult to reach out and work with them all;
• Workforce training is critical and must be updated by all EMS agencies;
• Hospitals want us bring the right patients to them (e.g. stroke and STEMI)
• Some hospitals are still resistant to being bypassed
• We should be keying in to getting the patient to the RIGHT place the FIRST time and at the RIGHT time and in the MOST ECONOMICAL way
• We must follow the money – Hospitals in many areas are willing to help fund electronic recordkeeping and aspects of community paramedicine programs
• There are a lot of gaps in the delivery of patient care services;
• There’s a lot we can do to improve service without forming a new company;
• We have to help serve patient problems and must educate our personnel how to do so appropriately;
• We have to identify the patients that are continuous/repetitive system user and/or abusers and get them managed without repetitive, resource-absorbing impact on EMS and the ED;
• We will see a big increase/explosion in the use of technology, remote monitoring and video products/tools;
• We must focus more on customer satisfaction and patient/customer follow-up;
• EMS must develop more collaborative partners;
• Tort Reform is necessary;
• The First Watch/First Pass software that sends all your data securely into cloud and offer 100% QA and data review will revolutionize data collection and usage in EMS; and
• About 38% of some EMS Systems are "Unscheduled Care."

AAA Panelists
• Dr. Carl Taylor – Senior VP for Risk and Managed Care at Unified Physician Management
• Gary Wingrove –  MAYO Clinic Medical Transport & Gold Cross Ambulance
• Doug Hooten –  MedStar Mobile Healthcare
• Randy Strozyk – American Medical Response
• Gene Bradley –Atchinson-Holt Ambulance (a rural service)

Go to www.the-aaa.org to see the results of the AAA application survey on Issues in EMS.


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