August 2009


August 12, 2009


President Dennis Rowe called the meeting to order at 11:08.  Board members present were Dennis Rowe, Brandon Ward, Doug McQuary, Ron Bennett, Chad Graham, Bruce Collins, Larry Billingsley, Lis Henley, Andrew Reed, and Mike Shankle. There were several representatives from ambulance services across the state in attendance.


The initial agenda was suspended to allow representatives of the Bureau of TennCare to speak regarding the changes in TennCare reimbursement as it relates to ambulance services.  Scott Pierce from the Bureau spoke concerning these changes.  He is the Chief Financial Officer for the Bureau of TennCare.  Mr. Pierce gave a history of how ambulance services are paid by TennCare.  He also then explained cuts in TennCare.  He said it was not possible for TennCare to cut more members or to cut rates, so they decided to cut the Medicare/Medicaid crossover. TennCare was asked this year to cut 15% of their budget this year; however the stimulus bill postponed those cuts.


Of the 3 million dollars provided by legislature to increase payments to emergency/ambulance services, 750,000 dollars must go to the four largest cities to “improve emergency services” in these cities.  This leaves $2,250,000 to be paid to the ambulance services across the state.  TennCare has not decided how to do this.  This is the reason representatives from the Bureau are here to perform fact finding.   Mr. Pierce asked if we would like the monies to be paid to the MCOs.  The group as a whole did not want the money to be funneled in that manner, as the group did not feel that the money would get to the providers.


Doug McQuary asked the group if it would be acceptable if TASA developed a survey to send to all licensed ambulance services in the state.  This survey would ask all services what exactly they would like to see done with this remaining $2,250,000.  Once these surveys arrive back at TASA, they would be tallied and the option chosen by the majority would be sent to the Bureau of TennCare.  All present voted in favor of this idea.  The legislative committee will develop the survey and it will be sent out within the next week.


Minutes were provided from the last meeting.  After review, Doug McQuary made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Larry Billingsley seconded, the motion carried.


Larry Billingsley, treasurer presented the financial report of  $22,244.38.

Motion was made by Doug McQuary to accept the treasurer’s report as presented. Brandon Ward seconded, the motion carried.


Joe Phillips gave a report from the State EMS office.  Service licenses are just about all sent out with 208 ambulance services registered and approximately 1300 ambulances.

He also discussed that in case of evacuation of Louisiana this year Tennessee will receive approximately 5 to 6 thousand evacuees.


Roy Griggs addressed the group and requested that TASA support the change of the law that EMS services are looked at as an essential service in the county.  After discussion Ron Bennett made a motion that TASA send a letter of support to the EMS board to change the law that would make EMS an Essential Service in the counties of Tennessee.  Doug McQuary seconded motion.  Motion passed.


Mike Shankle requested that the board approve the purchase of a badge system that would be expandable in the future.  The basis system would cost $4200 to start.  Motion was made by Liz Henley to purchase up to $4200.  Seconded by Doug McQuary.  Motion passed.


After regional reports a motion was made to adjourn by Doug McQuary seconded by Brandon Ward