The Tennessee General Assembly has completed its business for the year and adjourned on Friday, April 21, 2023. This first session of the 113th General Assembly was a successful one for the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association, which successfully advocated for several beneficial policy changes for ambulance services. Details on these successes are below, and please let us know if you have any questions or comments!
This legislation provides $800 to each full- time licensed EMS provider (such as current full-time fire, volunteer fire, and law enforcement) who are allotted this training stipend to cover individual training. EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics are required to pay for both individual licensure and ongoing training CEUs to maintain licensure up to 42 CEUs. Fifty percent of the CEUs are required to be in a classroom setting. This legislation will assist in offsetting these costs, encouraging participation in EMS programs amid a nationwide shortage.
We appreciate Representative Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville) and Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) for securing this funding. You can send them emails thanking them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
This legislation sunsets each year, and must be renewed by the General Assembly. It funds ambulance services with federal dollars–no state dollars are used. The program helps to address the cost-per-call deficit. The annual assessment is an extremely successful program that has been in existence for several years, designed to address the specific needs of the ambulance service industry to improve access to TennCare patients across Tennessee.
Thank you to Representative Jay Reedy (R-Erin) and Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) for carrying this legislation. You can thank them via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Option Emergency Services Funding
Legislation passed this year to allow the local government portion of tax revenue received by the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act to be used for emergency services. Previously, this money was only allowed to be spent on local infrastructure projects. The legislation was championed by Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), and he can be thanked at email@example.com.
Reconstitution of EMS Board
Legislation passed this year to reconstitute the EMS board, changing the makeup and modernizing the processes. After support was expressed during last year’s session to restructure the EMS Board, TASA worked diligently with interested parties to ensure that there was proper representation on the board. This bill is important to ensure the continuation of this vital board with a restructure reflecting the input of interested parties.
This legislation was sponsored by Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and Senator Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro). You can thank them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
EMS Grant Pool
This year’s legislative amendment to the TN budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 allocated $2 million to the Department of Health to create a grant pool for the sole purpose of making grants on a competitive basis to emergency medical services organizations across the state, to be used for equipment. The Department of Health will set up requirements for the application and eligibility for these grants, and will likely make them available in the next 6 to 9 months.
The legislative champions of the budget are Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R – Signal Mountain) and Senator Jack Johnson (R – Franklin). Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) was also an important part of securing this funding. You can thank them at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennessee Local Development Authority Public Safety Protection Act of 2023
This legislation creates an avenue for the Local Development Authority to issue low interest or no interest loans to local governments for use in funding the purchase of equipment for firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical services personnel, and emergency communications dispatchers. This new funding mechanism will need to be funded by future budgets, but creates the structure for these loans to be issued.This legislation was sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) and Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin). You can thank them via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of you for making your voice heard, and making the 2023 legislative session of the Tennessee General Assembly a successful one!
TIME SENSITIVE: Make your voice heard TODAY!
TN EMS Providers & Services,
Governor Lee’s budget was presented this morning, and the training supplement funding was not included in the general budget. BUT THERE IS STILL TIME to ask that this be included in the budget so that these costs will be offset for EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics. It’s vitally important for you to reach out to the leadership of the House and Senate, listed below.
There is also language below so that you can copy/paste the message with your personal details.
Lt. Governor Randy McNally: email@example.com / (615) 741-6806
Speaker Cameron Sexton: firstname.lastname@example.org / (615) 741-2343
Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson: email@example.com / (615) 741-3227
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org / (615) 741-2495
Senate Caucus Chair Ken Yager: email@example.com / (615) 741-1449
House Finance Chairwoman Patsy Hazlewood: firstname.lastname@example.org / (615) 741-2746
House Finance Subcommittee Chair Gary Hicks: email@example.com / (615) 741-7480
Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ryan Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org / (615) 741-1875
COPY/PASTE THE EMAIL TEMPLATE TEXT BELOW TO THE ABOVE LEGISLATORS. ADD ANY PERSONAL DETAILS YOU WOULD LIKE TO RELAY.
Subject line: Please fund HB155 / SB 457
Dear Senator / Rep. (NAME),
Thank you for your service to the State of Tennessee. I’m writing today to ask that you consider funding the training supplement request in HB155/SB457. EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics are required to pay for both individual licensure and ongoing training CEUs to maintain licensure up to 42 CEUs. Fifty percent of the CEUs are required to be in a classroom setting.
Amid a nationwide shortage of EMS professionals, this funding will assist in offsetting these costs and lead to greater participation and safety for our communities. Please consider this vital funding as you finalize the budget.
(YOUR ADDRESS – IF EMAILING YOUR SPECIFIC LEGISLATOR
If you would like to email the entire committees, you can find those members here.
- Senate Finance, Ways & Means: https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/CommitteeInfo/SenateComm.aspx?ga=113&committeeKey=650000
- House Finance, Ways & Means:
Find your legislator: https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/fml2022/search.aspx
|CECATN is very excited to announce that the registration link is live for the 22nd Annual Update in Acute and Emergency Care Pediatrics Conference. This conference uses an interdisciplinary approach throughout a series of plenary and breakout sessions where attendees will be able to develop their skills surrounding pre-hospital care of the medically complex child, as well as, skills for the pediatric trauma patient.This year the conference is being held at the Holiday Inn – University of Memphis hotel in Memphis, TN on April 13-14, 2023.|
Register here: 2023 Conference – CECATN
Please feel free to forward this to your teams and others who may be interested in attending the Annual Update in Acute and Emergency Care Pediatrics Conference. Any potential exhibitors or sponsor of the conference can contact us at: email@example.com
Natasha D. D. Kurth, MBA, MHA
Executive Director, CECA TN
TN EMS for Children (EMSC) Program Manager
Children’s Emergency Care Alliance (CECA TN)
3841 Green Hills Village Drive, Suite 3048
Nashville, TN 37215
February 10, 2023
|MTEMSDA Leadership Summit|
We are excited to share this opportunity for you to learn from various leaders during this wonderful event. During this one-day leadership conference, each speaker will share vital information that will challenge you to create positive change.
This conference is intended for all levels of providers and leaders that want to strengthen their skills in communication, problem-solving, time management, prioritizing, and much more.
This will be a great opportunity to learn from leaders in EMS and will benefit not only current supervisors but also aspiring leaders/supervisors.
Registration Link: https://mtemsda.org/events/2023-leadership-conference/
Course Fee: $10.00
Date: February 10, 2023
Time: 08:00 till 16:30
Event Location: Williamson County Public Safety Center – 304 Beasley Dr, Franklin, TN 37064
Friday, February 10, 2023
07:00 – 07:45 Registration
07:45 – 08:00 Welcome
08:00 – 08:50 Michael Wallace, EMS Director, Williamson County EMS Great by Choice
08:50 – 09:45 Mark King, Assistant EMS Director, Williamson County EMS HR Challenges
09:45 – 10:00 BREAK
10:00 – 12:00 Jason Denton, Attorney RMA) EMS Legal Issues and Discussion Brian Newberry, EMS Chief, Wilson County EMA HIPAA Awareness and Concerns
12:00 – 12:45 LUNCH (Chic-Fil-A)
12:45 – 13:15 Brandon Ward, Director, TN Office of EMS TN EMS Updates
13:15 – 14:10 Greg Miller, EMS Chief, Sumner County EMS Leadership Challenges and how they can stifle your mission
14:10 – 14:25 BREAK
1425 – 1520 Dr. McKinney and Dr. Brywczynski Leadership Conversations with EMS Medical Directors
1520 – 1620 Discussion Panel and Q&A If you have questions, write them down so we can talk about them.
1620 – 1630 Wrap Up
Refreshments and lunch are provided with the course fee
*Medicare rates taken directly from Palmetto GBA (https://www.palmettogba.com/palmetto/jjb.nsf/DID/AVHBYGBMZF#ls)
**TennCare (minimum) rates are 67.5% of Medicare rates
TASA is accepting nominations for Vice President and East Tennessee Grand until February 8th, 2023.
Vice President from Middle TN
Nominations for this position must be of persons from current TASA membership services within the Middle TN Grand Division
East Tennessee Grand
Nominations for this position must be of persons from current TASA membership services within the East TN Grand Division
Elections for these positions will be held at the 2023 Mid-Winter Conference on February 22 & 23, 2023. Results will be announced at the general membership annual meeting at the same location on February 23 at or around noon EST.
|Law Extends Add-Ons, Delays PAYGO Cuts, and Continues Telehealth Waivers|
The President just signed into law the 2023 Omnibus spending bill, extending the 2% urban, 3% rural and 22.6% super rural Medicare payment add-ons for ground ambulance services through December 31, 2024.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The current Public Use File posted on the CMS ambulance website has not yet been updated to reflect the urban, rural, and super-rural add-on extensions (the file is dated 11/23/2022, prior to the add-ons being included). We strongly encourage EMS agencies and billing companies to ensure their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) has implemented the updated rates – including the add-ons – before submitting claims for dates of service (DOS) 1/1/2023 or after. There have been issues in the past where MACs paid at the incorrect rates and then the MACs took months to correct the improper payments. It is also possible that CMS – in the next few days – may instruct MACs to hold off paying ambulance claims with DOS in 2023 until the rates have been updated to avoid incorrect payments. Stay tuned for updates.
Medicare 4% PAYGO Cuts Delayed
The Act also delays, until 2025, a 4% Medicare cut under the Statutory Pay-As-You -Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO). The 4% cut was set to go into effect on January 1, 2023.
Telehealth Waivers Extended
The Act also extends – until December 31, 2024 – many of the telehealth reimbursement waivers/flexibilities enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under current law, many of these flexibilities were set to expire 151 days after the end of the COVID-19 PHE.
Most importantly for EMS, the telehealth flexibilities permit any site (including a patient’s home or a scene of an incident) to be a telehealth origination site for the service. Prior to the waiver, telehealth services generally had to originate in a rural area, and the patient had to connect from an approved origination site – such as a physician’s office, hospital, or clinic. While there is no direct Medicare reimbursement for telehealth for EMS right now, EMS can originate telehealth consultations for practitioners in the field and contract with eligible practitioners for a portion of the telehealth consultation fee paid to the practitioner.
PWW is Here to Help
Click Here to Ask Your Questions
|Congress just passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, extending the 2% urban, 3% rural and 22.6% super rural Medicare add-ons for ground ambulance services. The Medicare ground ambulance add-ons were set to expire on December 31, 2022, and now they will continue through December 31, 2024, once President Biden signs the Act.|
What About Other Cuts?
The Act also delays a 4% Medicare “PAYGO” cut that was set to go into effect at the end of 2022. The PAYGO cut is delayed until 2025. However, the 2% across the board Medicare sequestration cuts – that have been in effect since 2013 (with a brief suspension during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency) – have been extended through the December 1, 2032.
Stay tuned as PWW monitors changes currently affecting the EMS Industry. Click Here to Ask Your QuestionsJoin Us In Spring 2023
This Spring, PWW covers everything that’s in store for 2023 and we have solutions for your agency to survive if the Federal No Surprises Act comes to ground ambulance. Spring 2023 Dates and Locations:Las Vegas – March 5-9, 2023
Clearwater Beach – June 4-8, 2023Las Vegas Early Bird Ends: January 31, 2023
Clearwater Beach Early Bird Ends: May 13, 2023Click Here to Register