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TIME SENSITIVE: Make your voice heard TODAY!

Dear TN EMS Services & Providers, YOU’RE HELP IS NEEDED URGENTLY! The Tennessee General Assembly is working on the state budget and we need to make our voice heard! House Bill 1998/Senate Bill 2340 by Rep. Gary Hicks and Sen. Ken Yager would increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for non-emergency runs from 67.5% to 100%. Your legislator needs to hear directly from you. Please feel free to forward this to coworkers and family and urge them to send the below. Every contact helps. You can enter your address and find your legislators, and their contact information, here: https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/fml2022/search.aspx There is also language below so that you can copy/paste the message with your personal details. Please be sure to include your full name and zip code. COPY/PASTE THE BELOW EMAIL TO YOUR LEGISLATORFeel free to personalize your message and the positive impact this legislation will have for your service. Download this entire message in PDF or Download the this full message in MS Word
Subject line: Please fund HB1998 / SB2340 Dear Senator / Rep. (Representative or Senator NAME), Thank you for your service to the State of Tennessee. I’m writing today to ask that you support funding the increase in Medicaid reimbursement rate for non-emergency runs outlined in House Bill 1998 and Senate Bill 2340. Due to recent changes by the federal government, ambulance services like mine are seeing less reimbursement than ever before. Ambulance services are essential to our communities, and we often operate at a loss. These services are an important part of maintaining healthy communities. Background details: Since 2018 Tennessee ground ambulance providers have participated in the Ground Ambulance Assessment Program. This program provided supplemental payments for both emergency and non-emergency ground ambulance transports to help offset the extremely low TennCare reimbursement rate. This program was a life-safer for many ambulance services were facing reduction in services and/or closure. In February 2022, CMS communicated to TennCare that non-emergency ground ambulance transports should not be included in the ground ambulance assessment. This was a devastating blow to the ambulance services providing non-emergency ambulance services across the state. This has led to ambulance services again facing reduction in services, increases in local subsidies, and in some cases – facing closure. In addition, Managed Care Organization transportation brokers are experiencing increased difficulty in scheduling non-emergency transports for TennCare beneficiaries because of this change. Increasing the current TennCare non-emergency reimbursement rates to 100% of published Medicare Fee Schedule would be a significant help reduce the impact of the recent lost supplemental payments. Again, thank you for your service and your continued support of EMS services. Thank you, (YOUR NAME) (YOUR TITLE) (ZIP CODE)
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AI Survey for Front Line EMS Personnel

Attention: Front Line EMS Providers

As a part of an initiative to understand and guide the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Emergency Medical Services, we are conducting a brief 10 question survey, and your insights as front line EMS providers across the state of Tennessee are invaluable.

This survey aims to gather basic information about the current use and potential future applications of AI in our field. We are particularly interested in your personal experiences, insights, and any concerns you might have regarding the implementation of AI in EMS. Your perspectives will play a crucial role in guiding us towards appropriate and effective adoption of these technologies.

Please rest assured, your responses will be completely anonymous and therefore we will not ask for any personally identifying information. The insights derived from this survey will be instrumental in shaping the conversation at the upcoming February 2024 Tennessee Ambulance Service Association (TASA) Mid-winter Leadership Conference, where we will share the findings with EMS leaders from across the state.

Your participation in this survey will not only contribute to a better understanding of AI in TN EMS today but also help in paving the way for innovative, safe, and improved emergency medical services of tomorrow.

To participate, please use the follow link or QR code.  We deeply appreciate your time and your commitment to advancing EMS in Tennessee. Thank you for considering this request, and we look forward to your valuable contribution.

Assessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in EMS

Brandon Ward, Director

Tennessee Department of Health

Office of Emergency Medical Services

665 Mainstream Dr. Suite 1700

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State EMS/Board – December 2023

The new EMS board has established a committee on committees and is putting it’s new committees together to help with board business. At present, we have the Clinical Issues Committee, Education Committee, Ambulance Committee, Air Ambulance Committee, and the Leadership and Advancement Committee (LAC).

The LAC is tasked not only with advancing the Leadership course, but helping to draw a roadmap to where
they would like to see the profession in the next 10-20 years.

Other committees consist of the Committee on Pediatric Emergency Care (TCA 68-11-251) and the Telecommunications Committee (Created by the Office of EMS) — which advise and provide technical expertise but
are independent of the board.

At it’s December meeting, the board approved draft language for the handling of the EMS training stipend. There will be a rulemaking hearing to approve the draft rules in the near future. The board also adopted recommendations from the Clinical Issues Committee, which include

  • policy on the Buckle Guard device. It is to be used as a restraint device and cannot be permanently affixed to cots and only used on a case by case basis.
  • The Air Q 3 and other supraglottic devices which are FDA approved can be carried as supplemental airway devices.
  • The LifeVac and dechoker devices are not FDA approved, only FDA registered and thereby can not be carried on ambulances—all equipment must be FDA approved.
  • Umbilical Vein Catheterization is not in the national scope of practice is not an approved skill.

The board approved the Education Committee’s EMT to Paramedic pathway (bypassing AEMT). This will go to rulemaking.

Out of state programs EMS must reapply to send students into Tennessee for clinical rotation. They will need a local higher-ed EMS program sponsor to be considered by the Education Committee and EMS Board for approval.


Training Stipend

Ambulance Services will be required to register as suppliers in the state Edison system in order to receive payments to pass through to their personnel. Information has been e-mailed to service directors. County and municipal services
where the county or municipality are already set up as suppliers for the state in Edison should be okay. Others
services will definitely need to register in order to receive payments through the state.

Aaron Kinser – Consultant At-Large

Aaron Kinser from Wilson County has been hired to coordinate and oversee the training stipend program. Kinser is the newest EMS Consultant-at-Large for the state. He comes from Wilson County, where he worked as a firefighter paramedic and was also a paramedic assistant instructor. Kinser is also a SCUBA Divemaster and heavily involved in training with TARS and the American Heart Association.

Kinser will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of the training stipend program in addition to assisting with other regulatory and oversight duties in the state.


NEMSIS

Data Manager Britnei Outland informs us the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Information Systems (TNEMSIS) will be transitioning to NEMSIS (National EMS Information Systems) v3.5.0 in December 2023. This transition is to remain compliant with federal reporting standards/guidelines and continued integration of all reporting data to remain eligible for grants tied to NEMSIS compliance. Outland confirms that the Tennessee Office of EMS will continue
to accept NEMSIS v3.4.0 data until June 30, 2024. The Dataset information is available on the NEMSIS website, which can be found at https://nemsis.org/statedata-managers/state-map-v3/tennessee. You Can also find NEMSIS on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NemsisTac.


Leadership

A pilot course on Leadership was held at the Williamson County EOC on October 31, 2023. The course is a collaboration among TEMSEA, TASA, and the Office of EMS. The course was led by multiple instructors, including Eric Clause, who
is featured on the TEMSEA leadership podcast, and included input and interaction from several well-known leaders
within the Tennessee EMS Community. The pilot rollout was a resounding success and will be offered as a pre-conference session at the TASA Mid-Winter conference at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg in February.

This course is a great introduction and refresher for supervisors, administrators, and others in leadership positions. It is also recommended for those aspiring to leadership roles within their organization or as they grow and develop in the profession. The course focuses on identifying key leadership traits and habits, preparing attendees for leadership roles, and working effectively with stakeholders to achieve success. The course will continue to evolve to meet
the needs of participants and help them excel in their leadership roles. Leaders are made, not born.