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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: 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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Board Member Position is Open for Nominations – West TN Grand Division

TASA is accepting nominations for West Tennessee Grand Division board position. Please submit your nomination below. Criteria–  Director shall be from a TASA member service in good standing. The position is a three-year obligation.

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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.


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 You Can also find NEMSIS on Facebook at


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.

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TASA Awards – Nominations are Open Until December 28th, 2023

Submit your award nomination today!!!

Each year, TASA gives an opportunity to EMS individuals and services to be recognized by their peers in a statewide search for the best in our field.  Anyone can nominate individuals or emergency medical services that they believe are the best of the best.  EMS professional nominations easily submitted online. The following categories are recognized each year by TASA:

Jimmy Studdard EMT Award
Larry Griffin Paramedic Award
John Bond EMS Administrator Award
Tommy Erwin Lifetime Achievement Award
Bob Thomas ALS Service Award
Dr. C. Robert Clark EMS Medical Director Award
John Fitzsimmons EMS Advocate Award

Submit for Individual Nomination
Submit for Service Nomination
Awards Program Details
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Virtual Cost Data Collection Workshop – Dec 7th 10am CT

Join Ambulance Cost Education expert, Michelle Anderson, at our upcoming remote workshop focused on the CMS Ground Ambulance Cost Data Collection requirement.

Virtual Cost Data Collection Workshop
December 7th 10:00 am Central 
$49 for AAA Members | $99 for Non-Members 

 During this interactive workshop, Michelle will cover everything from important dates and how CMS cost data collection will impact our industry to scenarios and the practical application of tools and resources to ensure accuracy in submitting your data.

Attendees can expect to walk away with confidence in their ability to report on time and avoid penalties.
Who should attend?

Agencies selected in Year 1 or 2 lists who followed a fiscal year and are now preparing to submit their 2022 data to CMS in 2023

Agencies selected in Year 3 or 4 lists collecting 2023 data to submit to CMS in 2024Directors, Officers, Billing Managers, or anyone responsible for their agency’s cost data collection process

Not sure if your agency is selected? Click Here to check the selection lists for your NPI(s).

Register Today!

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EMS Cost Collection workshop coming to Nashville – April 21, 2024

  • Agencies selected in Year 3 or 4 lists, collecting 2023 data to submit to CMS in 2024
  • Directors, Officers, Billing Managers, or anyone responsible for their agency’s cost data collection process
  • Anyone who wants to prepare for future ground ambulance cost data collection requirements
  • Cost Collection Basics
  • Deep Dive, Amber Walk-Through
  • Lessons Learned
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Senate passes amendment to stop new VA reimbursement rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the FY2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Act, which included an amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) – members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – to protect rural veterans’ access to life-saving emergency medical transportation services.

The amendment would prohibit VA from implementing a rule to reduce reimbursement rates for special mode transportation providers, including ground and air ambulances, in FY2024. Under the current timeline, VA’s rule will go into effect in February 2024, which would lead to longer wait times for veterans during emergencies and disrupt the ambulance industry in Kansas and across the country.

“This amendment makes certain that veterans across the nation will continue to receive lifesaving care and transportation without disruption over the next year,” said Sen. Moran. “By stopping this rule from being implemented in February, we will allow more time for VA to do its due diligence in creating reasonable and commonsense parameters for resetting reimbursement rates for these life-saving services.”

“Emergency air and ground transportation services are a lifeline for Montanans when a medical emergency happens,” said Sen. Tester. “Our provision means these services can stay afloat so Montana veterans can continue receiving these lifesaving emergency services when they need it. VA still has to work to do to fix this reimbursement issue, and that’s why I’m continuing to push for our bipartisan VA Emergency Transportation Act.”

“Arkansas veterans rely on lifesaving transportation services when experiencing health care emergencies,” said Sen. Boozman. “Passage of this provision is critical to ensuring these heroes continue to have access to these crucial resources no matter where they live, and the operators are appropriately compensated for the care they deliver.”

The full text of the amendment here.

The amendment was also co-sponsored by Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). It is also supported by Global Medical Response, Air Methods, the American Ambulance Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.