December 2008

Tennessee Ambulance Service Association

Monthly Board Meeting December 4, 2008

Ponderosa Restaurant Lebanon


The meeting was called to order by Secretary Mike Shankle at 11:08. Members present: Mike Shankle – Secretary, Larry Billingsley – Treasurer, Chuck Latimer – P.S.P., Derek Merritt – Region 7/8, John Fitzsimmons – Middle TN Grand, Brandon Ward – West TN Grand, Paul Anderson – Region 1, Chad Graham – Region 6, Ron Bennett – Region 4, Lis Henley – Region 5, Bruce Collins – Region 3.


The meeting minutes from the previous session (November 08) were read. Motion to accept the minutes as read – Motion by Merritt, Second by Latimer – passed.

Larry Billingsley read the treasurer’s report. A balance of $38,240 was noted. Motion to accept by Anderson, second by Ward, and all voted in favor.

Brandon Ward of the Legislative Committee reported that we have a meeting December 17th at Legislative Plaza Room 16 with the TennCare Oversight Committee at 13:00 CST.

TennCare Commissioner Gordon stated to the legislature that EMS is getting paid 80%. Legislature will have to be entered in 2009 for us to receive the Medicare crossover payment from Tennessee. We fully expect the Governor to veto this. Brandon also reported that there are two more pieces of legislation that will come up. (1) The Sheriffs Association is going to introduce that EMS start transporting mental health patients. Our position will be totally against as EMS does not have the resources to do this, the most important being protection. (2) The THP is going to introduce legislation that EMS be required to draw blood alcohol in the field. We are against this as well as this will tie EMS up in court as well as negative legal issues. There was much discussion about the new TennCare MCOs and their approval process. Everyone is still getting authorizations on trips that are not medically necessary. This brought up questions concerning TennCare audits.


Bruce Collins reported that Tony Shipley is now the Region 2 Representative. Keith Douglas, Sumner County EMS Director asked the legislative committee to look into is there are workers compensation fee schedule in Tennessee. Chuck Latimer found that this was addressed on the Tennessee Department of Labor website as being figured by: “the normal payment for a geographical area”. We have emailed the contact for this fee schedule and are awaiting an answer.


The group discussed entering legislation to address having a definitive rule on requiring air ambulances to have air conditioning. Chad Graham entered a motion that TASA draft a letter of position to present to the EMS Board and to address this as a patient care issue, seconded by Chuck Latimer. Much discussion ensued, with the majority consisting of the rule that requires ground ambulances to have working air conditioning. Everyone present thought this was in no way fair. The motion passed unanimously.


Old Business


The issue of voting on the new Vice President Elect was to be voted on at this meeting. Paul Anderson stated that he had spoken with Terry Arnold from Carter County recently, and Terry had declined due to upcoming surgery and other issues. Being that there was only one nominee left, Bruce Collins made a motion that the TASA Board appoints Mr. Dennis Rowe from Rural Metro – Blount/Knox County as Vice-President Elect. This will mean he will become President at the annual meeting in February 2009. This was seconded by Larry Billingsley. All voted in favor.


New Business


Chad Graham made a motion that TASA look into hiring a media company to manage the website, being that information is not being posted quickly and that managing the website is taking a large amount of Keith Douglas’ time. It was noted that Keith had done an outstanding job managing this task. Chad’s motion also included that Keith be put in charge to assist with this task. This was seconded by Derek Merritt. All voted in favor.


Lis Henley gave an update on the National Registry Subcommittee. The committee recommended to the EMS Board that entrance requirements be reviewed and made more uniform across the state. They also recommended that students be better informed on what the state protocols and regulations actually were. A third issue was that there was a video to verse students on taking the National Registry computerize testing was not being shown. They also recommended making the schools more accountable on their individual pass rates.


Ron Bennett reported that Tennessee Tech will keep its paramedic program. It will remain a non-degree program. (Region 4 Report)


John Fitzsimmons reported that there would be an EMS scholarship in Bill Petty’s name. The student must live in the South Central to be eligible. (Region 6 Report)


The discussion of appointing an executive director was addressed again and discussed in length. It was determined that this had already been put in the form of a motion for the president to appoint this committee. Secretary Shankle will review the minutes and have the president appoint this committee.


Motion to adjourn at 13:20.