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Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
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Current News and Information from PAAW

February 8, 2017

Wisconsin Legislature
Joint Legislative Council meets, votes on draft bills to remedy EMT shortage

Following five months of meetings by the Legislative Study Committee on Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Shortages, the very group that created the Study Committee, the Joint Legislative Council, acted on the Study Committee's recommendations February 1.

In the end, seven pieces of draft bill legislation were considered by the Joint Legislative Council, with six bill drafts approved for introduction to the full legislature by the Joint Legislative Council.  The only bill draft to not be approved involved creation of a fire service district authorizing the district to levy a property tax and impose special charges.   >> Click to review draft bill legislation voted on by the Joint Legislative Council. 

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli, "It was apparent anything with a fiscal note or tax wasn't being considered or moved forward, so that really handcuffed the Study Committee.  The legislative bill drafts to address the EMT volunteer shortage are largely centered around three main themes:  license renewal, income tax and length of service credits, and adding first responders to the Funding Assistance Program.  These measures may help if they become law, but is it enough to increase firefighter and EMT recruitment and retention?  Time will tell."  Covelli added, "I think we still need to look at how EMS is delivered and better resource management.  That's on us as an industry to work together and figure out".

February 8, 2017

EMS Product Savings
Naloxone (Narcan) rebate renewed for an additional 12-months by Wisconsin Dept. of Justice

Deadline to submit recent three-month purchase rebate is March 31, 2017

Attorney General Brad Schimel announced February 1, he has renewed the State’s agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, which established a rebate program for the heroin and prescription painkiller antidote naloxone. Naloxone, often branded as Narcan, can be administered as a nasal spray or injection and works within minutes to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“When an individual has overdosed on prescription painkillers or heroin, we only have a few minutes to intervene and save that person’s life,” said Attorney General Schimel. “I appreciate Amphastar’s willingness to partner with the State and provide those on the frontlines of this battle with financial relief.”
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has agreed to continue providing a $6 rebate for each Amphastar naloxone syringe purchased by public entities in Wisconsin from now until February 1, 2018.

“Since 2013, we have been working to expand access to lifesaving opioid antagonists like naloxone,” said Rep. John Nygren. “While these medications can be expensive, our state has worked with Amphastar on an agreement that ensures the affordability of these important medications. Measures like this save lives, and I’m looking forward to working with my legislative colleagues, the medical community, law enforcement and the Attorney General, and recovery advocates statewide on more efforts that will help combat Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic.”
State, county, and local government agencies, as well as law enforcement and other public and government entities that distribute naloxone are eligible for the Amphastar naloxone rebate.

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW) was instrumental in bringing the Narcan rebate program to Wisconsin in 2016, and working closely with Attorney General Brad Schimel's office.
More information can be obtained from the DOJ website at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/ag-schimel-renews-rebate-agreement-manufacturer-lifesaving-opiate-antidote

Purchases made between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017, qualify for the rebate under the previous contract; however, to receive a rebate check a DOJ approved form must be submitted no later than March 31, 2017.  
To claim the rebate or learn more about it, refer to the links below.

>> Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Contract
>> Naloxone Rebate - Press Release
>> Naloxone Rebate Instructions
>> Naloxone Rebate Account Form
>> Naloxone Purchase Summary Rebate Form (Quarter 4 - Nov, Dec, Jan)

n Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the first rebate program on March 23, 2016, during a press conference at Ryan Brothers Ambulance, Madison.

>> Click for more information about the DOJ announcement and rebate program.

February 6, 2017

State EMS Section Updates
Podcast Interview:  State EMS Director James Newlun shares updates on regional coordinators, FAP funding

>>  Click to listen now on-demand.

On January 24, State of Wisconsin EMS Director James Newlun, photo insert, joined PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli for an EMS to the Point podcast.  The podcast is just over 25 minutes.

The interview offers an update on several important topics.  They discussed: 

  • Changes to the Funding Assistance Program (FAP),
  • Adding two new regional coordinators to staff and changing staff responsibilities to operate in regions versus past practice by level of license,
  • Recent work by the Legislative Study Committee and pending introduction of EMS legislation by the Legislative Council,
  • EMT and First Responder renewals, and
  • Upcoming deadlines in transitioning to WARDS Elite.

>>  Click to listen now on-demand.

January 30, 2017

State Licensing
EMS Office announces next bi-enium licensing deadlines and refresher requirements 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) EMS Office will open the 2018-2020 Provider Renewal process on August 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.  Individual providers must complete all educational requirements prior to completing and submitting the 2018-2020 Provider Renewal application. 

The deadline to complete the 2018-2020 Provider Renewal application is June 30, 2018, to obtain a current certification or license that is valid until June 30, 2020.

All Wisconsin EMS provider applications are completed in the E-Licensing system. The important renewal dates to remember for 2018-2020, are:

  • July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2018, is the standard renewal period to complete educational requirements.
  • July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, will be the late renewal period and incurs a $50 late renewal administrative fee, per DHS 110.16 (1) (a).
  • January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, will be the reinstatement period and incurs a $75 reinstatement administrative fee, per DHS 110.16 (1) (b).

A license or certification that has been expired for two years or more may only be reinstated by successful completion of the initial education, training and examination requirements.

All continuing education is a personal responsibility.  >> Click to review Memo 1701 that provides information and re-certification requirements.   

January 12, 2017

Wisconsin EMS Office
Two regional EMS coordinators hired

Wisconsin EMS Director James Newlun announced today Mark Mandler and Rick Stenson were hired as regional EMS coordinators.  They began their duties on January 9

According to Mr. Newlun, "
The EMS Section is now fully staffed, and includes three EMS regional coordinators, one data manager, one licensing coordinator, and one office assistant".

Mark Mandler came to the EMS Section as a limited term employee in 2016. He has assisted with operational plan and protocol reviews.  In the released announcement, Mr. Newlun wrote, "Mark has proven his ability to assist services, EMS directors and medical directors. He has been directly involved in the review of community paramedic programs".

Prior to coming to the EMS Section, Mark volunteered as both a firefighter and an EMT.  Mark holds a paramedic license, various fire service certifications, and is currently completing his law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. Mark will be the EMS regional coordinator for Regions 6, and 7.

Rick Stenson has served as an EMS professional for the past 13 years in both the municipal and private sectors, working in both urban and rural settings. Rick has worked as a licensed EMT since 2004, a Critical Care Paramedic since 2008, and has served as a BLS, ACLS, or PALS Instructor for most of his career. Rick will be the EMS regional coordinator for Regions 4, and 5.

With this change, current EMS staff member Ray Lemke moved from First Responder/BLS/Education Coordinator into the Coordinator spot for Regions 1, 2, and 3. 

According to the announcement, Mark, Rick and Ray's responsibilities will be within the seven Healthcare Coalition Regions.  >> Click for Healthcare Coalitions Regions map.  This is a departure from past practice whereby coordinators were assigned by level of licensed provider, i.e., paramedic, intermediate, advanced EMT, basic, first responder, etc.

Coordinators will work with all EMS professionals, Training Centers, Technical Colleges, and agencies within their regions.  The Wisconsin EMS statewide system is comprised of over 600 ambulance services, emergency first responders, and training centers, and 16,500 individual licensed providers.

January 10, 2017

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
MTM, Wisconsin's Medicaid patient ambulance transportation broker

>> Click for on-demand playback of this podcast.

In 2016, the number of non-emergent ambulance transports in the state totaled between 1,100 and 1,200 BLS and ALS runs per month.  In 2013, that number was between 200 and 400.  A dramatic increase.

According to MTM General Manager Danielle Dale, "We manage transportation for just under one-million eligible members in the state's Medicaid program".  Transportation includes bus, member or personal caretaker mileage reimbursement, taxis, wheelchair vans and non-emergent ambulances."

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin's President Patrick Ryan, along with board members Dana Sechler and Larry Knuth, have been holding regular conference calls the past few months with MTM to open lines of communication, and remedy some of the operation and billing challenges between ambulance services and MTM, the state's third party Medicaid transportation broker since 2013.

Two items highlighted in the podcast, include:
  1. A two-day rule to file post-authorization with MTM for hospital to discharge, or hospital to hospital transfers.  Many ambulance services have difficultly submitting their bill within two-days, and any bill sent after two-days is declined.  MTM recently established a dedicated email address to help streamline the process.  In Illinois, MTM's contract with the state is a bit more forgiving with a post-authorization rule of 30-days.
  2. If an ambulance is dispatched emergent, but the call is later deemed and billed non-emergent there is a black hole whereby the transporting ambulance service cannot file a billable claim.  Of course, this type of call was not pre authorized and is not included in the two-day post authorization rule.  Under this circumstance, MTM won't offer forgiveness and will decline the claim since they must follow the contract established with the Wisconsin Dept. of Health, so the transporting ambulance service can't bill and must write it off as non collectable.

To help hospitals and ambulance services with the process, file a claim and hopefully be reimbursed in a timely manner, MTM has offered a >> fact sheet to navigate.  The new email address to file a two-day post-authorization claim is wipostauth@mtm-inc.net.  To file an appeal, email ambulanceappeals@mtm-inc.net.

On Tuesday, January 10, PAAW completed an EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast with MTM General Manager Danielle Dale and Transportation Manager Chris Behling.  >> Click for on-demand podcast playback.

Don't miss a beat of the action - listen to EMS Live in Wisconsin the second and fourth Tuesday every month starting at 9:00 a.m. and running 30-minutes.

January 10, 2017

State Government
Study Committee vote tallies announced, sent to Legislative Council for consideration

"The votes are in" as they say.  However, this time it's another step in the process to correct one of the biggest challenges facing emergency services in Wisconsin and the nation - building up the number of community volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

The process started with the state's Joint Legislative Council creating a study committee on volunteer firefighter and EMT shortages.  Study committee members began their work in July, and concluded it this past December by individually casting ballots for proposed legislation.   >> Click for study committee vote tallies by proposed legislation.

The next step is for the Joint Legislative Council to schedule a meeting to receive the committee's report and hold votes on proposed legislation they wish to move forward to the full legislature, to include public hearings.

On Tues
day, December 13, PAAW completed an EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast with Legislative Study Committee members John Eich and Dana Sechler.  Both offered an update on work of the committee, pending vote and what it all means.  >> Click for on-demand podcast playback.

January 9, 2017

Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board
Governor appointments announced

Governor Scott Walker recently announced the appointments to the EMS Advisory Board of Don Kimlicka, Director, Clintonville EMS, and Dustin Ridings, Captain, Green Bay Fire Dept.  Each appointment is for a three-year term, but renewable.

The EMS Advisory Board makes recommendations to the Department of Health on general EMS issues either assigned by legislation or raised by members of the public.   EMS Advisory Board members are appointed by the Governor.  Medical issues are referred to the Physician Advisory Committee.

The statutory duties of the EMS Advisory Board, include:

  • Appoints EMS Physician Advisory Committee
  • Periodically reviews and makes recommendations on rules changes
  • Provides review and recommendations to the Department on department-proposed rule changes
  • Provides recommendations to the Department on the funding assistance program
  • Provides review and recommendations to the Department on preparation of mandated reports

The next board meeting is February 7 and 8 in Middleton.  >> Click for the 2017 meeting schedule and location.

January 9, 2017

Standby for Tones Blog

The address was straightforward enough – until we got in the neighborhood. The streets curved around and the numerics visible all were for the cross street. We had been told the patient would meet us in the parking lot, then updated information from MedComm was that he was advised to wait in his apartment. Inquiring for an apartment number, we were told the dispatcher would call back to find out. Updated information? The subject was indeed waiting in the parking lot; we were to go to the rear of the building. Finding the alley, we rolled slowly along, our right flood lights illuminating the successive row of apartment buildings. The problem with this method was that the rear of apartment buildings – including these – often does not have numerics displayed. We’d rolled along behind half a dozen when the radio came to life again. “301, caller is on the line again, advises you to come out of alley, take a left and you will see him outside.” We acknowledge, follow directions and emerge from the alley to find a front light across the street furiously winking on, off, on and off again. I flick our floods on and off in acknowledgement but the furious winking does not subside. Driving up alongside the curb directly in front of the door where the light lives does not make it stop, either. Directly beneath the light, cast by turns into stark relief and pitch blackness in paroxysms of the continuing on, off – is our caller. I roll my window down and he barks with extreme agitation, “I said to tell ya, go around back! AROUND BACK!” “Yes, sir, we…..” “GO AROUND BACK!” “yes, sir.”

>> Click to read more of the story...

"Standby for Tones" is a monthly blog written by Crystal Wallin, a La Crosse paramedic.  Her stories, written from real life events, bring to light the human experience in having an EMS career and work life.  >> Click to read Crystal's blog.

Legislative Study Committee listserv email created

Signup today to stay informed!

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, has created a listserv email group dedicated to the firefighter and EMT volunteer shortage discussions currently taking place.  Signup to receive Legislative Study Committee updates, share your ideas and weigh in on the topic.

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli, "The listserv offers an immediate email communications link for those who would like to participate and stay on top of the latest information being discussed, recommended and decided.  We are coming to a point very soon when legislation is going to be introduced and debated".  Covelli added, "This is a pivotal time for the EMS and fire industry and communities they serve - ambulance services and fire departments need to pay attention to what is happening".

To subscribe to the listserv, click on the link below and enter your name and email address.  Link:  https://lists.wisc.edu/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=volunteer.  You may unsubscribe at any time.

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities
Community Paramedicine Legislation
MABAS/WI Liability Protection Statute 893.80
State Medicaid Reimbursement & MTM
>> Legislative Study Committee on Firefighter and EMT Volunteer Shortages
Recognize Do-Not-Resuscitate Pendant

Next EMS Live Podcast

Wednesday, February 15

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


Permanent Medicare Ambulance Relief Reform

Affordable Care Act Repeal 

Tristan North, Senior VP
American Ambulance Association

Dial in number to listen to the live show or speak with the co-hosts and guests: 


Or listen on any internet connected device - even email in a question.

Treating CHF patients with better results (Tyler Christifulli, Training Coordinator, Lifestar EMS, West Bend, WI)

Most recent EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast - Listen Now!

Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year

Over 272,000

>> See who's a PAAW member.  Not a PAAW member? That's okay. Subscribe to receive free email updates and alerts from PAAW.  >> Click to get started.


Crystal Wallin

Feature writer and La Crosse Paramedic

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

Weekly IV Fluids and EMS Pharmaceutical Backorder Report

PAAW continues to monitor the ongoing EMS pharmaceutical drug and IV fluids backorder situation by posting weekly updates, courtesy of Bound Tree Medical.

Through a special arrangement with EMS World magazine, PAAW members and their employees or volunteers receive a free 12-month subscription, a $40 value. 

Stay on top of national EMS news, tips, a variety of topics and special reports - delivered right to your home or work address or e-mail account the beginning of every month!  >> Click to receive this benefit.

Monitor Police, Fire and EMS Radio Traffic Around the U.S.!

Browse over 2,000 police, fire and EMS scanner monitoring stations around the U.S. with a simple click of your computer mouse.  It's sure to make any scanner junkie go wild!

>> Click here to find out more about selecting your own monitoring station or click the scanner below to open the audio player for Milwaukee County Fire radio traffic.

Milwaukee County Fire
(click scanner below to activate feed)

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