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By Samantha Hilker
Did you know?
According to a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in May 2017, attorneys hired to represent a patient are now considered a ‘person authorized by the patient’ when it comes to how you bill for records requests?
PAAW members can find on our site the opinion, the statute, and the current fee schedule.
Member organization Bell Ambulance shared their incidental finding with us last week, and after confirming our understanding with Scott Moore, HR and Operations consultant for the American Ambulance Association, we wanted to share this information with our members and partners throughout the state.
In summary, there is no time that any person, authorized by the patient, can be charged a “retrieval or certification” fee for requests for records. The provider can charge the per page fee, but no the retrieval or certification fee.
Thank you, Bell Ambulance!
On Tuesday November 12, PAAW lobbyist Mike Brozek provided a recap of the recent elections, and shared his thoughts on how it will affect EMS in Wisconsin and across the US. Here are the high-points.
The recount in Arizona likely to go to Kyrsten Sinema, while the Florida recount is still in progress. Overall, the GOP maintained a majority in the senate, however it is a smaller majority than before.
The Democrats now hold a small majority in the House.
We knew the race for Governor was going to be close in Wisconsin. Below are a few factors why Governor Walker lost and what we can expect to see from Governor-Elect Evers as we move forward.
The loss of Brad Schimel was a bit surprising! Josh Kaul is the new Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin.
Mike believes we will likely see radical changes in personnel. Although we are not sure yet who will be selected, we do know each Governor brings in his own people. It is possible we may see some Democratic members of the legislature be selected.
Wisconsin is changing its party composition and the suburbs around Milwaukee broke more Democratic than expected. Wisconsin seems to be a microcosm – reflective of the trends we’re seeing nationally.
We will learn more at the State of the State address, however, some things may remain unresolved even by then. We know the new governor will bring in his own budget, but we also know this will be challenging as it will be presented to a GOP-majority legislature. I anticipate some contracts will extend by 6 months to avoid any issues of continuity.
In Wisconsin, a Republican is still at the helm of Medicaid. Evers could have radical changes, or very few – he has not shared many concrete plans about healthcare. Wisconsin took federal Medicaid money, and is at (about) a 70/30 split in favor of federal funding; the $9 billion-dollar budget includes quite a bit of Federal money. Even as the department’s budget increased from $7b to $9b, EMS did not receive any additional funds.
PAAW continues to be in support of removing ‘ambulance’ language from NEMT (non-emergency medical transport) contracts. PAAW’s immediate past president Patrick Ryan is meeting with Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, to discuss how they can continue to make progress via coalition.
Although the Governor ran on healthcare as one of his three principals, it is not yet clear where he stands on balanced billing.
Attention PAAW members! Interested in participating in the new Reimbursement or Government Affairs Committees? Complete our short form to be considered. Thank you for your support and participation!
Congratulations, Nick, and welcome to PAAW!
By Samantha Hilker
Jon Cohn was voted on the PAAW Board during executive session at the September 20th meeting. Jon brings with him 26 years of experience in the fire service and EMS and currently serves as the Chief of Greenfield Fire Rescue. Jon has also served as President of the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association and held various instructor roles in higher education.
Jon is humble and doesn’t like to talk about himself. Getting a bio out of him for the 2018 Midwest EMS Expo (view here!) was like pulling teeth, and he basically gave me free reign over this profile piece. Instead of copying and pasting the information available via LinkedIn or the Midwest EMS Expo bio, I’m going to share my personal story of Jon Cohn (the short version, don’t worry!).
The first time I met Jon we were both in Ft. Worth, Texas visiting MedStar’s MIH program to learn about their experience, design and how we might bring it back to our respective services in Wisconsin. To set the stage, I was one of two representatives from a private ambulance service (and the other guy came with me). The rest of the room consisted of representatives from career fire departments, a representative from the fire union, and a few representatives from a health care organization in the Milwaukee area. Don’t get me wrong – they were all genuinely nice people, some of which I knew before that visit, but my colleague and I found ourselves sitting quietly on the outer perimeter of the room watching, listening and absorbing. Jon was the only person in the room to walk over to us, extend a hand, introduce himself and ask for our perspective, as representatives from a private service. It was clear from that moment that Jon was excited at the opportunity to raise the bar of EMS in the State of Wisconsin whether it be through a community paramedic program or other ways that encouraged collaboration and relationship building. I didn’t see Jon again until a chance meeting at the CPR in Schools bill signing in Central Wisconsin years later. He remembered me immediately and was quick to walk up and say hello, catch up on what was new and exciting in our respective regions and share his excitement for the CPR in Schools initiative.
So why am I telling you about the first two times I met Jon? Because those two encounters are examples of why I was happy to see Jon elected to the PAAW Board – his focus on progress, commitment to relationships, and hope for the future are qualities that lead to transformative change and future growth. Jon believes it is easy (but wrong) to focus on our mission and serve with individual or organizational interests in mind. The challenge (and most effective) is to focus on our future, the vision and serve the totality of the industry and the interests of all.
Congratulations, Jon, and welcome to PAAW!
From the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health
The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health is holding a series of EMS listening sessions in rural areas across the state in October and November of this year.
The intent is to give a platform for rural EMS providers to describe their work, and the conditions in which they operate. Wisconsin has seen a steady decrease in volunteerism over the last two decades, and municipal budgets are stretched very thin, leading to the closure of several rural services in the last few years. The final portion of the evening will be dedicated to sharing ideas for solutions that could help rural EMS providers to keep their doors open while providing quality patient care.
At each event, state legislators, county and municipal leaders, hospital leadership, and citizens at large will be invited to attend. The messages from the meetings should echo beyond that room, to the policy makers that can address the situation.
These events are held in collaboration with the WI EMS Association (WEMSA), the Professional Ambulance Association of WI (PAAW), the WI State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA), the Professional Firefighters of WI (PFFW), and the WI EMS Board.
Locations and Dates Scheduled:
For updated information on rooms and locations, and new sites as they are added to the list, please visit: http://worh.org/events/rural-ems-listening-sessions
PAAW has a new mailing address. Would you please update your records?
PAAW c/o AAA
1420 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
Thank you for your continued support and participation.
On a recent EMS in Wisconsin Podcast, LuAnn Slater & Heidi Romansheck joined to share information about the change from social security numbers (SSN) to the new alpha-numeric Medicare Beneficiary Numbers. Distribution for Wisconsin residents is completed, but here are some resources you might find helpful.
Congratulations to Nick Romenesko of Gold Cross Ambulance and Jon Cohn of Greenfield Fire! Today, Nick and Jon were appointed to the vacant PAAW board seats. We look forward to working even more closely with these two, and thank them for their support and participation.
Today, ambulance services from across the state will receive an email survey from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health. Service directors, please be on the lookout for an email from email@example.com!
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