Cost Data Collection Is Coming!…and Other Lessons Learned at the Midwest EMS Expo

“After that session…I am so impressed with the American Ambulance Association and what they’re doing with cost collection!”

“I knew cost collection was happening, and that it was kind of a big deal – but I had NO IDEA how much of an impact it could have on the industry if we do not get it right.  We have to start talking to our EMS neighbors so we can all help each other.” 

Those are a few of the comments I heard while attendees of the Cost Data Collection workshop held at the 2019 Midwest EMS Expo were exiting their session.  During the all-day workshop, the ACE Faculty spent time explaining what cost data collection is, why it is happening, lessons learned from other industries and what the current timeline is.  The faculty also maneuvered the attendees into four small groups so they could work closely with one group through a series of exercises to better understand how cost data collection is going to look and feel in their organizations.  Not only does this approach allow Scott, Asbel, Rebecca, and Brian to learn from the attendees so they can continue to tailor their educational plan, it will enable services to learn from each other.  The service models represented in the room ranged from multi-state career organizations to primarily volunteer organizations operating in a rural setting and the opportunity to discuss the anticipated challenges of cost data collection with their counterparts nightlights where they can support each other.

Although it is easy to look at only the aspects that directly impact your service, or how you will move through a process like cost collection, it is equally as important to understand how other services are affected.  Remember, we have to get this right as an industry rather than individual services.  How the volunteer services handle the demands of cost collection will affect private for-profit, fire-based EMS, and private, not-for-profit services, and vice versa.

The participants I was able to solicit feedback from said they walked away feeling more knowledgeable on the topic of cost data collection, and more prepared for the January 2020 selection process.  Minimally, service leaders thought they were on track and where they needed to be, or had the information they needed to take this back to their service and start working towards readiness.  This includes knowing who to get involved in the process, such as accountants, revenue cycle managers or billing companies if a third-party service is involved. Fortunately, the American Ambulance Association is leading as the voice of the industry with Ambulance Cost Education. There are a variety of resources that can be useful on your path to readiness, both free and subscription based. Preparing your service now is the best way to stay on top of the changes coming.


For more information on ambulance cost data collection and all the American Ambulance Association is doing to help services across the country prepare, visit www.ambulancereports.org. You will find both free resources and paid subscriptions are available to fit your budget and help your service prepare for the future of EMS.