The process of Ambulance Cost Data Collection is continuing to move along and, as we move closer to January 2020, a few other important steps are drawing near as well. Amber, a user-friendly web-based system for entering the federally required data is entering beta-testing phases with a wide-release anticipated later this year.
Amber, created exclusively by the American Ambulance Association in conjunction with industry experts, is designed to make cost data collection, and submission of the required data, as painless as possible. Users of this system will end up with two items:
- A file that can be submitted to meet agency requirements of cost data collection
- An ongoing dataset that the American Ambulance Association and policy makers can use as they continue fighting for increased funding for mobile healthcare
Wondering how another piece of software will fit in to your existing system and workflow? An API will be available, designed to give vendors the back-end access and ability to add-in and pull out information for their customers.
Amber will also include a type of integrated encyclopedia; help links that provide additional explanation and definitions for each data element, ensuring accuracy across service types. You can expect the data elements to follow the DORC model:
As Amber moves through beta testing and the final rule is released, which is expected very soon, changes will be made to match before the final release of the software. As will any software rollout, there will be versions and updates along the way as additional features are added and functionality is increased through continued work with industry expert and vendor collaboration.
What can you do about it now? Start talking with your vendors and billing companies. Make sure they are up to date on everything cost data collection and engage them in a conversation about Amber. You can help them stay up to date by going to www.ambulancereports.org and signing them up for the FREE newsletter. Webinars can also be purchased on-demand or as part of a subscription, and you can reach out to the ACE Faculty with any questions.