CMS Releases Proposed Cost Collection Rule

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CMS has released the proposed rule that would establish the ambulance fee schedule cost collection system as required by statute. The proposed rule sets the foundation for the data collection system for ground ambulances.  It proposes a stratified random sample method, that is very similar to the one the AAA proposed via the work we commissioned through The Moran Company. We are working through the stratification categories, which are slightly different than those we identified. CMS also proposes the cost and revenue data elements it plans to use.  There are some details in the proposed rule text and others will be in the proposed tool that will be posted the CMS website today. CMS also proposes the collection period and penalties for failing to report. While the data collection provision was…
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How Hard Could Cost Data Collection Be Anyway?

How Hard Could Cost Data Collection Be Anyway?

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Cost Data Collection…how hard could it really be?  You have costs, you report costs, job complete…right? Wrong! We wish it would be that simple, but the fact is cost data collection is more involved, and many ambulance services do things slightly (or not so slightly) differently which makes this process even more difficult.  Ambulance services across the country need to get on the same page so we are able to submit data that makes sense, paints a clear picture of what it costs to do what we do, and allows policy makers to make informed decisions that will actually benefit mobile healthcare. The proposed rule was released by CMS on Monday, July 29th and the AAA’s summary of the rule is available for members here.  The proposed rule, for the…
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Volunteer Labor: Understanding the True Cost of Doing Business

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There are three parts to ever story – a beginning, a middle, and an end. Likewise, there are three parts to running an ambulance service (humor me here); clinical staff (beginning) patients (middle) and administrators (end). This comparison is over-simplified, but the point is this – whether you are a 5-person volunteer service or a 5-state ambulance service, it takes the same basic things to operate. When it comes to cost data collection and ensuring organizations like CMS understand the true cost of doing business, we need to make sure we are sharing our individual stories in the same way. Full-Time ambulance services can likely report the cost of doing business relatively easily. They can run reports on the number of FTEs they have, how much they’re spending in overtime,…
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Request for Proposals—SME/Project Director

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American Ambulance Association Request for Proposals SME/ Project Director Ambulance Cost Data Collection November 2018 Overview The American Ambulance Association (AAA) invites proposals from qualified interested parties (individual and teams) for the purpose of directing the Ambulance Cost Data Project as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Introduction As part of the extension of the Ambulance Medicare Add on payments, legislation passed on February 9, 2018, the Congress mandated that ambulance services provide cost data.  General requirements of the legislation include the following: Requires notice-and-comment rulemaking May use a cost survey Collect (1) cost; (2) revenue; (3) utilization; and (4) other information determined appropriate by the Secretary Include information: (1) needed to evaluate the extent to which costs are related to payment rates; (2) on the utilization of capital equipment and…
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Statement on Cost Data Collection for Ambulance Services

Statement on Cost Data Collection for Ambulance Services

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For Immediate Release Contact: Amanda Riordan Phone: 703-615-4492 Email: ariordan@ambulance.org WASHINGTON, DC—On October 17, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), and The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association released a joint statement discouraging fire-based providers from endorsing AAA’s proposed ambulance cost collection methodology. While we regret to learn that they do not believe that our method is appropriate for the segment of providers they represent, we respectfully disagree and invite open dialogue as our previous requests to discuss cost collection with the IAFF and IAFC were declined. The American Ambulance Association membership is composed of ambulance providers of all types and sizes, ranging from non-profit, for-profit, volunteer, hospital-based, county-based, public utility models, and more. We represent 911 ambulance providers in major metropolitan areas, small 911…
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