CMS Announces Ambulance Services Selected for Year 2 Data Collection

News
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the names of those ground ambulance service providers and suppliers who will be required to submit their data for year 2 under the ambulance data collection system. To see the list of providers and suppliers selected for year 2, please go to the Ambulances Services Center page of the CMS website and scroll down to “Ground Ambulance Providers and Suppliers Selected to Submit Data in Year 2 (Zip)” or click here to download the file directly. Those providers and suppliers selected for either year 2 or year 1 will need to capture and report their data for a 12-month period beginning between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Providers and suppliers will have 5 months from the end of…
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CMS Announces Educational Opportunity for Ambulance Data Collection

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CMS is hosting a Medicare Learning Matters event on December 5, 2019 from 1:30 - 3:00 EST on Ground Ambulance Data Collection. From the MLN article: During this call, get an overview of the new Ground Ambulance Data Collection system, including: Background Selection of organizations required to report Detailed discussion of the Data Collection Instrument A question and answer session follows the presentation; however, you may email questions in advance to AmbulanceDataCollection@cms.hhs.gov with “December 5 Call” in the subject line. These questions may be addressed during the call or used for other materials following the call. For more Information, including providers selected for the first round of reporting, see the Ambulance Services Center webpage, CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule final rule, and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Register now for…
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CMS Publishes Final Rule on Ambulance Cost Data Collection

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November 1, 2019  the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule on the “Establishment of an Ambulance Data Collection System”. The rule was issued as part of the “Medicare Program; CY 2020 Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies” [CMS-1715-F and IFC]. The final rule is scheduled for official publication in the November 15 issue of the Federal Register. The AAA is currently reviewing the final rule to determine changes on the ambulance data collection system from the policies as outlined in the proposed rule of August 15. The proposed rule set forth a system utilizing a survey tool and sampling of ambulance service providers and suppliers as directed by Congress and supported by the AAA.…
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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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Quick Takes: Cost of Readiness

News
There is a widespread recognition in the industry that reimbursement doesn't fully take into account the costs of service readiness. But until 2020, we haven't had data to support that understanding. The new cost data collection requirements give us that opportunity IF we are able to gather and report readiness data effectively and accurately. As part of our Quick Takes series, we talk about these issues and give some things to think about in your service right away. [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/QTreadiness.mp4"]
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Quick Takes: Crosswalking

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With the release of the new accounting manual, a new tool is available for preparing your service for the new cost reporting (and for getting better financial metrics). As part of our Quick Takes series, we provide a bit of background, and share a helpful process with the new manual: crosswalking. [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/QTcrosswalk.mp4"]
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Quick Takes: The Role Of Service Mix

News
The data collection that launches in less than 10 months will include a wide variety of elements. Service area and service mix may seem like minor pieces of the collection, but they play a big role in analysis of utilization. As part of our Quick Takes series, we identify some questions you should be able to answer about YOUR service in order to be ready. [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/qtutil2.mp4"]
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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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Quick Takes: Medicare Utilization Basics

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Medicare Utilization and Service Volume data will be key in the upcoming CMS data collection efforts. As part of our Quick Takes series, here's a review of some basics, as well as a look at some limitations of the current system. [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/QTmedutil.mp4"]
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Quick Takes: A Bit of Context

News
We get questions regularly about why data collection is here, why it's important, and why anybody should care. As part of our Quick Takes series, here's a brief bit of context to help fill in some gaps! [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/QTbg.mp4"]
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Quick Takes: Dimension Compression

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Huh? What's dimension compression - and what does it have to do with booking expenditures? As part of our Quick Takes series, here's a brief overview with some examples! [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2018/11/QTdimcomp.mp4"]
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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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Quick Takes: NPIs

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As part of our new Quick Takes series, here's a brief discussion about the issues around having single or multiple NPIs under the new data collection requirements. Interested in taking a deeper dive into this topic? Learn from our panel of experts during the webinar Single vs. Multiple NPIs: Challenges and Opportunities on Tuesday, December 11th. [video mp4="https://ambulancereports.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2018/10/QTnpis.mp4"]
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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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CMS Launches Outreach Effort to Ambulance Providers & Suppliers

CMS Launches Outreach Effort to Ambulance Providers & Suppliers

News, Uncategorized
As part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018), the Congress instructed CMS to develop a cost collection system to collect cost and revenue data related to the provision of ambulance services. Ambulance services are defined by federal law to include all levels of emergency and non-emergency services.  CMS is in the first phase of this process. The Congress instructed the Agency to engage with stakeholders before specifying through notice and comment rulemaking the data collection system. By law, CMS is required to specify the final system by December 31, 2019. CMS must also identify the first group of providers and suppliers selected for the first representative sample by that date as well. It appears that the goal is to have the contractor develop a proposal before the…
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Chart of Accounts Review Started

Chart of Accounts Review Started

News
Earlier this week, the American Ambulance Association kicked off the new season of the data collection webinar series with a free session - an overview of a draft chart of accounts for ambulance services. This chart is intended to help services meet the upcoming reporting requirements, while standardizing definitions across the industry to aid in consistent reporting. With nearly five hundred registrants, the webinar was a tremendous success, and as a follow-up, the draft chart of accounts was sent to each registered person. Moving forward, the next step is to collect feedback from the wide variety of providers who were on the call (and those who watched the recording later). We'll be collecting that feedback over the coming days, and hope to have a revised and refined product available later…
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Annual Conference Pre-Con Slides

Annual Conference Pre-Con Slides

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At the recent 2018 AAA Annual Conference, several members of our team presented on the current state of the ambulance cost data collection legislation, regulations, and implementation. Here are the slides from the presentation: Annual2018PreconSlides
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California, Here We Come!

California, Here We Come!

News
Coming up on September 25-28, the California Ambulance Association will be holding their 2018 Annual Convention - and we'll be there! Come hear from our Cost Data Collection experts on the current regulatory situation, and what you need to do to start preparing your service NOW. You'll come away with a short series of to-do items to determine your readiness and move things ahead. We'll see you there!
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AAA PreCon Workshop on Mandatory Cost Data Collection

AAA PreCon Workshop on Mandatory Cost Data Collection

News
AAA is excited to announce that this year we will be holding a full day pre-conference workshop at the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show! Join industry experts Rebecca Williamson, Angie McLain, Asbel Montes, Kathy Lester, Scott Moore, and Brian Werfel to learn what the new cost data collection mandates will require and how you and your service can get ahead of the game and prepare for these changes. Mandatory Cost Data Collection: When Is It Happening & How to Prepare September 5, 2018 | 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM | MGM Grand, Las Vegas $75 for Annual Conference attendees | $250 workshop-only 2018 federal legislation expanded Medicare cost reporting to ambulance services, although with some important differences from other Medicare reporters. Failure to meet these new reporting requirements could…
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