A Letter From The President
It is an honor and I am excited to begin my service as the president of the Missouri Ambulance Association (MAA). As I begin my presidential term I would like to thank Chief Margie Sammons for all her dedication and work in leading the MAA during her presidential term.
The MAA is beginning the 2016 year in good standing. Our membership is up, we are financially stable, and we have an exceptional group of board members ready to continue to work of advancing EMS in Missouri. We are kicking off the year with an outstanding reimbursement seminar presented by AAA Medicare consultant, Brian Werfel. This seminar will present up to date information on changes to Medicare, efforts to secure permanent Medicare relief, OIG investigation, and ongoing efforts to crack down on fraud and abuse.
The MAA is excited to continue to bring high-quality EMS education to our members in the EMS community. This year's educational opportunities will include topics on leadership, management, finances, billing and reimbursement, and legal issues. MAA will also continue to provide ambulance board member training. In collaboration with the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association (MEMSA), MAA is sponsoring two outstanding EMS conferences; ICE Spring Break at the Lake of the Ozarks and the EMS Conference and Expo in Branson. These are both national level conferences brought to you here at home in Missouri.
The EMS landscape in Missouri is rapidly evolving. MAA continues to be engaged in the growing community paramedic process. The MAA legislative agenda is full and we are mobilizing to address these issues. The legislative agenda includes 911 comprehensive legislation, allowance of certified public expenditure and intergovernmental transfers to create additional funds from Medicaid (more money for EMS), FRA renewal (big money for EMS), TIF issues, LODD benefits for dependent children/spouses of EMS personnel, ensuring EMS personnel the right to legal counsel during investigations, community protection for EMS personnel transport of psychiatric patients, and much, much more.
One significant threat that presented last year was a move by insurance companies who want to repeal current law that requires them to pay ambulance services directly. The insurance companies backed down last year and the MAA is ready to fight back this year if the threat reemerges.
How is the MAA able to do all this? Well, there is no secret formula. It requires the support of Missouri EMS and ambulance services. Membership dues and income from meeting and educational events fund our legislative arm and pay for future educational events. It also takes time and energy from dedicated EMS leaders serving on the MAA board, committees, and task forces.
Who is the MAA? It is all of us working together. It is our combined strength in efforts to make us able to accomplish great things. If your agency is a current MAA member, thank you for your continued support! If you are not yet a member, then I invite you to join forces with us. Through our collaborative strength, the MAA will succeed in supporting and improving EMS for all of Missouri.
Shane Lockard, MAA President