Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission is Excited to Announce its First Annual Conference

NEMTAC is proud to announce its first annual conference, to be held September 8th – 10th, 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Talking Stick Resort & Casino. NEMTAC is a nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to championing standards and best practices for the provision of non-emergency medical transportation.

This is the first national conference solely dedicated to the Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) industry. The NEMTAC conference brings together leading NEMT professionals, company owners and operators along with healthcare professionals, executives, payers, NEMT vendors, and educators.

NEMTAC’s conference track information will be on the NEMTAC website shortly. The Board of Directors is grateful for the friends and sponsors who have been instrumental in the success of its inaugural year, including its Founding Corporate Sponsors, WellRyde, Medical Answering Services (MAS), TripSpark Technologies and Kinetik NEMT Billing.

“Conference attendees will have access to high quality keynotes, luncheons and events with full conference attendance. We encourage you to apply to present and participate in this exciting conference,” said Michael Shabkie, NEMTAC Founder. More information on the conference will be provided as it is available, please stay tuned for further announcements and for updates on our website.

Call for Presentations

Do you have experience and expertise that could benefit your NEMT colleagues? Why not share them and get recognition as a founding presenter at the First Annual NEMTAC conference? Please email conference@nemtac.org to discuss speaking opportunities.

About NEMTAC

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) was established as a nonprofit healthcare organization to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system. NEMTAC standards represent industry best practices designed to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC provides advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals seeking a career in the medical transportation industry. For more information visit www.nemtac.org.

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Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a detailed fact sheet detailing the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) model. It provides significant details on the scope of the project and key benchmarks – Michael Shabkie 

Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (Innovation Center) Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model is a voluntary, five-year payment model that will provide greater flexibility to ambulance care teams to address emergency health care needs of Medicare beneficiaries following a 911 call. Under the ET3 model, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will pay participating ambulance suppliers and providers to:

  1. Transport an individual to a hospital emergency department (ED) or other destination covered under the regulations
  2. Transport to an alternative destination (such as a primary care doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic),
  3. Provide treatment in place with a qualified health care practitioner, either on the scene or connected using telehealth.

The model will allow beneficiaries to access the most appropriate emergency services at the right time and place. The model will also encourage local governments, their designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches to promote successful model implementation by establishing a medical triage line for low-acuity 911 calls. As a result, the ET3 model aims to improve quality and lower costs by reducing avoidable transports to the ED and unnecessary hospitalizations following those transports.

Why develop a model for emergency medical services (EMS) innovation?
Currently, Medicare regulations only allow payment for emergency ground ambulance services when individuals are transported to hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and dialysis centers. Most beneficiaries who call 911 with a medical emergency are therefore transported to one of these facilities, and most often to a hospital ED, even when a lower-acuity destination may more appropriately meet an individual’s needs.

An earlier White Paper by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Transportation found that Medicare could save $560 million per year by transporting individuals to doctors’ offices rather than a hospital ED; taking into account avoided inpatient hospitalizations and opportunities for treating in place may garner further savings and quality of care improvements. Thus, there is great opportunity for improvement in care quality and reduction in costs to the Medicare program through innovation in emergency medical services (EMS).

In addition, a range of EMS innovations across the care continuum has been instituted throughout the country. The ET3 Model builds upon design components and lessons learned from such innovations as well as several EMS-related Innovation Center Health Care Innovation Award (HCIA) recipients.

How does the ET3 model transform the ambulance system?
With the support of local governments, their designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches, ambulance suppliers and providers will triage people seeking emergency care based on their presenting needs. The model aims to ensure Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries receive the most appropriate care, at the right time, and in the right place. As depicted in the figure below, the model may help make EMS systems more efficient and will provide beneficiaries broader access to the care they need. Beneficiaries who receive treatment from alternative destinations may also save on out-of-pocket costs. An individual can always choose to be brought to an ED if he/she prefers.

This flow chart outlines how emergency health care needs of Medicare beneficiaries would be addressed following a 911 call, and the new services under the ET3 model.  At the top of the chart is “911 call received.” After the 911 call is received an ambulance service is initiated OR a health care professional discusses health concern(s) with the individual via a medical triage line. The medical triage line that connects an individual with a health care professional is a new service under the ET3 model.  If an ambulance is initiated, one of two things could happen. One, the ambulance could transport the individual to receive additional care, either to another care facility like urgent care, or to a covered destination like the emergency department. OR two, the ambulance arrives, but does not transport the individual. In this second scenario, as part of the ambulance care team, a qualified health care practitioner (either on site or through audio or video conferencing) provides treatment in place. The ambulance transporting the individual to another care facility like urgent care is a new service under the ET3 model as is treatment in place either on site or through audio or video conferencing via a qualified health care practitioner.

What are the model’s goals?
The ET3 model aims to reduce expenditures and preserve or enhance quality of care by:

• Providing person-centered care, such that beneficiaries receive the appropriate level of care delivered safely at the right time and place while having greater control of their healthcare through the availability of more options
• Encouraging appropriate utilization of services to meet health care needs effectively.
• Increasing efficiency in the EMS system to more readily respond to and focus on high-acuity cases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

How will the model achieve these goals?
The ET3 Model aims to achieve these goals through three core features:

1. Quality-adjusted payments for EMS innovations. Provide new payment options for transport and treatment in place following a 911 call Tie payment to performance milestones to hold participants accountable for quality

2. Support for aligned regional markets. Make cooperative agreements available to local governments, its designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches acting on their behalf in regions where selected model participants operate Focus funding on the establishment of medical triage lines to ensure appropriate use of EMS resources and advance multi-payer adoption to support overall success and sustainability.

3. Enhanced monitoring and enforcement. Build accountability through the monitoring of specific quality metrics and adverse events Include robust enforcement to ensure patient safety and program integrity

Who can participate in the model?
The key participants in the ET3 Model will be Medicare-enrolled ambulance service suppliers and hospital-owned ambulance providers. In addition, to advance regional alignment, local governments, their designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches in geographic areas where ambulance suppliers and providers have been selected to participate in the model will have an opportunity to apply for cooperative agreement funding.
Together, ambulance suppliers and providers will focus on direct services, while local governments, their designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches will create a supportive structure to ensure successful and sustainable delivery of those services.

Ambulance Suppliers and Providers will support EMS innovation by transporting Medicare beneficiaries to currently covered destinations (e.g., ED ) or alternative destinations, and by providing treatment in place with a qualified health care practitioner (on site or via telehealth). Local Governments, its designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatcheswill promote successful model implementation by establishing a medical triage line for low-acuity calls received via their 911 dispatch system.

Who is eligible for the model interventions?
Any individual who calls 911 and is connected to a dispatch system that has incorporated a medical triage line under the model would be screened for eligibility for medical triage services prior to ambulance initiation. Upon arriving on scene, participating ambulance suppliers and providers may triage Medicare FFS beneficiaries to one of the model’s interventions upon ambulance dispatch following a 911 call. As part of a multi-payer alignment strategy, the Innovation Center will encourage ET3 Model participants to partner with additional payers, including state Medicaid agencies, to provide similar interventions to all people in their geographic areas.

How may Medicare beneficiaries and their families benefit from the ET3 model?
Participating ambulance suppliers and providers will have greater flexibility regarding where and how a beneficiary receives care following an emergency. By paying for ambulance transport to new destinations or treatment in place for beneficiaries with lower-acuity needs, beneficiaries will gain new ways of accessing care settings during an emergency. As a result, the model may allow beneficiaries to avoid hours spent in the ED as well as reduce exposure to hospital-acquired conditions.

How will funding be awarded?
The Innovation Center anticipates releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) in Summer 2019 to solicit Medicare-enrolled ambulance suppliers and providers. Once participants have been selected and announced, the Innovation Center anticipates issuing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in Fall 2019 for up to 40 of two-year cooperative agreements, available to local governments, their designees, or other entities that operate or have authority over one or more 911 dispatches in geographic locations where ambulance suppliers and providers have been selected to participate.
The Innovation Center anticipates utilizing a phased approach with up to three rounds of RFAs, up to two releases of NOFOs, and staggered performance start dates. The staged approach across multiple application rounds is designed to advance key design elements of the ET3 Model and optimize overall impact, including regional uptake of its innovations and multi-payer alignment.

What is the model timeline?
The ET3 Model will have a five-year performance period. The anticipated start date is January 2020. The performance period for all participants, regardless of start date, will end at the same time; thus, only applicants selected through the first RFA will participate for the full five years.

Resources and Support
For more information on the ET3 Model, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/et3/. If stakeholders have questions on the ET3 Model, they can send an email to ET3Model@cms.hhs.gov.

NEMTAC is Addressing the Unique Challenges the Patient, Payers and Providers Face in the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry

Written by: Michael Shabkie, Founder, Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission

The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) is a nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to championing standards and best practices between providers and those in need of non-emergency medical transportation.

According to a recent American Hospital Association study on Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), hospitals and health systems are recognizing that social, economic and environmental factors affect the opportunities that patients and their families must engage in healthy behaviors, which ultimately improves health outcomes.

Issue 1- Missed appointments and the resulting delays in care cost the health system $150 billion each year in the U.S. When a patient is unable to find or afford a ride, costs accrue for patients, caregivers, providers, insurers and taxpayers. Health care systems lose revenue from missed appointments because of the effects on delivery, cost of care and resource planning.

Issue 2 – Patients frequently identify transportation barriers as a major reason for missing health care appointments. Missed appointments are associated with increased medical care costs for the patient, disruption of patient care and provider-patient relationships, delayed care and increased emergency department visits.

Issue 3 – Patients are less likely to fill prescriptions if they experience transportation issues. According to one study, 65 percent of patients said transportation assistance would help with prescriptions fills after discharge. Studies have shown that restriction of Medicaid payments for transportation resulted in decreased prescription refills.

Hospitals and health systems can address patients’ transportation needs and improve the health of their communities by implementing a variety of strategies, including:

• Understanding and assessing the impact of transportation on public health
• Supporting policy and infrastructure programs aimed to improve transportation access and to create safer, healthier transportation options
• Investing resources in understanding patients’ transportation needs
• Providing mobile clinics or direct transportation services through community partnerships or programs
• Using technology, such as providing telehealth options, to reduce travel time for patients

By making the commitment to address transportation barriers and building partnerships with community organizations and other entities, hospitals and health systems can improve transportation and health care access for patients and families and create more equitable, healthier communities.

NEMTAC is addressing the challenges noted in the American Hospital Association study in a comprehensive manner by:

Developing American National Standards – NEMTAC is dedicated to ensuring safe medical transportation and has a role in the establishment of American National Standards that affect our industry. Our standards development activities have a broad scope, ranging from high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations, life safety and ethical business practices.

National Accreditation for Transportation Providers – NEMTAC offers the only national accreditation program designed to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system (non-ambulance). Obtaining accreditation distinguishes an organization and signifies to its customer and stakeholders that they have met the NEMT industry standards of excellence. NEMTAC’s comprehensive accreditation process often exceeds those established by state or local regulators and are designed to increase utilization, serve as a market differentiator and decrease liability.

Certification Programs for the NEMT Professional – NEMTAC has teamed up with Medic-CE to provide exceptional online education to the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) industry. This innovative partnership combines Medic-CE’s dedication to high standards of content development and innovative technology delivery with NEMTAC’s critical mission to provide national standards, company accreditation and professional development programs to the dedicated medical transportation providers throughout the United States.

About NEMTAC
The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) was established as a nonprofit organization to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system. NEMTAC standards represent industry best practices designed to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC provides advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals seeking a career in the medical transportation industry. For more information visit http://www.nemtac.org.

About the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Industry
The NEMT industry provides a critical non-ambulance transportation link between patients and their medical care needs, including appointments with physicians and other services, such as dialysis, diagnostic tests or wound care. 17,000+ companies in the NEMT industry provide millions of transports annually for patients, typically for pre-scheduled services. However, it’s estimated that missed care appointments due to a lack of transportation cost the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

Learn More

Social Determinants of Health Series: Transportation and the Role of Hospitals https://www.aha.org/ahahret-guides/2017-11-15-social-determinants-health-series-transportation-and-role-hospitals

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) Gains Coveted Designation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – July 16th, 2018 – The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) today announced that it has been approved by the Executive Standards Council (ExSC) of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an Accredited Standard Developer (ASD).

Founded in 1918, ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that coordinates, facilitates, and promotes the development of voluntary consensus standards that are relied upon by industry, government agencies, and consumers across the United States and around the world. ANSI accredited organizations – and the experts that populate them – work cooperatively to enhance service delivery and improve the competitiveness of businesses operating in the global marketplace.

“With active participation from subject-matter-experts on a variety of topics related to non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), NEMTAC is developing a rigorous standards development process for the NEMT industry that includes review and approval by various Advisory Boards and our Board of Directors,” said Steve Lewis, NEMTAC Board President.

Approval to become a standards developer was granted based upon standards development procedures that meet or exceed ANSI’s due process requirements and that NEMTAC will ensure adequate resources are dedicated to NEMT standards development.

“NEMTAC is proud to join the ranks of ANSI Standards Developers,” said Melissa Jankowski, NEMTAC Executive Director, “With ANSI approval, the public can depend on NEMTAC Standards as a peer driven, independent, and effective means of identifying the NEMT industry’s best practices for quality, safety and ethical business practices.”

About NEMTAC – The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) was established as a nonprofit organization to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system. NEMTAC standards represent industry best practices designed to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC provides advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals seeking a career in the medical transportation industry.  For more information visit www.nemtac.org.

About the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Industry – The NEMT industry provides a critical non-ambulance transportation link between patients and their medical care needs, including appointments with physicians and other services, such as dialysis, diagnostic tests or wound care. 17,000+ companies in the NEMT industry provide millions of transports annually for patients, typically for pre-scheduled services.  However, its estimated that missed care appointments due to a lack of transportation cost the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars per year. The medical transportation industry is rapidly expanding to meet this need.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission Announces Founding Board of Directors

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – June 27, 2018 – PRLog — The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) is pleased to announce the selection of their Founding Board of Directors. NEMTAC is a new non-profit healthcare organization dedicated to championing standards and best practices for providers, buyers, regulators and those who are served by non-emergency medical transportation.

With stable medical conditions and often pre-scheduled appointments, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) customers rely on this vital service provided by over 17,000 companies nationwide. This rapidly growing  industry provides millions of transports annually connecting patients with their care.

The new board members come from diverse backgrounds and include current and former executives from the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) industry, healthcare, large non-profits and the ambulance industry. “We have a very strong leadership foundation in place and we couldn’t be more pleased with these appointments. Each of these individuals’ deep professional backgrounds and passionate commitment to the non-emergency medical transportation industry will bring insightful perspectives to our Board,” said Michael Shabkie, NEMTAC Founder.

The Board of Directors, comprised of a multidisciplinary team with vast experience in business, healthcare, technology and all levels of medical transportation, includes:

·       Steve Lewis, NEMTAC Board President

·       Robert Brown, NEMTAC Board Vice President

·       Peter Hicks, NEMTAC Board Secretary

·       Michael Shabkie, Board Treasurer

·       Stan Sipes, NEMTAC Board Member

·       Chris Kelly, NEMTAC Board Member

·       David Marhoffer, NEMTAC Board Member

In announcing the first NEMTAC Board Members, Melissa Jankowski, Executive Director said, “It’s important to be surrounded by the right people and we’ve assembled a very experienced and talented group that will help drive the vision of NEMTAC and assist us in forming a path of success.” Ms. Jankowski further stated, “Over the coming months, the board will continue to search for additional world-class directors and a wide range of stakeholders to serve on committees and task forces who will develop the national standards and training content.”

About NEMTAC: The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) was established as a nonprofit organization to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s non-emergency medical transportation system. NEMTAC standards will represent industry best practices designed to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC will provide advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals seeking a career in the non-emergency medical transportation industry.

For more information visit www.nemtac.org.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission-01
http://www.nemtac.org

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) Announces New Executive Director

Scottsdale, AZ – Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) is pleased to announce the selection of Melissa Jankowski as the organization’s Executive Director. NEMTAC is a non-profit healthcare organization dedicated to championing standards and best practices between providers and those in need of non-emergency medical transportation.

“We are thrilled to have Melissa taking on this leadership role as the executive director of NEMTAC,” said Michael Shabkie, Founder and President of NEMTAC. “She brings to the organization an exceptional combination of energy, industry experience and proven leadership.

Melissa started her relationship with NEMTAC earlier this year as the Director of National Standards & Accreditation as she was instrumental in NEMTAC’s application process with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to become an Accredited Standards Developer.

“I am elated to join NEMTAC and work in partnership with the industry thought leaders who will be the first to work in collaboration to create best practices and standards for the NEMT industry,” says, Ms. Jankowski. “Placing patients at the center of NEMTAC’s standards development is critical to assuring NEMT services are met with quality, timely and safe operations.”

She has worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. During this time, she has exceled in managing medical transportation services, hospital consulting services, medical devices, product launch and education. She has extensive experience building relationships in the medical transportation industry, Hospitals and Payors and has provided leadership, mentoring and strategic decision making in these challenging environments.

Melissa holds a BS from Colorado State University and currently lives in Colorado.

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Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) was established as a nonprofit organization to enhance and promote the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system. NEMTAC standard represent industry best practices designed to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC provided advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals seeking a career in the medical transportation industry. For more information visit www.nemtac.org.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (NEMTAC) is Launching First National NEMT Accreditation Program

The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (www.NEMTAC.org), has officially launched and is now offering the only national accreditation program that represents non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) companies, agencies, groups, ridesharing companies and individuals.

Comprised of both private and public organizations providing medically necessary transportation, the NEMT industry often operates under fragmented regulations and disparate operational standards. These vital transportation services serve as the safety net for Medicaid recipients, the elderly, the disabled and those with low incomes requiring access to healthcare services.

NEMTAC, established as a nonprofit organization, enhances and promotes the quality of care in America’s medical transportation system. NEMTAC standards will represent industry best practices to ensure consistently high-quality customer care, safe vehicle operations and ethical business practices. In addition to accreditation, NEMTAC offers basic and advanced education and training certificate programs to individuals working in and seeking a career in the NEMT industry.

Obtaining NEMTAC accreditation distinguishes an organization and signifies to its customers and stakeholders that they have met the NEMT industry standards of excellence. NEMTAC’s comprehensive accreditation process often exceeds those established by state or local regulators. Those who are adherent to NEMTAC standards and accredited should see increased utilization, decreased liability and will be recognized as a market leader.

NEMTAC Pursuing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation

NEMTAC has proudly applied for the coveted accreditation as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer. By being granted ANSI accreditation, a neutral, third-party will attest that NEMTAC is maintaining adherence to national standards development.

Once approved by ANSI, NEMTAC will then be allowed to submit NEMT standards for approval as American National Standards (ANS). Such standards must demonstrate strict adherence to ANSI’s Essential Requirements, which outline the Institute’s requirements for openness, balance, lack of dominance, due process, and consensus in standards development.

ABOUT NEMTAC

Promoting NEMT Industry Best Practices and Exceptional Standards

The Non Emergency Medical Transportation Accreditation Commission (www.NEMTAC.org) is a peer reviewed organization dedicated to improving the provision of medical transportation by providing a dynamic accreditation process through the development of standards, education and technical services.

Our rigorous internal process includes:

* Honest and Analytical Organizational Self-Assessment

* Ethical Business and Billing Practices

* Exceptional Customer Service and Adherence to Industry Best Practices

* Continuous Quality Improvement

* Extensive NEMTAC Staff Education

* Transparency in the Accreditation Process

For more information and to learn how your medical transportation organization or employees can benefit from NEMTAC accreditation, please visit www.NEMTAC.org.