Regional News & Committee Update

APEMS is the administrative office for the Southern Maine, Kennebec Valley, Northeastern Maine, and Mid-Coast Regional Councils. The Regional Advisory Councils meet as follows:

Southern Maine RAC:

    Council meets every other month on the 4th Wednesday at 9 am. The Regional Medical Control Committee meeting is combined with the Council meeting unless there is business that requires it to be separated. The meeting locations move every meeting to allow services to take turns hosting the meetings.

Kennebec Valley RAC:

    Council meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) on the 2nd Thursday at 9 am. All meetings are held at the APEMS office in Winslow with the ability to teleconference.

Mid-Coast RAC:

    Council meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) on the 4th Wednesday at 3 pm. All meetings are held at the PBMC Conference Room on Rockport with the ability to teleconference.

Northeast RAC:

    Council meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) on the 2nd Wednesday at 3 pm. All meetings are held at the APEMS Office in Bangor with the ability to teleconference.

APEMS Board:

    The APEMS Board is made up of 3 representatives from each of the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs). These representatives are selected by the members of the RAC based on criteria created by the RAC. Each representative can serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms, staggered so that the terms of all of the representatives from a particular RAC don’t expire at the same time. The Board meets every other month on the 4th Thursday.

RAC Meetings:

The goal of the RAC meetings is to communicate with members about the Maine EMS system and solicit input about issues affecting EMS services and their providers. Some of the bigger issues we are working on right now:

  • System Review: We are awaiting the report from their system review consulting group and look forward to working with the Maine Ems Board to design a system that will meet the needs of our services, providers, and patients for the foreseeable future.
  • Medicaid Rate Increase: We have been working with Maine Ambulance Association to get the Legislature to approve a Maine Care rate increase for ambulance services. Last legislative year it resulted in a requirement that Maine Care conducts a rate study to be presented to the legislature in January 2017. We were notified late last week that the rate study has been completed and is ready to submit to the legislature. We will be reviewing it and will keep you updated on the progress.
  • Weapons law: During recent changes to the gun carry laws, it was determined that municipal service could not prohibit anyone (patients included) from carrying a gun while in municipally owned property, including ambulances. We have been working with a legislator to introduce a bill that would prohibit weapons in an ambulance, excluding law enforcement officers. We also need to add an exclusion for those circumstances where PD is not on the scene and there is no way to safely leave the weapon at the scene. We will keep you updated on the progress of this bill.
  • New England Organ Bank: NEOB has been in contact with Maine EMS and the regions about a decrease in referrals since Maine EMS providers began terminating cardiac arrest calls in the field. They would like to work with us to see if we can get EMS providers to start making referral phone calls (not talking with the families about organ donation, just contacting NEOB and letting them talk with the family). More information to follow as we develop this process.
  • We have been talking with a number of services about the Medicare Exclusion check and CLIA requirement:

    1. Medicare Exclusion – Any organization receiving reimbursement from the Federal Government cannot employ any person, nor do business with any entity, that has been excluded from participating in Federal financial programs. The organization is required to conduct a regular review of all personnel and businesses to ensure that none fall into this category. For more information about this requirement, go to: Medicare Exclusion Check: https://exclusions.oig.hhs.gov/ When you go to this site, there an “exclusions” tab across the top that provides “quick tips” and background info that you might find helpful.
    2. CLIA Waiver If your service performs blood glucose checks, you must maintain a current CLIA (Lab) waiver. If you do not have a CLIA waiver, you are conducting blood testing in violation of federal law. Below is the link to the PDF of the CLIA Waiver application that you can complete, and attached are instructions for completing the application and where to send it.
    3. CLIA Waiver Application: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-forms/Downloads/CMS116.pdf
  • Infection Control training: It has been a number of years since many of us have updated our Infection control training, policies, and procedures. We have been able to secure a grant through Maine EMS to bring Katherine West to Maine to conduct both Basic and advanced DICO training. She will be in Kennebunk on March 13 & 14 for Basic DICO, and March 15th for Advanced DICO. She will be in Bangor May 1 & 2 for another Basic DICO class, and May 3 for Advanced DISO. For more information or to register, go to our website, specialty classes, 1 & 2-day seminars.
  • Management training: We have also been able to arrange for Jon Politis to return to Maine to conduct his 2-day Supervisor Boot Camp training. Locations to be determined, but he will be conducting a session on March 30 & 31, and then again on April 3 & 4. Watch our website for more information.

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