News

Texas HHSC Seeking Volunteers for First Responder Mental Health Workgroup

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission seeks volunteers to develop and make recommendations on mental health-care access for first responders. HHSC is looking for people with professional and personal experience with crisis or emergency response, crisis or emergency mental health services, and mental health benefits for first responder organizations. To apply, […]

Healing Our EMS Heroes: October 4 in Tyler

Brenda McBride of ETMC presented on PTSD among EMS professionals at EMS EVOLUTION 2017. She will be presenting again at EMS EVOLUTION 2018 (June 18-20). In the meantime, David Berceli, PhD, the creator of Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE), will be presenting at the ETMC Behavioral Health Center in Tyler […]

“Adopt an EMS Family Program” – Hurricane Harvey Relief

The Journal of Emergency Medical Services is adopting EMS families to help with Hurricane Harvey relief. Interested EMS agencies are encouraged to reach out to JEMS. Click here to view the background and instructions: 1 - Explanatory letter - Hurricane Harvey - Texas & Louisian Adopt-An-EMS-Family - Description and parameters of the […]

DSHS Survey on Hurricane Damage to EMS Agencies

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has asked EMS agencies to complete a very short online survey to determine the effect of Hurricane Harvey on Texas EMS agencies. Click here to access the survey and complete it. […]

Texas EMS Award Nominations Due on September 29

Texas EMS Award nominations are being accepted until September 29. Don't miss your opportunity to nominate a person or organization that best exemplifies what the Texas EMS/Trauma system has to offer.  Winners are announced at the Texas EMS Conference Awards Luncheon in November.  Visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/emstraumasystems/conference.shtm for submission information. […]

Pharmacies Open in the Hurricane Area

The Texas Medical Association published a map of the pharmacies that are open in the area affected by Hurricane Harvey. Click here to view the map. […]

EMS Response to Hurricane Harvey

EMS professionals from across the state of Texas have responded to the Hurricane Harvey efforts along the Texas coast. Please visit TEMSA's Facebook and Twitter pages to keep updated on EMS efforts in Texas. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pictured in Rockport, Texas with EMS professionals from Hopkins County EMS, Argyle […]

First Responder Mental Health Webinar on August 29

This webinar will introduce attendees to the topic of first responder mental health. It includes a review of mental health conditions common in first responders; an overview of the statistics regarding first responder mental health; the signs that someone may be having a mental health crisis, and how to talk […]

Clarification of EMS Scope of Practice Model

There has been a lot of confusion on social media regarding scope of practice updates from NASEMSO. The organization provided this clarification: http://www.nasemso.org/Projects/EMSScopeOfPractice/documents/NASEMSO-Press-Release-SoPM-National-Engagement-08Aug2017.pdf […]

Sodium Cyanide Capsule Notice for EMS Agencies

The Texas Wildlife Services Program (TWSP) is providing a notice regarding sodium cyanide capsules to Texas EMS agencies. TWSP employees throughout the State may use sodium cyanide capsules in a spring loaded device called the M-44 device to control predation of livestock and the spread of diseases caused by certain wild […]

New Resources for Regional Medication Shortages

The following resource was produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Access to medications is a problem plaguing healthcare providers across the United States, and EMS systems have not been immune. From dextrose to epinephrine to sodium bicarbonate, many of the common drugs found on an ambulance have […]

Sepsis Webinar on July 19

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Region VI will hold a webinar on Sepsis on Wednesday, July 19. Click here to learn more and register. […]

New Fentanyl Guide for First Responders

The U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration recently released a guide on fentanyl for first responders.  Click here to access it: Fentanyl Guide Public Fire EMS June2017 […]

New NHTSA Report on Lights & Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Office of Emergency Medical Services released a report on lights and safety. Click here to access the report. Executive Summary Primum non nocere – first do no harm. This principle of medical care helps to guide medical decisions by reminding healthcare providers that while attempting […]

Ransomware Info for EMS Agencies

The "WannaCry" ransomware attack on May 12 affected health care providers across the world. Click here to view the FBI's memo on the subject: FBI Memo Ransomware Click here to view a memo prepared by the federal government regarding useful tips for preventing the ransomware attack: Memo 02Ransomware_Preven […]

EMS Licensure Compact Is Now Official

Georgia's governor signed his state's EMS licensure compact bill into law today.  As the 10th state, the EMS licensure compact is now official. The 2015 Texas Legislature passed Texas' participation in the EMS licensure compact.  The 10 states include Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, Tennessee, Idaho, Utah, Mississippi, Wyoming and Georgia. […]

EipPen Batches Recalled

Epi batches have been recalled due to a failure to activate. Click here to learn more. […]

Federal Government’s OIG Work Plan for Ambulances in 2017

By Chris Kelly The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) has released its “work plan” for 2017. The OIG is the policing arm of Medicare, and they issue this annual report to itemize and explain the areas of Medicare compliance that they intend to investigate […]

Mobile Integrated Healthcare Programs

On behalf of the National Fire Academy (NFA), Cybermedia Technologies, Inc. (CTEC) and EMS subject matter experts are creating online training for EMS personnel to learn how to develop, maintain, and implement a Mobile Integrated Healthcare program. In addition to our expertise, we want to ensure that we are capturing the […]

Lewisville’s Ricky Reeves Awarded 2016 EMS Administrator of the Year

Ricky Reeves, who serves as the Lewisville Fire Department's EMS Division Chief and is one of the founding members of TEMSA, was presented the 2016 EMS Administrator Award by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The award was presented on November 22, 2016 at the Texas EMS Conference in Dallas. […]

Social Media in the EMS Industry

By Michael Benavides, Austin-Travis County EMS Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is plagued with being the “Ghosts on the Scene." The necessity of responding to incidents, and treating and transporting patients off the scene in a relatively expedient manner is not only unavoidable, but it is a good pre-hospital care business practice. Unfortunately, […]

Using DSI To Prevent RSI from Becoming RSD

Using DSI to Prevent RSI from Becoming RSD (Rapidly Sequenced Death) By Jeffrey L. Jarvis, MD RSI (Rapid Sequence Intubation) is a common process used by EMS agencies across the nation to perform endotracheal intubation. It involves administering a sedative agent (often ketamine, etomidate, or Versed) and a neuromuscular blocking agent (succinylcholine […]

Risk vs. Benefit Analysis in EMS

Texas EMS Alliance – October 2016 Risk vs. Benefit Analysis By Jonathan Sell Emergency services management is often overwhelmed by attempting to avert or deal with problems by creating and enforcing policy and procedure. By doing so we generally answer the questions of "who, what, when, and where" with a policy, and the […]

Overview of DSHS’s Chapter 157 EMS Re-write

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) produced an overview of the proposal to re write Chapter 157, which is the state's EMS rule.  Click here to view it: Chapter 157 Draft Rule Presentation June 2015 It is important to note: The PowerPoint does not include every proposed change.  It is […]

September 9th Hearing on DSHS’s EMS Proposed Rule

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule for EMS on September 9, 2016 in Austin. Visit http://dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems/ for more information regarding the proposed rule.  Comments are due on September 12, 2016. The re-write of the state's EMS rule has been a multi-year […]

Advanced Paramedic Task Force Meeting – August 15

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) posted a notice regarding the meeting of the Advanced Practice Paramedic Task Force Meeting in Georgetown on August 15.  TEMSA will have full details after the meeting. […]

Dual Diagnoses Required for Ambulance Transports

Per Novitas: Effective with services rendered October 1, 2015, and later, ALL ambulance transports require dual diagnoses.  Providers should report the primary diagnosis as the most appropriate ICD-10 code that adequately describes the patient’s medical condition at the time of transport.  In addition, a secondary diagnosis must be reported which reflects […]

EMS Grant Writing 101 This June

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) is offering a three-part “EMS Grant Writing 101 Virtual Conference” in June. Rural EMS agencies and other interested partners will learn how to write and submit a complete grant proposal, understand rural relevant data important to EMS and identify funding […]

National Moment of Silence on Saturday, May 21

Texas EMS agencies will join other agencies across the nation this Saturday, May 21 to observe a moment of silence for the 32 EMS professionals who lost their lives in the line of duty this year. The national moment of silence corresponds with the National EMS Memorial Service this weekend by […]

CMS Implements Cycle 2 Revalidation Program

Earlier this week, CMS announced the Cycle 2 Revalidation Program. The American Ambulance Association provided an analysis by Brian Werfel. TEMSA members can check their e-mail newsletter to learn more details. […]

GSA’s 2017 Federal Ambulance Specifications

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) 2017 Federal Ambulance Specifications are currently open for comment. While the rules won't affect Texas rules, the rules will affect what manufacturers are allowed to do without signing a waiver/release when the vehicles are built for Texas EMS agencies. These are included in the new CAAS […]

Texas EMS Agencies Visit Washington for Stars of Life

Texas EMS agencies visited Washington this week as part of the American Ambulance Association's Stars of Life annual event. Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation recognized several EMS professionals.  Ramona Hanks and Erin Lally are pictured with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). Click here to learn more about the event. Next week, representatives […]

GETAC’s May 11-13 Schedule Announced

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) posted the agenda for the May 11-13, 2016 GETAC meetings in Austin. Click here to view the schedule: GETAC May 2015 Schedule […]

CAAS Ground Ambulance Standards Released

The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Standards (CAAS) published Ground Vehicle Standard for Ambulances v.1.0 Edition on March 28.  Click here to access the publication.     […]

CMS Ambulance Open Door – April 7

The next CMS Ambulance Open Door Forum scheduled for: Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 Start Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Time (ET); Please dial-in at least 15 minutes before call start time. Conference Leaders: Dr. William Rogers, Valerie Miller and Jill Darling **This Agenda is Subject to Change** I. Opening Remarks Chair – Dr. William Rogers (OC) Co-Chair-Valerie Miller […]

TX Medicaid Re-enrollment Advisory

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently extended the Medicaid provider re-enrollment deadline from March 24, 2016 to Sept. 24, 2016 to allow states additional time to process applications. In an effort to ensure Texas Medicaid complies with the federal requirement, HHSC has established a plan to provide […]

Mission Lifeline Deadline: March 31

March 31, 2016 is the deadline for EMS agencies to submit their applications for the American Heart Association's Mission Lifeline recognition. Click here for details: 2016 EMS Recognition flyer March […]

DSHS’s Biological & Chemical Terrorism Course

The Department of State Health Services' April 1st Biological and Chemical Terrorism: A Laboratory Overview for First Responders & Law Enforcement is free. However, it is limited to the first 20 registrations. The topics include: Types of biological and chemical threats. Field screening requirements for specimen submission. Specimen/material submission process. Processing of threat letters and other […]

February 24: Medicare’s Next Ambulance Open Forum

The next CMS Ambulance Open Door Forum scheduled for: Date:  Wednesday February 24, 2016 Start Time:  2:00 PM Eastern Time (ET); Please dial-in at least 15 minutes before call start time. Conference Leaders: Dr. William Rogers, Valerie Miller and Jill Darling **This Agenda is Subject to Change** I. Opening Remarks Chair – Dr. William Rogers (OC) Co-Chair-Valerie Miller […]

CMS Issues Final Rule on Overpayments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that requires Medicare Parts A and B providers to report and return overpayments within 60 days of identifying the oversight. In addition, the rule provided a six-year look-back period, which was an improvement over the previous proposal that would have […]

EMS for Children Crew of the Year Nominations

EMS for Children Day May 18, 2016: EMS for Children Crew of the Year Nominations Underway In honor of EMS for Children Day 2016, the Texas EMS for Children State Partnership is now accepting nominations for the seventh annual EMS for Children Crew of the Year Award. This award is granted to […]

State’s Medicaid Re-enrollment Deadline Extended

Per the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC): The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the previous March 24, 2016 deadline for Medicaid provider re-enrollment is extended to Sept. 25, 2016. Though this extension gives states additional time to ensure providers comply with Patient Protection and […]

EMS Controlled Substance Relief Bill Filed in Congress – HR 4365

Congressman Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina) introduced the "Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016," which would update the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it relates to EMS activity.  Some Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) offices have provided conflicting interpretation of the CSA as it relates to EMS activity, and H.R. […]

Regional EMS Time Out for STRAC Goes Live 01.01.16

To:  All ER Nurses, Emergency Physicians, Surgeons, and EMS personnel The Regional EMS Time Out Report  has been designed by ER Nurses, EMS Paramedics, Emergency Physicians and Trauma Surgeons from the STRAC region. The purpose of the EMS Time Out process is simple;  Improve communication at the critical moment of patient transfer of care from EMS […]

Final EMS Review of Chapter 157

GETAC's EMS Committee will meet in San Antonio on Monday, December 14 to perform a review of Chapter 157 before sending final suggestions to GETAC.  The meeting is a great opportunity for stakeholders who have not yet made suggestions to do so. Click here for details: EMS-Notification-121415 […]

DSHS Guidance for Sharing Hospital Data

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued guidance for EMS providers that are experiencing difficulty in obtaining patient health outcome or emergency department data from hospitals for inclusion into their quality improvement programs. Click here to read the guidance: ProvGuidance-PatientHealthOutcome-EmergencyDepatmentData […]

TEMSA’s Magazine Is Now Available

TEMSA had a very busy first 10 months of 2015.  TEMSA's magazine is now in the mail and recaps the organization's activities over the past 10 months. TEMSA Fall 2015 Newsletter-web […]

Daniel Hampton Funeral Information

Funeral services for Burnet Firefighter/EMT Daniel Hampton are scheduled for September 24. Information for fire department and EMS units that wish to participate can be found by clicking here: Hampton Funeral […]

Interview with Jonathan Sell of Booker EMS

Jonathan Sell of Booker EMS and Fire Department was elected to TEMSA’s Board of Directors in August 2015. He has been involved with his EMS and Fire for the last 11 years. Jonathan began as a volunteer in his hometown with Booker EMS and Fire Department in 2004 as an […]

Interview with Brent Smith of Hopkins County EMS

Brent Smith is the current EMS Director for Hopkins County EMS and has been in the position for six years. Hopkins County EMS is a 911 hospital-based ambulance provider in Sulphur Springs, Texas that operates four ambulances daily between Hopkins and Delta Counties. Along with his duties, Brent also plays an […]

EMS in Texas Workers’ Comp Due to Air Medical?

The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) released a ruling on September 8, 2015 that ruled that PHI Air Medical should be reimbursed 149 percent of Medicare for air ambulance services within the Texas Workers' Comp program. Both industry and policymakers are in the process of digesting […]

Dudley Wait Elected TEMSA’s President

Dudley Wait, an executive director with the City of Schertz, was named TEMSA's president of the TEMSA Board of Directors at EMS EVOLUTION 2015 conference on August 4. Doug Hooten, Executive Director of MedStart Mobile Healthcare in Fort Worth, was the organization's interim president of the TEMSA Board of Directors and will […]

Annual Conference Wrap-up

Visit our EMS EVOLUTION 2015 page to review TEMSA's August 1-5 annual conference.  The event examined a number of public policy, industry, and clinical issues that affect EMS in Texas. TEMSA will present its public policy symposium once again at the Texas EMS Conference in Dallas on November 23. EMS EVOLUTION 2016 […]

TEMSA’s Board Ballot Is Ready

TEMSA will hold a membership election during EMS EVOLUTION ON August 4.  TEMSA is currently accepting nominations for President through the end of Friday, July 31.  Please view TEMSA's July 29 newsletter for full details. The Board of Director ballot is ready: TEMSA Board Ballot 2015 […]

ICD-10 Grace Period Announced by AMA and CMS

Today, the American Medical Association and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that providers will have a one-year grace period once ICD-10 goes into effect on October 1, 2015.  This will allow providers to still be reimbursed if their coding error is within the broad family of the […]

ICD-10: What Is Happening in Washington?

The October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation date is still on track.  However, three bills are moving through Congress that would either eliminate ICD-10 or create a grace period for providers to make a transition. HR 2126 by Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble) would completely eliminate ICD-10 and simply wait a few years […]

SGR Overhaul’s Impact on Texas EMS

Congress' recent passage of H.R. 2, which will eliminate the Medicare physician payment reimbursement program - sustainable growth rate (SGR) - and replace it with a completely new way to reimburse physicians, will have an impact on all segments of the health care system, including Texas EMS. TEMSA's April 6 membership newsletter […]

Ford Ambulance Recall

Ford announced a recall for certain ambulances.  Click here to learn more:   […]

EMS Local Projects Grant Application for FY 2016 is Available

DSHS recently announced that the Local Projects Grant application for FY 2016 is now available.  Be sure to get your ideas in quickly. Application deadline is May 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM.  Applications received after the application deadline will not be considered. Applications received by email or fax will not be considered. The […]

CMS Extends Enrollment Moratoria

Novitas has announced the CMS decision to extend the new provider enrollment moratorium in and around Houston for another six months.  The effected counties include Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.  You can see the CMS publication at this link.  The document is also available in […]

Novitas posts proposed new ambulance coverage policy

Courtesy of Gail Atnip from Novitas: A draft Ambulance policy was posted to the Novitas Website you can view it at this link http://www.novitas-solutions.com/LCDSearchResults/faces/spaces/search/page/lcd.jspx?medicareType=Part%20B&State=Texas&Jurisdiction=JH&lcdID=dl32606 Comments can be made until March 5, 2015 via the internet http://www.novitas-solutions.com/webcenter/spaces/MedicareJH/page/pagebyid?contentId=00006146 Since there is not an ambulance representative on the CAC I encourage anyone who has concerns to […]

HHSC Dual Demonstration Training

HHSC has announced the dates and times where acute care providers within the regions effected by the Dual Demonstration project can receive information and training.  There are also two webinars available.  Links to those are available in the calendar of events on our website. Upcoming Dual Demonstration Provider Trainings   Location Date Time Address Fort Worth 1/12/15 Duals: 11-12:30 Catholic Charities 249 W. Thornhill […]

CMS Announces Changes by Zip Code

The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) has announces changes to the list of urban and rural designations by zip code.  These changes are scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2015.  We have compacted this list down to those effected zip codes in Texas.  There are 32 Texas zip codes that […]

Remembering a Texas Trauma System Pioneer

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dr. Erwin R. Thal.  Doctor Thal passed peacefully in the early morning hours of December 13, 2014 from an acute illness.  Family, friends and colleagues were at his bedside. Dr. Thal’s work through the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Committee on […]

Texas EMS Alliance at the Texas EMS Conference

Thanks to everyone who made the TxEMSA Booth at the Texas EMS Conference such a huge success! We had 49 entries for the free membership drawing and 93 suggestions about the future of Texas EMS that we will use to help build our work-plan and goals for the next few years. Thanks everyone […]