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State by State: April 2019

A new print feature collects EMS news from around the nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: HHS Announces ET3 Payment Model

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Feb. 14 a new payment model for emergency ambulance services it says will allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive the most appropriate care while lowering out-of-pocket costs. The model, called Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3), would allow EMS providers to deliver treatment in place (either on-scene or through telehealth) and transport to alternative destinations (such as primary care doctors’ offices or urgent-care clinics). “This model will create a new set of incentives for emergency transport and care, ensuring patients get convenient, appropriate treatment in whatever setting makes sense for them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.  

SOUTH CAROLINA: Paramedic Sued for Fatal Crash

The driver of a Beaufort County emergency vehicle involved in a fatal November 2018 crash was speeding and didn’t apply the brakes in the final seconds before impact, according to a lawsuit filed in February. Paramedic Danny Tinnel was responding to a call and driving a 2018 Chevrolet 
Suburban EMS vehicle at 76 mph just before impact, according to the Hilton Head Island Packet. Stacey Dyer, driving a Dodge pickup truck, died two days after the collision. Tinnel had been on duty since 8 a.m. the previous day, according to the article. 

MISSOURI: EMS Chief Gets Jail Time for Embezzlement

A former Washington County Ambulance District administrator was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the district. William Gum, 49, was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the ambulance district and $95,000 to the federal government. Gum pleaded guilty in November to four counts of public corruption, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While working as the administrator for the ambulance district, he padded his salary and gave himself additional benefits from public funding, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri said.

NEW MEXICO: ‘Code Blue’ Program Helps the Homeless

A new pilot program of the Santa Fe Fire Department is helping homeless citizens survive the winter, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. “Code Blue” brings EMS providers to the streets of Santa Fe to distribute sleeping bags and hot packs when temperatures reach dangerous levels, as well as connect homeless citizens with a network of public and private institutions that can help. An offshoot of the department’s existing Mobile Integrated Health Office (MIHO), Code Blue is an “aggressive effort to get people off the street,” according to Mayor Alan Webber. 


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