MISSOURI: Fitch & Associates Founding Partner Keller Dies at 67
Richard A. Keller, 67, a founding partner of the EMS consulting firm Fitch & Associates, passed away suddenly Oct. 12 at his home in Gladstone, Mo. Keller was best known for his work in EMS reimbursement, compliance, and revenue cycle management. He was instrumental in developing multiple California EMS system designs and procurements. Keller started with Fitch & Associates in 1984 after serving as director of a rural Missouri EMS system, and retired in 2015.
CALIFORNIA: New Bills Target Mental Health of Responders
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 1 signed into law three bills focusing on first responders' mental health. The California Firefighter Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Act establishes statewide standards for first responder peer support programs. The Trauma Treatment Act will provide first responders with workers' compensation while they recover from mental health-related issues. The third law will prohibit public agencies from outsourcing their local emergency dispatch services to private, for-profit entities.
VIRGINIA: Ambulance Company Owner Imprisoned for Fraud
The owner of a private ambulance company in Norfolk routinely drove sick patients to area appointments without properly licensed healthcare providers on board, according to court documents. Houman Motii, owner of Swift Medical Transport, pleaded guilty to a nearly $63,000 fraud scheme in which Swift routinely overbilled Medicare and Tricare for transporting patients to and from dialysis treatments and other appointments without a licensed EMT on board. The charges stem from transports between 2015–2017. Motii, 37, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison.
FLORIDA: Gathering of Eagles Show Moves to South Florida
The EMS State of the Sciences Conference, better known as the Gathering of Eagles, the annual educational conference featuring America's major metropolitan EMS medical directors, will move from Dallas to the newly constructed Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., beginning in 2020. The highly anticipated conference will be a joint effort with the longstanding First There, First Care Conference hosted by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Broward County. The conference is scheduled to take place June 8–12, 2020.