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April 2022 - SCEMSA Committee Reports

04/29/2022 12:06 PM | Anonymous

From Henry Lewis, Executive Director:

On behalf of the respective committee co-chairs, please find the highlights of the April SCEMSA Committee meetings listed below. Our committees meet quarterly with an option for additional meetings as needed. Please note that you can join a committee by selecting the committee in your profile settings by logging into the SCEMSA website. Committee chairs communicate information specific to their areas of focus by group email and you must be listed as a member to receive the most current information. You can email membership@scemsa.org for assistance in group subscriptions if needed.

Advocacy and Legislation

There will be a follow-up Advocacy email in the coming days that further explains the conclusion of the 2021/2022 124th General Assembly. Highlights of this session include our H.4601 “EMS as an Essential Service” bill that has made crossover and is in the final stages of approval in the Senate. We anticipate that bill will be ratified this year without opposition.

Our EMS sustainability plan, which includes funding for the SCEMSA as well as additional funds to strengthen our educational programs, will likely go to conference committee. The House version of the budget fully funded our proposal; however, the Senate version did not. We will keep you informed as the process moves forward.

The Advocacy Committee will continue to work after the General Assembly adjourns this year. They will be busy creating the upcoming legislative agenda for next session and looking to form our state’s first EMS Caucus.

Education and Certification

The Education Committee is working to develop an asynchronous EMT platform, non-linear paramedic program, and innovative reciprocity solutions. They are also developing survey tools for EMT students and EMT programs to aid in measuring outcomes and identifying barriers. Based on feedback from the educators across the state, they have also created the “Educators Corner” on our website, which serves as a repository for EMS education related documents.

Membership

Membership numbers continue to grow. The membership committee is working to bolster our incentives for vendor members and corporate partners. The membership committee is also evaluating the efficacy of an annual printed newsletter/magazine. We plan to work through the Board of Directors and the Membership Committee to host some in-person town hall style events across the state this summer to help raise awareness of SCEMSA activities and serve as a membership recruitment drive. 

Disaster Preparedness

The SCEMSA by virtue of the Disaster Preparedness Committee has been participating in Emergency Preparedness efforts at the state level. We are now listed as a supportive stakeholder in the State EOP under ESF 8. This means that we will be involved in evacuation efforts and/or other events as needed. The members of the Disaster Preparedness Committee will serve in these roles. A training outline is being created along with an SOP document to help organize our role.

As part of the inclusion into ESF 8, the SCEMSA went before the State Healthcare Coalition (HCC) and presented our proposal for the state’s first EMS mobilization tool. We are proud to report that the HCC approved our request and has agreed to fund the build for this platform. This will be an online tool that has interoperability with ImageTrend as well the SCEMD Palmetto platform.

The Disaster Preparedness Committee is also gauging interest on hosting some All Hazards Disaster Response trainings across the state. There will be an email survey distributed in the coming weeks.

Health and Wellness

We are continuing to work with SC FAST in our partnership with First Responder Mental Health/Peer Connect as a statewide initiative. Health and Wellness is also still working to have mental health resiliency training added to the initial certification courses across the state. Recently, the NAEMT announced their new Mental Health Resiliency Officer course. We are vetting this program as an option for our state. In the survey referenced above, there will also be a question to gauge the interest of offering this course through the SCEMSA.

Data, Administration, and Compliance

Regulation 61-7 has received the necessary approvals from the General Assembly and will go into effect 7/1/2022. The Data, Admin, and Compliance committee worked tirelessly to ensure the contents of this regulation were aligned with the needs of our EMS providers. While compromises were made by DHEC and the SCEMSA, we feel the final version is sound document. The SCEMSA continues to work closely with DHEC staff on implementation and vetting the changes.

Community Paramedic and Mobile Integrated Healthcare

This month marked the first meeting of the CP/MIH committee. We are excited to partner with this group, and we are pleased to announce that the meeting was very well attended. The Committee is working to address issues facing CP/MIH expansion to include regulation/legislation, sustainable funding, and innovative partnerships. CP/MIH will play a large role in the future of EMS service delivery as payor alignments shift in favor of value based purchasing. This committee will be at the helm of these reforms.

EMS Memorial Bike Ride/Honor Guard

The EMS Memorial Bike Ride is rapidly approaching. The committee is now conducting weekly calls to finalize coordination of the event. If you are interested in assisting with the ride, please Contact Chair Lisa McKinney {link to her email on the leadership tab}. Even if you are not a cyclist, there is place for anyone to get involved! More information about the ride is listed in this newsletter. 

Finance and Reimbursement

Finance and Reimbursement successfully negotiated our state’s first Medicaid Increase in over two decades. This 10% increase will go into effect in July and additional information will be provided in the official announcement. SCEMSA has partnered with Public Consulting Group (PCG) for Medicaid Expansion for governmental providers. An RFP process will be announced following the May Board of Directors meeting to help identify a vendor for a Provider Assessment program that will enable private EMS systems to also receive the Medicaid upper payment limit. This Committee will serve as the principle in evaluating the RFPs and identifying timelines and objectives. The goal is to educate our EMS providers and the General Assembly throughout the remainder of 2022 and be prepared to implement both programs in 2023 as part of our legislative agenda.

Workforce Development

Last but definitely not least, we are pleased to announce that our Statewide Recruitment Efforts have officially begun. Information about this campaign and the recruitment video can be found on our website: scemsa.org/ems-careers. The initial strategy is geofencing content to specific locations and search patterns for social media and preferred ad placement that routes candidates to our “personalized consultation” option or the EMT Education Program of their choosing. We are pleased to announce that we have received and referred over 100 personalized consultations already and that the intuitive marketing process will only improve as time goes on. The Workforce Development Committee has cultivated relationships with numerous state and local stakeholders and will continue to expand recruitment efforts into other mediums and work to eliminate barriers related to EMS recruitment at the state level.

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