New and Refreshing?


The dictionary defines the word as “the act or instance of making or becoming something different” or “an alteration or modification.” Another definition defines change as being “a new or refreshingly different experience.”

So if change is new and refreshing, a modification implying that the modification is for the better, then why do we bristle at the thought of change?

Let’s explore.


October = Change

This month saw the healthcare industry, ambulance included, realizing some notable changes that we all will be affected by.

Version 10 of the International Classification of Diseases rode in with the change of the calendar on October 1st. There’s been a flurry of activity going on in our ambulance billing office as I know there are in others.

We, here at Enhanced Management Services like other ambulance billing offices, have spent a considerable amount of time and resources on ensuring that our staff has been well-trained and ready for the new system. We’ve spent time cross-walking codes and conditions and have listened to, read and “ingested” hours of training, reading, materials and presentations on the subject.

We’ve also spent a good amount of time helping to train all of you by preparing written and video instruction that we hope you have or will find useful in helping to educate you and others that surround you as part of your EMS agencies.

Then on the operations side of things, earlier this week the American Heart Association released the latest CPR Guidelines. The basics have been tweaked, compression rates have been upped and even compression depth guidelines have been adjusted. ALS providers now have new guidance with regards to certain medications introduced as part of the resuscitation efforts for cardiac arrest and we are finding first-time mention of the new choreographed approach and high-quality CPR into the guidelines, a.k.a. “Pit Crew CPR.”

That’s a lot of change to swallow in one relatively small amount of time.

The Very Nature…

The very nature of this EMS thing that we all do implies change.

Folks, we’ve always had to work on the fly. We train. We learn. We practice. We do.

Then…we hit the street and none of it looks, smells or acts like we thought it would back in the training room. So we have to adapt and while we do it, most of us don’t like to adapt.

Face it. We don’t like change because change takes us out of our comfort zone and puts us in a place of the unknown and the untested.

But, we chose to entwine our lives in the world of EMS and EMS is a world of change.

Embrace It!

Let’s embrace change. Change is good. Change saves more lives and change brings about more and better results.

Look back on the last 40 years or so where we’ve come as an industry. Those of us old enough to remember sitting in front of the TV, glued to those riveting episodes featuring that little red truck we knew as Squad 51 run around Los Angeles with those guys called Paramedics.

We really had no clue if what we did worked and made a difference, but it sure did look cool. From the days of “scoop and run” in modified hearse vehicles, came change that evolved into the modern, fast-paced EMS system that we all are part of today.

But it didn’t come easy and there was a lot of work to do.

Who ever dreamed that the Medicare program would someday pay for medical transportation of patients. Who thought that out of all the good that we have seen, there would arise unscrupulous individuals that would figure out a way to defraud the system and collect millions of dollars for bogus transports ushering in a culture of auditing and scrutiny, the likes that the EMS billing industry has never seen.

Not all change is good. But, from our perch, most of it is.

Your Reaction…

So we encourage you to react to change. But, react positively.

When you have to sit through yet another ICD-10 training, think about how the new code sets will not only allow your EMS agency and your billing office to successfully collect much needed dollars for new equipment and upgrades in care; but also think how, down the road, as the data from this new coding system is crunched and analyzed we’ll learn more about what we do and how we do it so we can more effectively save more lives.

In the end, that’s what it’s all about!

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