Monthly Archives: May 2012

Demystifying the Current Drug Shortage Problem in EMS

The following post is co-authored by two special guests:

Jonathan D. Washko, BS-EMSA, NREMT-P, AEMD and Scott Matin, MBA, NREMT-P

In a recent meeting held in Washington DC, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the EMS industry and other key industry players were invited to learn more about why the current drug shortage situation exists. Those that attended the meeting were fortunate to be addressed by a panel of experts from the FDA, HHS, drug manufacturers, drug suppliers and a variety of EMS providers and industry trade Associations.

How did we get into this situation?

It became quickly evident that the problem being experienced by the EMS industry along with other emergency health service providers is due to a variety of unmanaged but tightly integrated series of manufacturing, regulatory, supply chain and end user processes and practices that have come together in a perfect storm to produce the situation we find ourselves in.

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Filed under Administration & Leadership, EMS Health & Safety, EMS Topics, News, Patient Management

HP-EMS Profile: Cetronia

Growth in both the industrial and residential populations has dramatically changed the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania since 1955 when the non-profit ambulance service, Cetronia Ambulance Corps, first began its all-volunteer BLS services.  In response to the communities need for an increase in public health and safety services, Cetronia has grown to include ALS service, 24-hour dispatch, and non-emergency medical transportation.  Additionally, Cetronia provides billing services, community outreach, education, special events coverage and special operations teams.  The diversity of their fleet allows the most appropriate level of service for the customer’s need from a doctor’s office visit to a critical care transport.  Cetronia continually strives to understand the medical needs of its communities and remains “Always Ready” to accommodate any pre-hospital emergency care and medical transportation needs.  This attitude of adaptation is not new to Cetronia, rather a continuing legacy of a truly innovative EMS system and a commitment to providing “Health on Wheels™” for its residents.

In recent years, Cetronia recognized the enormous challenges facing the EMS industry including severely diminished reimbursement rates.  Since EMS billing specialists must be ready to meet these ever-changing reimbursement and additional compliance issues with competency and expertise, Cetronia has maintained their own team of nationally certified ambulance coders who offer an exceptional blend of ambulance billing experience, knowledge, and customer service to ensure fiscal stability and the organization’s continued success.

The increasing demand for healthcare services which threatened their ability to maintain response times is another example of what motivates their mindset of continual improvement.  Choosing to be a  Continue reading


Filed under Administration & Leadership, Dispatch & Communications, EMS Dispatch, Profiles, Technology & Communications