EMS leaders talk industry changes at Pinnacle

From the diminishing role of ALS medics to Obamacare reimbursement changes, here’s a roundup of conference highlights

This week, hundreds of EMS leaders from around the country gathered in Phoenix for the annual Pinnacle EMS conference. In its ninth year, Pinnacle provides an opportunity to hear about the latest trends that are affecting the industry, such as reimbursement, legal issues and evidence-based medicine.

In between sessions, participants are given a significant amount of time to network with each other. The National EMS Management Association held its annual meeting earlier in the week, and many of its members were in attendance.

A brief summary of conference highlights this week include:

  • A description of the changes being made by Arizona resuscitation leaders to improve the state’s survival to discharge rate.
  • A panel of government officials discussing what's happening within the major federal agencies involved with EMS.
  • A panel discussion of ideas and options for setting up new reimbursement plans as they relate to the Affordable Care Act (hint: it's no longer fee for service).
  • Top legal issues affecting the industry this past year (hint: don't crash your ambulance).
  • The changing practice landscape and the diminishing role of the ALS paramedic.

Listening to the participant discussions, it feels that several profound changes are underway in the industry. It will be very interesting to see how this year unfolds as folks return to their jurisdictions and incorporate the ideas and tips they received at the conference. 

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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