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i s s o u r i


o n n e c t i o n



FALL 2015



By Ruby Mehrer

MEMSA President

New President & MEMSA Board Decisions

Election of officers for the MEMSA Board took

place at the end of July. It was my honor to be elected

president. I’ve held an EMT and a Paramedic license

in the past (1974 & 1976), but never worked a day

as either (it is a long story…). When that didn’t work

out, I gave up and went back to school to become a

nurse. But I never gave up my love for the prehospital

setting and when I was selected to be a Research

Eagle nurse in 1985, I was truly living my dream.

MEMSA was formed just a couple years earlier in

1983, and it wasn’t long after I started flying that I

started attending MEMSA meetings in order to be part

of our professional organization. My background may

be different from some prehospital caregivers, but my

passion for good prehospital patient care still burns


So…why are you part of

MEMSA? Or why aren’t you?

What would you like MEMSA to

work on? What should MEMSA

be doing? How can we change the

EMS world? Please email me at

with your ideas.

While you are thinking, let me update you on what

MEMSA has been doing recently. Some of our most

important work could affect all EMTs and Paramedics

across the state.

At the September 3 Board of Directors’ meeting,

MEMSA endorsed the Joint Statement of Principles

for Missouri Community Paramedic and Mobile

Integrated Health Care Programs. The Joint Statement

was drafted in conjunction with the MO Alliance for

Home Care, MO Nurses Association, and the MO

State Council of the Emergency Nurses Association.

Go back and read that again—nurses and paramedics

collaborating to provide a service to benefit patients!

This is monumental. Other states have clashed with

the nurses and there has been no collaboration, no

working together to achieve to provide a better system

for those at home with chronic illnesses. In many

instances people turn to EMS agencies and emergency

departments to solve problems that can’t be solved

with a transport or an ED visit. Missouri is working to

create a system that will help those people. MEMSA is

pleased to lend its support.

MEMSA also endorsed the Interstate Compact draft

so we can continue to explore opportunities for EMS

licensure to work in other Compact states similar to the

way a driver’s license works. Our Missouri driver’s

license allows us to drive in other states as long as we

are there temporarily. If we move to another state, then

we need to get a driver’s license in that state. Although

it is more complicated than that example, Interstate

Compact for EMS licensed personnel would work in a

similar manner. You could go to another Compact state

and work temporarily as a medic without having to get

a license in that state. This is still

in the exploration stage, and there

are issues to address. But this is an

exciting opportunity that deserves

more attention. Missouri’s own

Ben Chlapek has been at the

national table drafting this language. He can provide

lots more detailed information if you want it.

The third thing MEMSA endorsed at its board

meeting involves reimbursement. There are legislative

efforts underway to establish a mechanism to allow

collecting more Medicaid money based on a formula

that would reflect your cost of doing business overall;

your percentage of Medicaid patients transported; and

the amount of money collected from Medicaid patients

to apply to the expenses. The difference between what

it cost and what you got paid is then used to plug into

a formula to determine the amount of extra dollars

available to you. This has a potential of bringing

millions of dollars more in reimbursement for EMS

agencies in Missouri. If your head is spinning, it is

probably my fault. Jason White’s legislative column in

this issue may shed more light. Or feel free to ask him

to clarify for you. There are other important legislative