Providers Indicted in Certification Scam

first_imgThe cot stuck out of the voting booth while Gorby fulfilled his civic responsibility, but his vote still counted. Get Him to the Polls on Time Wissinoming (Pa.) Volunteer Ambulance Operations Manager Mike Fasone says it’s not unheard of for patients being transported to ask to make a stop along the way. “We get a lot of requests for fast food,” he says. These are primarily from people who don’t get out of their homes much. The other four people involved–two paramedics and two EMTs–were employed by private ambulance companies in the Boston suburbs and by the Boston Fire Department. They reportedly collected names of colleagues for the rosters the instructor submitted. Fraudulent BehaviorIn November 2010, five EMS providers were indicted in Massachusetts for falsifying their recertification training records. Johnson says that once another ambulance arrived and they’d transferred care, all that was left to do was put on bunker gear and put out the fire in his own ambulance. Johnson says the lights and sirens came on, but the siren soon succumbed to the heat of the fire and wound down to silence. They moved the stretcher about 50 yards away, shielding it from the burning ambulance. “The patient was as cool as a cucumber,” says Johnson. We applaud the Wissinoming Volunteer Ambulance crew for their extra special customer service, helping a patient cast his vote and keep his patriotic record intact. In the first week of November, EMT Anthony Maresca made such a run. Maresca was one of the crew members who picked up Charles Gorby, MD, 83, from Lankenau Hospital near Philadelphia. Gorby was headed home when he asked about making a slight detour. The detour was “just a few minutes out of the way,” says Maresca.With chronic health issues, Gorby is no stranger to the ambulance company, so the crew was happy to oblige. It seems the retired physician hadn’t missed voting in an election since he turned 21, and it was Nov. 2–Election Day. Fortunately, his polling place was a fire station, so there was plenty of room to wheel in the ambulance cot after clearing it with election officials. “We allege that the conduct of these individuals severely undermined the state’s EMT certification process,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says. “These acts posed a risk to public safety and public health, and our office is continuing our probe into this matter.” We give Johnson and Dahms a thumbs up for their quick, reasoned reactions that helped avert a potential catastrophe. A New Hampshire paramedic who worked for a Massachusetts ambulance service was named as the “central operator.” Between 2006 and 2009, he was approved by the state Office of Emergency Medical Services to teach more than a dozen training sessions. Next, Johnson pulled the monitor, IV pump, oxygen, pediatrics kit, trauma kit and narcotics out of the ambulance and then secured the narcotics in a police vehicle on scene. This article originally appeared in January 2011 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups and Downs of EMS.” Johnson and his partner, Cory Dahms, were transporting a stable patient who was “in the middle of a myocardial infarction” to a higher level of care hospital when they noticed smoke entering the cab of their ambulance. Dahms pulled off the road. Johnson says, “We de-boarded rapidly.” When Johnson saw flames under the cab, “the sense of urgency increased,” he says. An Exciting RideYou don’t always need lights and sirens to have an exciting trip in an ambulance. If you don’t believe us, next time you’re in Jacksonville, Texas, ask paramedic/firefighter Madison Johnson about that fiery patient transfer in October. We give a thumbs down to these providers for their attempts to cut certification corners. These fraudulent actions not only reflect poorly on the professionalism of EMS, but they also put future patients at risk. JEMS The allegation is that he conspired with four others to submit attendance rosters for sessions that were either incomplete or never occurred. According to the state attorney general’s office, more than 200 EMTs fraudulently qualified for recertification under the scheme.last_img read more

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Sarah bill: peer withdraws whiplash curb amendment

first_imgA Conservative peer and leading figure in the defendant law sector has failed in a bid to abolish damages payments for less-serious claims.Lord Hunt of Wirral (pictured), a partner at international firm DAC Beachcroft, sought legislation in the House of Lords to prevent courts awarding damages where the victim has suffered a ‘loss of function’ of less than 15%.Hunt proposed amendments to the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (Sarah) currently being debated in the chamber.The peer said he wanted to substitute treatment for payment in low-value cases and focus on ‘getting people better rather than by paying them cash’.Hunt said: ‘UK motorists do not have the weakest necks in Europe; we have a whiplash culture because as a society we have not taken the same stance as other European countries to avoid these claims in the first place.‘In other countries you have to prove a level or percentage of disability before you can even make a claim.’Hunt said he ‘borrowed substantially’ from a report published in July by insurer Aviva, which argued that reform of compensation payments could save £32 on every motorist’s car insurance premium.The peer said claims farmers ‘continue to proliferate’ despite the ban on referral fees, and said organised ‘crash for cash’ schemes had become a ‘huge industry’.Cross-bencher Lord Pannick said the amendment would ‘fundamentally alter’ the scope and effectiveness of the bill, which is designed to make courts consider the context of an action that is the subject of a liability claim.Pannick said: ‘They would prohibit the courts from awarding damages in respect of personal injury in defined circumstances. The existing provisions of the bill simply identify factors for the court to take into account in deciding whether there has been a breach of the duty of care.’Justice minister Lord Faulks said Hunt was right to flag up the ‘unattractive landscape’ where it is easier for insurance companies to pay out rather than contest cases.But he said the focus of the bill was on liability rather than quantum and Hunt’s amendment should not form part of the bill. He added that fraudulent claims were being dealt with by the ‘fundamentally dishonest’ strike-out clause in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill currently going through the House of Lords.Hunt withdrew the amendment. After the debate, shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter claimed the motion was a ‘worrying’ indicator of potential Conservative policy. ‘A future Tory government would stack the deck in favour of their funders and supporters even if this means undermining long-set principles of common law.’last_img read more

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