Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association

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The Georgia EMS Association is dedicated to helping EMTs and Paramedics who work in the State of Georgia.  GEMSA is an association you can be proud to be a member of. 

With member discounts, educational conferences, representation on a host of organizations, the GEMSA Journal, legislative representation, other discounts, and much more, you can't afford not to be a member.  

Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association (GEMSA)
Position statement on the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) Program

June 18, 2019

The Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association is the statewide association representing Georgia’s EMS community. In regards to the proposed Ambulance Upper Payment Limit (UPL) Supplemental Payment Program, we are unable to support the program as its current version primarily benefits one service and we ask the Department of Community Health to withdraw the proposal for further revision.

We are concerned on several positions in regards to what has been in place, and what is currently being considered for changes to the new UPL Program. Currently,  all licensed EMS providers pay annual license fees on vehicles that are placed into the Indigent Care Trust Fund and used as a state match to draw down federal dollars. These funds are supposed to be used to enhance Medicaid reimbursements for all types of EMS services, not just hospitals. The historic benefit to EMS from this enhancement program has been limited, the anticipated reimbursement increases have not materialized, and most importantly, as the amount of fees have increased over the last five years, that money has NOT been put toward reimbursements for EMS, but rather other priorities in Medicaid.

Until the current license fee reimbursement program is corrected and updated, and all ambulance providers serving Medicaid are aided, we are unable to support a new payment program that is targeted at just one type of ambulance service, such as the ambulance UPL proposal, where a very small group will benefit, and one agency overall receiving the vast amount of the $33,000,000 estimated to be available with the UPL Program.

Additionally, this specific program is geared toward one type of service - hospital based ambulance services. While we advocate for everyone and would have issues singling out any specific type, in this case, hospital based services do make up the smallest portion of 9-1-1 providers in our state. Thus the department’s proposal is initially excluding of the majority of EMS. While it may be true that non-hospital based providers can work with hospital authorities on agreement, logistically that was not a reality for most providers with the limited notice provided to services to apply for this program. Most never received proper notification to apply from DCH, and the Department of Public Health actually provided notice to most ambulance services, but it was less than 48 hours before the original deadline. In fact, our association had to ask for an extension of the original deadline just so a few of the hospital based and other services could apply for this initially. Thus, this process to get here today was not as encompassing and inclusive as it could have been.

It's unfortunate to be in this position, given that we have worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to help provide more funding to the EMS profession. But in its current version, GEMSA is opposed to the Ambulance UPL Supplemental Payment Program and asks the board to withdraw consideration at this time. 

We encourage our members to oppose the UPL proposal in its current form.  Please see the public notice here for more information on how to submit written comments.

2019 GEMSA Providers & educators conference - Registration is open!

October 4-8, 2019
Savannah Riverfront Marriott

  • Pre-conference Options: Oct. 4-6
  • Trauma Symposium: Oct. 5
  • Conference Days: Oct. 6-8

View the brochure, register online, view other details and more on our conference page here.

Also, make your hotel reservation now!  Rooms sell out every year.

GEMSA Journal - Summer 2019

The Summer issue of the GEMSA Journal is now available in a digital format here. You can view it on your computer, tablet, phone, etc.  Features of this issue:

  • Pension Plan Update
  • Service Membership Details
  • An article titled, “Advancing the EMS Profession” by NAEMT President Matt Zavadsky
  • Service Spotlight on Coffee Regional Medical Center EMS
  • Award Highlights
  • and much more!

Interview: Keith Wages, Director of OEMS
We would like to take time to recognize Keith Wages for his 40 years of service to EMS. Keith Wages, Director of the Georgia Office of EMS and Trauma, has dedicated his entire career to the EMS community, serving as an EMT, EMS Director, EMS Program Director, Deputy State Director and State Director of EMS and Trauma, as well as serving as a Consultant for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness issues.  As Keith prepares to retire from the Georgia Office of EMS and Trauma, we wanted to give Keith a chance to tell us more about his career and his accomplishments, but also let him address the Georgia EMS community. The magazine has an excerpt from our question and answer interview session with Keith, but you can read the interview in its entirety here.

2020 GEMSA Leadership Conference - Speaker Proposals

The Georgia EMS Association (GEMSA) is seeking speaker proposals for the 2020 GEMSA Directors & Leadership Conference, March 23-25, 2020 at Lake Lanier. The target audience for this conference is EMS directors, department managers, shift supervisors, or anyone with the responsibility of leading a team of people.  Proposals should be geared toward topics of benefit to this target audience. 

The deadline for speaker proposals is June 30, 2019.  Submissions must be submitted online here.

Exhibitor and Sponsor Registration 2019

Our sponsors and exhibitors are what allows us to maintain our registration cost so we can keep the conferences affordable for EMS professionals in the state.  Download our complete exhibitor and sponsorship guide for complete details on these opportunities or click on the links below.
If you would like more information on corporate sponsorships or have questions on becoming an exhibitor, please contact GEMSA Communications Specialist Mary Napier.


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The mission of the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association is to advocate for the emergency medical provider, develop educational programs, liaison activities, provider benefit programs, and improvements to the Emergency Medical Service System in Georgia.

Georgia EMS Association  |  386 River Point Drive  |  McDonough, GA 30252  | Contact us

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