|Posted:||January 31, 2017 02:13 PM|
|From:||Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Community Paramedicine Services Act|
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of PACS to provide for Community Paramedicine Services. This proposal directs the Department of Health to promulgate regulations for the certification and practice of community paramedicine providers and requires insurance coverage and medical reimbursement for services. This language is similar to HB 1113 of last session.
According to a 2010 national study by the RAND Corporation, between 14 and 27 percent of all emergency department visits are for non-urgent care that could otherwise take place in a primary care facility such as a doctor’s office or clinic. This misuse of emergency services not only results in substantial costs to patients’ health but also to our economy.
Community paramedicine offers an efficient alternative to traditional primary care and emergency services. If enacted, this legislation would allow emergency medical services (EMS) providers the ability to deliver medical care to a patient in their own home or in a community setting. EMS providers, in consultation with a patient’s health care practitioner, would be able to administer community paramedicine services such as health assessments, disease monitoring, and hospital follow-up care to patients.
Various forms of this innovative healthcare option have been proposed in a number of states across the country. Additionally, Minnesota passed community paramedicine legislation in 2011 creating certification for community paramedics and authorizing the state’s medical assistance program to cover services provided.
This groundbreaking healthcare delivery system first began in our state in Pittsburgh and is spreading throughout the Commonwealth in areas such as Erie, Altoona, Lancaster, and Harrisburg. It is my hope that this legislation will further expand community paramedicine operations in our state in an effort to better serve our most vulnerable citizens, curb unnecessary use of emergency services, and reduce healthcare costs. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB1113