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Legislative and Regulatory Issues: Archives

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  • Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016: HR 4365 & S 2932 (May 23, 2016). HR 4365 (introduced 1/12/16 by Rep Hudson, R-NC) and S 2932 (introduced May 16, 2016, by Sen. Cassidy, R-LA) are companion bills to amend the Controlled Substances Act with respect to the provision of emergency medical services. The bills would authorize EMS providers in the field to administer controlled substances per standing order by a physician medical director. (While this has been a long standing practice, it is not currently authorized in the Controlled Substances Act.) In addition, both bills would allow the EMS agency to register with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in lieu of relying on the physician medical director’s DEA registration. HR 4365 and S 2932 are not identical bills (S 2932 has more descriptive language) but would accomplish the same ends. Information on each bill, including the bill text, can be downloaded at HR 4365 and S 2932. The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) created a toolkit to encourage grassroots support of the bills. The toolkit, available here, provides a sample letter, talking points, a fact sheet, and contact information for the health care legislative aid for each office.

  • NASEMSO Signs onto DSRC Coalition Letter to President (May 4, 2016). The DSRC Coalition (52 stakeholder organizations, including NASEMSO) on May 4, 2016, sent a letter to the President supporting "spectrum sharing in areas where it is technically feasible and will preserve both life-saving Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) technology and ensure the protection of the existing Fixed Satellite Service operations in the 5.9 GHz band." The 5.9 GHz band was originally allocated by the FCC for development of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications technology which the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates could potentially address 80 percent of unimpaired crash scenarios, saving thousands of lives each year. The coalition supports efforts to identify spectrum that may be utilized to expand Wi-Fi applications. But with over 30,000 deaths on our nation's roads every year, it is critical that efforts to open up additional spectrum do not come at the expense of revolutionary life-saving technologies. Download letter. More information is available online.

  • H.R. 1818 and S. 453 (Identical Bills) Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a demonstration program for states with a shortage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to streamline state requirements and procedures to assist veterans who completed military EMT training to meet state EMT certification, licensure, and other requirements. For more information, see H.R. 1818.
  • H.R. 3379, the Airplane KiTS Act, and its companion bill in the Senate (S. 2536) would require the FAA to initiate rulemaking to update the contents of emergency medical kits on airplanes to ensure they have appropriate medications and equipment for children. For more information on these bills, see H.R. 3379 and S. 2536.
  • The Save Rural Hospitals Act (H.R. 3225) was introduced on July 27, 2015 by Rep. Sam Graves (R, MO). It is intended to stabilize and prevent future closures of Rural Hospitals. It would create a new Community Outpatient Hospital (COH) that is reimbursed at 105% and would ease/eliminate some existing regulations that now face Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). It would also make the “ temporary" increased Medicare payment for ground ambulances in rural areas a “permanent” increase. It would create a new EMS grant funded initiative for rural hospitals to develop and implement strategies to develop successful emergency medical service programs to meet community needs, provide quality care and to address workforce ($2 million). Download bill text here.
  • The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act of 2015 (S. 1648) was introduced June 23, 2015, by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to establish a new Medicare payment designation, the Rural Emergency Hospital, to sustain emergency services in rural communities. The new federal rural emergency hospital designation (replacing Critical Access Hospital designation for qualifying hospitals) would require that they are verified by ACS as Level 4 or higher OR employ healthcare professionals that have current ATLS. In addition, the bill provides rural ambulance services reimbursement at 110% for transfers out of these hospitals. Download bill text here.
  • Field EMS Bill: Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) reintroduced the Field EMS Modernization and Innovation Act/H.R. 2366, a.k.a. the Field EMS Bill, in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 114th Congress. (introduced 05/15/15)
  • FARB Responds to Supreme Court Decision: regarding State Sovereignty in healthcare provider licensing
  • DEA Enforcement Issues
  • Drug Shortage Crisis