Tuesday, Assembly Bill 151 (AB 151) received a public hearing before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. Authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), the bill will advance opportunities for non-emergency health care services to be provided in Wisconsin.
AB 151 creates and defines community paramedics (CPs) and community emergency medical technicians (CEMTs). It will allow for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to operate in a non-emergency setting, under the medical direction of a physician, to provide treatment outside of a hospital.
“Allowing for the development of a CEMS program will allow hospitals, private ambulance companies, and municipal EMS providers to develop new strategies for delivering quality care, in the right place, and at the right time,” said Rep. Loudenbeck.
Community Emergency Medical Service (CEMS) is part of what many people associate with Mobile Integrated Health (MIH). In its simplest definition, MIH is the provision of healthcare using patient centered, mobile resources in the out-of-hospital environment. It may include services such as: working with the local hospital to provide community paramedicine care, chronic disease management, preventive care or post-discharge follow up visits.
“Over the last two years, my office has worked with several stakeholder groups to create a bill that we believe encourages partnerships to provide quality care for people all across Wisconsin, while providing appropriate oversight and training. We wanted to find balance while providing flexibility for these programs to truly reflect the needs that each individual community faces,” said Loudenbeck.
As more and more communities consider establishing CEMS, one of the challenges they encounter is a lack of state standards to follow, and no specific qualifications or guidance regarding services that can be provided. This bill creates training standards, sets parameters for working with a hospital, and gives the Department of Health Services (DHS) the ability to approve individuals for a credential and various training programs.
AB 151 passed the Wisconsin State Assembly in April by a bipartisan, unanimous vote.