The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Task Force finalized its recommendations this week and voted to send them to the legislature for the 2023 session. Senate President Pro Tem David Givens (R-Greensburg) co-chaired the group and thanked the members for what he called a productive and collaborative process.
Representative Ken Fleming (R-Louisville), the other co-chair, sponsored House Bill 777 during the 2022 Regular Session. The KLC initiative included several EMS provisions and established the task force. He said the six meetings that legislators held throughout the interim period were “transparent and thorough.”
The task force’s final report includes six findings and 27 recommendations. You can see the report here.
Findings address certificate of need (CON) changes in House Bill 777, reimbursement for EMS services, issues with training sites in Kentucky, staffing concerns, and behavioral health obstacles.
The report breaks the recommendations down into six categories: (1) CON and licensing, (2) reimbursement for services, (3) training and education, (4) workforce recruitment and retention, (5) behavioral health patient transport, and (6) data collection and analysis.
Final recommendations include:
- Review of House Bill 777 exemptions and nonsubstantive review status for certain types of ambulance providers to determine if they should remain in effect past July 1, 2026
- Permit city and county governments to contract with third-party vendors whether they obtained a CON through the formal or nonsubstantive review process
- Five recommendations to increase Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance coverage
- Evaluate possible educational assistance programs to help pay for certification
- Assess a possible high school pilot program for emergency medical technician (EMT) certification
- Consider a possible EMS compact measure to allow EMS personnel to cross state lines
- Evaluate a possible training incentive for EMS professionals