Posted at 2:15 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2017
The Brillion News
MADISON – A new state law allowing paramedics and emergency medical technicians to provide medical care in the community – in addition to offering emergency medical care – was signed into law on Tuesday, November 28, by Governor Scott Walker.
Assembly Bill 151 (AB 151) passed both legislative chambers with unanimous bipartisan support. It was promoted by State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, and state Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls.
AB 151 advances opportunities for non-emergency health care services in Wisconsin by creating and defining community paramedics (CPs) and community emergency medical technicians (CEMTs). It also creates the framework allowing hospitals, private ambulance companies, and municipal EMS providers to develop new strategies for delivering quality care, in the right place, at the right time.
“The Wisconsin EMS Association commends Reps. Loudenbeck and Shankland and Sen. Moulton for their tireless effort and commitment to the safety and continuum of care for all patients in Wisconsin. Today EMS and Fire unite as one voice by utilizing their skills and talents to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs of healthcare to individuals, hospitals, insurance providers and communities,” said Marc Cohen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin EMS Association.
Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn, President of the Wisconsin Fire Chiefs Association endorsed the legislation.
“The future of health care is to be proactive instead of reactive. The Wisconsin Community EMS Bill achieves this by optimizing health system performance, improving the patient care experience, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care. Thanks to our Legislators for recognizing the need to shift and allow these expanded services,” Cohn said.
“Wisconsin has many challenges in the health care workforce, including an aging population,” said Rep. Shankland. “Community EMS helps bridge this gap by expanding patient-centered care, especially in regions that are under-served, rural, or have high health care demands. This bill will offer local communities a new innovative tool to improve public health outcomes and serve at-risk patients, and I’m excited to see the positive impact it will have.”
Minnesota has been a leader in opening family health care to paramedics and EMTs. Locally, Gold Cross Ambulance has partnered with ThedaCare to deliver some community health care using paramedics to make house calls.