Copy, Paste, & Send to Congress


Or better yet, join NAEMT and use their advocacy tool.

The Field EMS Quality, Innovation, Cost-Effectiveness Improvement Act is a chance for us start being recognized as the essential public service that we are.  Whether your service is fire-based, private, third service, or volunteer, this law will help define what quality care is across delivery types.  The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest should not depend on what side of the street you collapse on.

Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian or socialist, EMS needs a lead federal office.  Whether or not you like HHS, this law and puts us somewhere that acknowledges we do more than transportation.  It allows us to  move past bickering about where that office should be.

When a fire station closes or crime goes up, politicians must answer to angry voters.  After 40 years of purely local control of EMS, disparities in all aspects of EMS performance seem to be tolerated.  This law would start to define what questions to ask so that apples can be compared to apples.

Please copy, add or delete what you feel necessary, and send to your legislators.  Make sure they know that we matter, and that we vote.

 As a constituent and member of the emergency medical services (EMS) community, I am writing to request your co-sponsorship of H.R. 3144, the Field EMS Quality, Innovation, Cost-Effectiveness Improvement Act, introduced by Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) and co-sponsored by Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC). This critical legislation will implement a cohesive strategy to strengthen the development of our nation’s EMS capabilities without adding to the federal deficit. The landmark 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report Emergency Medical Services: At the Crossroads identified systemic problems that undermine the public trust and reliance upon EMS. EMS encompasses care provided in the field, emergency departments and trauma centers. EMS is multi-jurisdictional with federal agency responsibility tasked across DHS, HHS, DOT, IHS, FCC, and DOD. Accordingly, federal funding for EMS is fragmented, limited, and all too often overlooked in favor of other needs. EMS lacks and needs a federal home to advance its capability nationwide to best serve patients with emergency medical conditions when their lives are at stake. Today, while fire and police first responders have several essential and targeted federal support programs, there is no dedicated federal funding stream for EMS responders in the field (field EMS) to ensure their capability to respond to medical emergencies as part of a coordinated EMS system. Other systemic problems identified by the IOM include: insufficient coordination among EMS providers, disparities in response times, uncertain quality of field EMS care, lack of field EMS readiness and inadequate federal funding for disaster preparedness, divided professional identify of field EMS personnel, and significantly, a limited evidence base of emergency medical interventions. H.R. 3144 would provide a path out of the crossroads and toward the vision outlined by the IOM. The bill will improve access to essential and life-saving EMS services and better integrate EMS within the larger health care system More specifically, the bill would: �Establish the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the primary federal agency for EMS and trauma, consistent with the IOM recommendation, and consolidate and align EMS and trauma functions within HHS to improve federal efficiency and coordination; �Establish three essential new grant programs for field EMS agencies (practitioners), States and field EMS educational entities to improve field EMS quality, innovation and cost-effectiveness; �Enhance quality of field EMS care through improved medical oversight and direction, including evaluation of medical liability and reimbursement issues that may impede medical direction, and enhance data collection and analysis; �Improve patient outcomes, evidence-based care and cost-efficient delivery to patients with emergency medical conditions in the field through enhanced and dedicated research; �Evaluate innovative models for access and delivery of field EMS for patients, including alternate dispositions of patients for whom transport to the hospital is not medically necessary which will lower costs and streamline efficiency of care; �Enable the Secretary of HHS — on a budget neutral basis — to utilize discretionary funding to start up both the new field EMS programs created by the bill as well as already authorized but unfunded federal trauma and emergency care programs; �Establish an EMS Trust Fund to be funded by voluntary contributions made by taxpayers when filing their federal income tax forms for the purpose of funding the field EMS programs created in this legislation on a budget neutral basis. As a member of the EMS community, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3144. This bill addresses many of the challenges impeding our ability to best fulfill public expectations so that all patients with emergency medical conditions can depend upon EMS in their greatest hour of need. Thank you for your consideration.

Comments

  1. This is a great opportunity for providers to step up and take action. I often talk about the difficulty in making changes in EMS on the EMS Office Hours podcast. But this is a chance EMS professionals have in making their voices heard and moving EMS forward. Like the title says, Copy Paste & Send. It doesn’t get any easier.
    I will be bringing this post up on this weeks show, be sure to join us http://blogtalkradio.com/emss

Trackbacks

  1. […] Copy & Paste post on Federal EMS agency at EMS Patient Perspective […]

Speak Your Mind

*