House passes “community paramedic” bill

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To help fill gaps in underserved communities, emergency medical technicians could be certified to expand their roles. The creation of a new health care definition, “community paramedics,” which would allow the EMTs to monitor and provide some treatment to patients with chronic disease, and perform minor medical procedures intended to prevent ambulatory or emergency room services, was included in a bill passed by the House 96-36. It now moves to the governor’s desk.

Sponsored by Rep. Tara Mack (R-Apple Valley) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont),

HF262/ SF119* would allow experienced paramedics in communities to undergo 120 additional hours of training to become certified by the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board as “community paramedics.” Minnesota State Colleges and Universities recently approved the accredited training program that would teach and certify EMTs as “community paramedics.”

The bill would require the human services commissioner, in consultation with representatives of emergency medical service providers, physicians and local public health agencies, to determine specified services and payment rates for community paramedics. Services provided by community paramedics would be covered by Medical Assistance.