Ambulance Service Sustainability And State Licensing
Under current law, ambulance services are regulated at the local level. On and after July 1, 2024, the act requires an ambulance service to obtain a state license from the department of public health and environment (department). In licensing ambulance services, the department is authorized to conduct inspections, investigate and hold hearings regarding alleged violations, and, for any violations found, take action against an ambulance service's license or application for an initial or renewed license, impose civil penalties in an amount of up to $500 per violation or up to $500 per day for a continuing violation, or both.
On or before January 1, 2024, the state board of health (board) is required to adopt rules regarding minimum standards for ambulance services, including equipment, staffing, medical oversight, and general and vehicle liability insurance standards and, if the board deems it necessary, rules imposing application and licensing fees.
On and after July 1, 2024, a county or city and county is authorized to grant an ambulance service authorization to operate within the county's or city and county's jurisdiction and to enter into service agreements, memoranda of understanding, and other contracts with ambulance services operating in the county's or city and county's jurisdiction.
The act also creates a statewide task force to make statutory, rule, and policy recommendations for how to preserve, promote, and expand consumer access to emergency medical services in the state, including recommendations:
- Regarding the regulation of ambulance service;
- To address inequities and disparities in access to emergency medical services;
- To address workforce recruiting and retention issues;
- To promote the financial sustainability of emergency medical services; and
- Regarding the long-term sustainability of emergency medical services.
For state fiscal year 2022-23, the act appropriates from the general fund:
- $254,622 to the department for use by the health facilities and emergency management services division for administration and operations; and
- $1,882 to the legislative department for use by the legislative council.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)