AUGUSTA — The Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee unanimously approved a bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to support rural hospitals by facilitating the hiring of emergency medical technicians on Tuesday. LD 2025, “An Act To Authorize Emergency Medical Services Personnel To Provide Treatment within Their Scope of Practice in a Hospital Setting with the Permission of the Hospital” was introduced on behalf of Cary Medical Center to help with the workforce shortages in rural Maine. The bill clarifies state law to allow EMTs to practice within the scope of their training under the employment of a hospital.
“This bill is about supporting our rural hospitals and health care providers to ensure Mainers living in every corner of this state can get the care they need. With our current workforce shortage in the health care industry, we need to take an aggressive and creative approach to fill these gaps,” said President Jackson. “Recognizing the training and expertise of emergency medical technicians and their ability to work on hospital staff is a good start. I’m grateful to the folks at Cary Medical Center for raising this issue and partnering with me on this legislation.”
Due to workforce shortages in the health care industry in rural Maine, some hospitals are looking to hire emergency medical technicians and paramedics to fill some of these gaps that fall within their scope of practice. The nurses, doctors and administrators at Cary Medical Center raised this issue in a meeting with President Jackson last fall.
“Making it clear that hospitals may employ EMS providers and utilize them in a manner defined by the hospital as directed by physicians is a win for EMS, hospitals and most importantly the patients,” said Jay Bradshaw of the Maine Ambulance Association.
The Maine Ambulance Association, Maine EMS, the Maine Hospital Association, Maine Medical Association, and Northern Light Health Care all testified in support of this legislation.
LD 2025 will now go before the Senate and House for a full vote.