AUGUSTA — A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to support rural hospitals by facilitating the hiring of emergency medical technicians received a public hearing in the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee 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” clarifies state law to allow EMTs to practice within the scope of their training under the employment of a hospital.
“Patients depend on a robust health care system in all corners of our state. With our current workforce shortage, Maine needs to be creative and open-minded and look to other trained proficient, medical professionals to function in a hospital setting,” said President Jackson. “After talking with the folks at Cary Medical Center, I believe it’s time to support rural hospitals and EMTs by allowing them to work together when our friends and families are most in need.”
President Jackson submitted this legislation after meeting with nurses, doctors and administrators at Cary Medical Center this fall. 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.
“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 undergo additional work in committee.