Task Force studying EMS challenges begins its work
The Emergency Medical Services Task Force held its first meeting this week in Frankfort. The task force was a result of the passage of House Bill 777 during the 2022 session, which made changes to the structure and administrative makeup of the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS), amended the certificate of need (CON) law, and modified the CON process for counties, cities and hospitals to speed the establishment of service in a county or city.
While there are some improvements for county services in the legislation, most stakeholders and legislators agreed the task force should be established to address lingering statewide issues.
In his opening comments, Committee Co-Chair Rep. Ken Fleming (R-Jefferson) said he hopes the outcome of the task force’s work would be bills filed for the 2023 session that have a positive impact to help change the dynamics and serve the community and patients.
Co-chair Sen. David Givens (R-Green) asked all stakeholders to “set aside personal interests and see if we can create something built upon what we already have to deliver better for our citizens and taxpayers."
View the roster of committee members here.
KBEMS Interim Director Eddie Slone provided an overview of EMS in Kentucky.
He shared the dire conditions all services are experiencing with recruitment and retention, equipment challenges, training and educational requirements and provider statistics. Slone noted that Kentucky’s EMS agencies are predominantly rural, and most counties can only support a single agency. He spoke about the geographic location, common use of mutual aid agreements among county services, training and struggles to provide competitive wages.
The KBEMS presentation can be viewed by clicking here.
Adam Mather with the Office of Inspector General in the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services reviewed the different levels of the CON process in Kentucky.
State law prohibits the startup of a "health facility," which includes ambulance providers, without first obtaining a CON in most cases. The full presentation can be viewed by clicking here. You can watch the meeting by clicking here.
The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 3 p.m.