TASA Legislative Priorities and Other Supported Legislation

 

TASA Legislative Priorities 2022

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1.     Training Stipend- HB2027/SB1932

  • Would provide 800 dollars to each full-time licensed EMS provider like current full-time Fire, volunteer Fire, and Law Enforcement who are allotted this training stipend to cover individual
  • EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics are required to pay for both individual licensure and ongoing training CEUs to maintain licensure up to 42 50% of the CEUs are required to be in a classroom setting.
  • The training stipend will include personnel that are called for active duty and are in active conflict approved by the President of the US to be eligible for these
  • The estimated cost is 7 million

2.     Ground Ambulance Assessment Program- HB1719/SB1872

  • Legislation sunsets each year, extremely successful across TN for the past four years
  • Designed to address specific needs of the ambulance service industry to improve access to TennCare patients across
  • Fully funded by ambulance providers and the Federal Government- NO STATE Funds
  • Minimally addresses the cost-per-call deficit, average cost-per-call= $525, Average Medicare payment = $335 whereas the TennCare payment is $167

3.     Operator Bill- HB1952/SB2337

  • Currently, the EMT program is taught in High schools however once the student graduates and are licensed they are unable to perform in that role due to operator/driver limitations such as the required age of 19. Also removes the F endorsement driver’s license With critical staffing shortages, this is a way to safely gain additional trained licensed staff that are ready to work.
  • TASA has met with the TN Department of Safety and TN Department of EMS, and all agree that the current rules require the following changes. The following proposed language has been endorsed by TASA

                i. 68-140-335. Ambulance operator qualifications.

(a) ambulance operators must be eighteen (18) years of age or older, must possess a valid driver license, and must possess at                                     least one (1) year of licensed driving Additionally, operators must successfully complete an emergency vehicle defensiv e                                      driving course as prescribed in § 55-8-194.

4.     EMS Transport Trauma Act – HB2338/SB2336

  • This is a way to add additional funding to our Licensed EMS Services for both air and ground who transport trauma patients regardless of The funds will be distributed equally between all licensed EMS services in the state of TN.
  • A 200-dollar fee is assessed for a speed of 20 miles over the posted speed limit or DUI or reckless driving
  • The funding is dispersed by the State EMS Board and the Trauma Advisory Council with 75% of funds to EMS and 25% of funds to trauma designated hospitals

5.     Increase EMS Service Level EMT, AEMT Training Centers to 30- HB1956/SB1908

  • Under current legislation, up to 15 Licensed EMS services may be an EMT/AEMT training center. As of December 2021, there remains a waiting list of 6 EMS services. Due to the continued critical nature of EMS staffing and the current inability of keeping up with the number of EMTs and AEMTs required to safely staff and manage transports in Tennessee, TASA met with TBR and the State EMS Office and all have agreed to support legislation as follows:
  • Allow up to 30 EMS Service Level EMT/AEMT programs, up to 3 classes annually, increase class size to 20 students, and remove all demographics restrictions.

Other TASA Supported Legislation

1.     EMS-A and EMR – HB1981/SB1966

  • Adds EMS-A and EMR as eligible for employment and assignment as an ambulance crew member> Must be partnered with at least an EMT.
  • Emergency Medical Services – Apprentice (EMS-A)

1. Utilized similar to the current “ambulance operator” that is allowed by TN Office of EMS through an emergency rule

2. No medical training required

3. Intended as a recruitment option for services struggling to staff ambulances

4. Requires the apprentice to obtain medical training and EMR or EMT licensure during 1st 12 months of employment

  • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

1. Utilized similar to the current “ambulance operator” that is allowed by TN Office of EMS through an emergency rule

2. Licensed to perform basic EMS care

3. Intended as a recruitment option for services struggling to staff ambulances

4. Requires the EMR to obtain additional medical training and EMT licensure during 1st 12 months employment

2.     Waiver of initial licensure fees for veterans – HB1976/SB1940

  • Adds to the definitions

“Veteran” means a former member of the United States armed forces, including the reserves and national guard, who was trained                       and certified as a combat medic or corpsman.

  • amended by deleting the language “for low-income persons” and substituting the language “for low-income persons and veterans”.

3.     TCRS addition to years of service for COVID – HR1658/SB1805

  • This bill extends to any member of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system (TCRS) who reaches 25 years or more of consecutive service to obtain a COVID-19 essential employee service credit on the basis of one bonus hour of creditable service for each hour of creditable service rendered if the member was required to work at the member’s respective worksite or any other worksite outside of the member’s personal residence during the COVID-19 state of emergency declared by the governor on March 12, 2020, and terminating on April 27, 2021.

4.     Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport model – HB2840/SB2319

  • As introduced, requires the bureau to, in consultation with and approval of the commissioner of finance and administration, develop and implement a program substantially similar to the federal centers for medicare and medicaid services’ Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport model for emergency services. – Amends TCA Title

5.   Re-employment of TCRS retired EMS personnel – HB2275/SB2876

  • As introduced, authorizes, until July 1, 2023, an emergency medical service employee who has been retired for at least nine months from TCRS from a superseded system administered by the state, or from a local retirement fund to accept employment as an emergency medical services employee without loss or suspension of retirement benefits if certain conditions met.