House Bill 151 Expands Roles for EMS Providers
Signed into Law on Nov. 23, HB 151 will remain in effect until July 1, 2020
As most of you are aware, healthcare facilities, including hospitals, are currently facing impactful manpower shortages due to the significant increase in patient hospitalizations paired with healthcare providers who are unable to work due to infection with or exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Previously, emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, and paramedics functioning within a hospital setting were limited to the emergency department and to transport of patients from the emergency department to other areas within the hospital. During this critical time of need, there is a need for assistance from all available certified Ohio EMS providers. House Bill 151 now permits emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, and paramedics to perform emergency medical services in any setting, including in any area of a hospital, if the services are performed under the direction and supervision of one of the following:
- A physician
- A physician assistant designated by a physician
- An advanced practice registered nurse designated by a physician
House Bill 151 also provides liability protection to Ohio EMS providers functioning in this role. Specifically, an emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, and paramedic is not liable in damages in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property resulting from the individual's administration of emergency medical services, unless the services are administered in a manner that constitutes willful or wanton misconduct.
House Bill 151 will remain in effect until July 1, 2021.
Typically, EMS medical directors and most emergency physicians are well versed in the parameters within the Ohio EMS scope of practice. However, this may not be the case with other healthcare providers or physicians who specialize in other medical specialties. Each Ohio EMS provider is responsible for their individual Ohio EMS certification and to ensure that their actions are within the authorized Ohio EMS scope of practice for their respective level of certification. If any healthcare provider requests the provision of emergency medical services that are beyond the Ohio EMS scope of practice, it is the responsibility of the Ohio EMS provider to decline to perform skills or provide services that are not authorized by the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services. The emergency medical services that have been authorized by the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services are cited in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) as follows:
- Emergency medical responder: OAC 4765-12-04
- Emergency medical technician: OAC 4765-15-04
- Advanced emergency medical technician: OAC 4765-16-04
- Paramedic: OAC 4765-17-03
Thank you for your dedicated service to the residents and visitors of the State of Ohio. The value of EMS as a critical member of our emergency response networks and healthcare systems cannot be overstated, not just during this pandemic, but for each and every day.