Bill would clarify which drugs can be administered by EMS
The bill, Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medicines Act (H.R. 304), garnered support from the American Hospital Association and was applauded by the organization in a letter to sponsoring Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).
Emergency medical services provide life-saving triage, treatment and transportation of patients during life-threatening medical emergencies. Passage into law would assure that patients have access to needed medications when receiving crucial emergency medical services care. The bill clarifies that medications governed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) may be administered by EMS practitioners pursuant to a standing order issued by a physician medical director of an EMS agency.
“If EMS practitioners cannot rely on standing orders to authorize administration of medications governed by the CSA, treatment may be delayed for patients in pain or experiencing other significant symptoms,” wrote American Hospital Association Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in his letter of support. “We applaud your efforts to clarify the role of standing orders while protecting the continuity of existing EMS operations and oversight structures around the country. We also appreciate that the legislation continue to allow hospital-based EMS agencies to use their hospital’s Drug Enforcement Administration registration so that no new administrative burdens are placed on hospital-based EMS agencies.”
The American Hospital Association speaks on behalf of nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations as well as 43,000 individual members.