Idaho law would allow EMS to bill for non-ER transports

The proposed legislation defines “community health” services and gives EMS more flexibility when deciding where to transport patients

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Legislation recently introduced in Idaho would allow EMS to charge for services when transporting patients to a location other than the emergency department.

The bill, introduced in the House Health and Welfare Committee, would amend existing Emergency Medical Service laws to include definitions for “community health” services, including community paramedics, CDAPress reports. 

Currently, EMS can only bill for services when transporting to an emergency department. Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, one of the sponsors, says the legislation would allow EMS providers to treat more patients in the field and would create a value-based health care system that focuses on providing the treatment the patient needs, rather than transporting them to the hospital. 

The legislation will incorporate information from a community paramedicine program in Ada County that includes a patient follow-up program after hospital discharges, along with a mobile flu vaccination clinic, bio-metric health and prevention screenings.

"We are creating a platform that communities can build on," Malek said. “It's a first step in a long journey toward quality health care.”

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