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New law gives Colo. state licensing power, oversight of ground ambulance services

The state health department will set standards for agencies and enforce them starting in 2024


Image/Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

By Leila Merrill

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado is the only U.S. state not to have centralized licensing and oversight of ground ambulance services, but a law signed on June 1 will change that.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will set statewide standards for ground ambulance agencies, which is like the department’s current role for air ambulances, Fox21news reported.

The law preserves local governments’ ability to control the services of ambulance agencies operating in their jurisdictions and to negotiate contracts with those agencies.

Beginning on July 1, 2024, the public health department will be “authorized to conduct inspections, investigate and hold hearings regarding alleged violations, and, for any violations found, take action against an ambulance service’s license or application for an initial or renewed license, impose civil penalties, or both,” the legislation states.

The statewide licensing is said to meet federal Medicaid guidelines, which may help ensure fair reimbursement rates.

The department also will oversee a 20-member task force dedicated to evaluating ways to reduce disparities in access to emergency services.