PA 17-84—sSB 941

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING REVISIONS TO LOCAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PLANS

SUMMARY: This act requires municipalities to update their local emergency medical services (EMS) plans at least every five years, rather than when they determine necessary as under prior law. It specifies certain information that must be included in the plans' performance standards.

Prior law required the Department of Public Health (DPH), at least every five years, to review local EMS plans and primary service area responders' services provided under them. The act instead requires municipalities to conduct this review and submit the revised plans to the DPH commissioner, who must evaluate each plan on an ongoing basis. Unlike prior requirements for DPH review, the act does not require a municipality's review to include evaluating the responder's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

The act also makes changes to procedures for DPH's evaluation of the plans, such as (1) requiring prior notice to the municipality and (2) modifying the process for developing performance improvement plans for providers rated as failing.

By law, a primary service area is a specific geographic area to which DPH assigns a designated EMS provider for each category of emergency medical response services. These providers are termed primary service area responders (CGS 19a-175).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

LOCAL EMS PLANS

Performance Standards

Existing law requires local EMS plans to include certain components, such as performance standards for each segment of the municipality's EMS system. The act specifies that this must include standards for responding to a certain percentage of initial response notifications, response times, quality assurance, and service area coverage patterns.

DPH Evaluation Process

The act requires the commissioner to give at least 120 days' notice to a municipality before DPH begins its evaluation of the municipality's revised local EMS plan.

Under existing law, after evaluating such a plan, DPH must rate the primary service area responder's performance as meeting, exceeding, or failing to comply with performance standards. The act specifies that DPH must notify the municipality and the responder of the rating.

Under prior law, if DPH rated a responder as failing, the commissioner could require it to comply with a DPH-developed performance improvement plan. The act instead allows the commissioner to require the responder to (1) submit its own performance improvement plan within 90 days of receiving notice of the failing rating and (2) comply with DPH's performance standards.

By law, a primary service area responder rated as failing may also be subject to (1) later performance reviews or (2) removal as the municipality's responder for failing to improve its performance, under specified procedures.

BACKGROUND

Local EMS Plans

By law, local EMS plans must include various components, such as performance standards; the written agreements between the municipality, its EMS providers, and the municipality's public safety answering points; and identification of specified EMS levels.

Municipalities must consult with their primary service area responders about any plan updates. Upon request, DPH must assist each municipality in the process of updating the plan by providing technical assistance and helping to resolve any disagreements about the plan (CGS 19a-181b).

Related Act

PA 17-131 ( 11) extends by one year the date by which municipalities must amend their local EMS plans to require at least one EMS provider likely to arrive first on the scene of a medical emergency to carry an opioid antagonist and complete a training on how to administer it.