HB 2127

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of February 25, 2014

Title: An act relating to the authority of medical program directors.

Brief Description: Concerning the authority of medical program directors.

Sponsors: Representatives Van De Wege and Tharinger.

Brief History: Passed House: 2/05/14, 98-0.

Committee Activity: Health Care: 2/20/14.


Staff: Bonnie Kim (786-7316)

Background: The Department of Health (DOH) certifies emergency medical service (EMS) personnel and is responsible for their discipline in cases involving unprofessional conduct. There are four primary categories of EMS personnel: paramedics, intermediate life support technicians, emergency medical technicians, and first responders. EMS personnel may provide services within the scope of care established by their individual level of certification or specialized training. The services must also be included in the protocols of each county's medical program director (MPD).

MPDs are physicians recognized to be knowledgeable about their county's administration and management of pre-hospital emergency medical care and services. MPDs provide medical control and direction to EMS personnel in their medical duties and supervise EMS personnel training and medical care performance audits. MPDs must also recommend EMS personnel to DOH for certification, recertification, or denial of certification, and for disciplinary action under the Uniform Disciplinary Act process through DOH. DOH certifies MPDs and defines their duties and responsibilities.

Summary of Bill: MPDs may not independently restrict the certification or employment status of EMS personnel unless DOH has imposed restrictions on the provider's certification.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill codifies DOH's current policies in the Washington Administrative Code. If necessary, the bill can be amended to remove the limitation on restricting EMS personnel employment status.

CON: An amendment removing the limitation on restricting EMS personnel employment status would alleviate concerns.

OTHER: An amendment removing the limitation on restricting EMS personnel employment status would alleviate concerns.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Van de Wege, prime sponsor.

CON: Mickey Eisenberg, Michael Sayre, University of WA, Professors of Emergency Medicine.

OTHER: Susie Tracy, WA State Medical Assn.