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Legislative and Regulatory Issues

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Legislative and Regulatory Issues

Search for Bills in Congress
Search for current legislation by word/phrase or bill number.
See bill sponsors, summary, text, status and more.

The Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017 (HR 304)
was signed by the President and
became law on Nov. 17, 2017.

see details here
  • MISSION ZERO Act (S. 1022 and H.R. 880). This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to certain trauma centers to enable military trauma care providers and trauma teams to provide trauma care and related acute care at those trauma centers. Funds may be used to train and incorporate military trauma care providers into the trauma center, including expenditures for malpractice insurance, office space, information technology, specialty education and supervision, trauma programs, and state license fees. Grantees must allow the military trauma care providers to be deployed for military operations, training, or response to a mass casualty incident.
    • HR 880 passed the House on Feb. 26, 2018.
    • On Feb. 27, 2018, it was received in the Senate, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • Stop, Observe, Ask & Respond (SOAR) to Health & Wellness Act of 2017 (H.R. 767 and S. 256) - These companion bills propose the establishment of a pilot program in the health care system to provide training to address human trafficking. HR 767 passed the House Feb. 26, 2018.
  • Two air ambulance bills have been introduced in the 115th Congress that require reporting of cost/quality data and address reimbursement, each backed by different industry organizations:
    • Ensuring Access to Air Ambulance Services Act of 2017 (H.R. 3378). The bill was introduced on July 25, 2017 by Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and sponsored by Reps. Walorski, DelBene, Johnson, Ruiz, and Sessions. This bill is backed by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS).
    • Air Ambulance Quality and Accountability Act (H.R. 3780). The bill was introducted on Sept. 14, 2017, by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and sponsored by Reps. Hudson, Kind, Jenkins, and Kennedy. The bill is backed by the Association of Critical Care Transport (ACCT).
  • The Airplane Kids in Transit (KITS) Act (S. 1167 and H.R. 2485). The Airplane KITS Act was included in both the House and Senate FAA reauthorization bills that passed through both the Senate Commerce and House Transportation committees in late June 2017. See AAP press release here.The KITS Act would require the FAA to update emergency medical kits onboard commercial airplanes with appropriate medications and medical equipment for children. Congress has not required the FAA to update the emergency medical kits on airplanes since 1998, making a review of their contents long overdue and necessary.
  • S.967 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act of 2017. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced S. 967 on 04/27/2017. The bill would make permanent the urban and rural Medicare add-ons and super-rural bonus payments that have been temporarily added in past years but otherwise expire on Dec. 31, 2017. The bill also would recognize ambulance services as providers of medical services rather than mere suppliers of transportation. This is important for setting the stage for future changes to the Medicare ambulance fee schedule, e.g., treatment and referral of a patient not requiring transport, etc. The bill also would require ambulance service providers to submit cost data to assist in determining appropriate reimbursement rates.
  • S. 471 – Isla Rose Life Flight Act. This bill, introduced by Sen Jon Tester (D-MT) in the 115th Session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, seeks to preserve state authority "relating to network participation, reimbursement and balance billing, or transparency for an air carrier that provides air ambulance service."
  • H.R. 817: End Surprise Billing Act of 2017. A bill introduced in the 115thCongress by Rep Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) with 34 Democratic co-sponsors on Feb. 2, 2017, seeks to end practices of balanced billing of health benefits for patients from out-of-network providers. While the bill does not specifically mention EMS as a source of concern, advocates for the bill are hoping for a successful “first step” to support state insurance laws that are currently preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA.)
  • Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017 (HR 304) was signed by the President and became law on Nov. 17, 2017. See Public Law No: 115-83. (TXT | PDF) This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to register an emergency medical services (EMS) agency to administer controlled substances if the agency submits an application demonstrating that it is authorized to conduct such activity in the state in which the agency practices. The DEA may deny an application if it determines that the registration is inconsistent with the public interest. An EMS agency may obtain a single registration in each state instead of a separate registration for each location. A registered EMS agency may deliver, store, and receive controlled substances, subject to specified conditions. An EMS professional of a registered EMS agency may administer controlled substances in schedules II, III, IV, or V outside the physical presence of a medical director if such administration is authorized under state law and pursuant to a standing or verbal order, subject to specified conditions. The bill specifies that a hospital-based EMS agency (i.e., an EMS agency owned or operated by a hospital) may continue to administer controlled substances under the hospital's DEA registration.

See archives for previous legislative and regulary issues of interest.